Events: Kermesse Sport's 2016 Oktoberfest (And Why You Should Sign Up)
(2016) Long ago – longer than I care to remember – I graduated from college amidst the threat of a cold spring storm. The college had two options going into the day: The first was to chance the predicted cold showers that had a large margin of error or, secondly, hold the graduation indoors, thus limiting each graduate to two family members. The balance of family members would be set up in another indoors facility and given viewership via closed circuit television. I don’t have to try too hard to convince my audience toward which route each graduate leaned.
Each of the past two years Kermesse Sport's Oktoberfest has been held it has been a bit damp in places either from precipitation or in the lighter form of fog. October is a fickle time as the leaves are both in full fury and overwhelmingly ready for departure. If the weather is gray, leafs pop in contrast to the neutral background. When the sun makes an appearance, the colors radiate as riders look skyward. It truly is a perfectly timed event.
Along with the beautiful views and cycling perfect roads, the after party is one that each rider will remember. Though it might be leg warmer weather outside in late October, Appalachian Brewing Company will be a warm beacon to each participant as well as the one Companion Pass. That’s right, the food is so good, the atmosphere is so welcoming, Kermesse Sport sells a companion slot to pass along the enjoyment. (Any extra people in the entourage will have to be set up elsewhere and watch you enjoy yourself via closed circuit television.) The inside is so relaxing after a challenging ride that it’s easy to get lulled into a sense of calm and potentially fall asleep sitting up.
I have done many events that hand out SWAG. The late comedian Mitch Hedberg stated about handouts as saying, “Here, you throw this away!” Kermesse Sport thrives to deliver Euro flare SWAG that actually gets used. Last year each rider got extremely useful (and skinny) SKS tire levers that bumped our old ones from the cycling wallet. I still use several of the items handed out at other Kermesse events. When you make your way to the start, don’t be surprised to see other event SWAG being used by riders, too.
What better way to commemorate the farewell of the 2016 road cycling season than with a deep ceramic stein that is ready to receive a complimentary beer from Appalachian Brewing’s fine concoctions. At any point throughout the winter where the temperature’s got you down, reach into the cupboard, crack open one of the ABC beers, and transfer the liquid from vessel to vessel to relive the finish of Oktoberfest with your Oktoberfest mug. Deciding to kit up to do it might be extreme, but we wouldn’t blame you.
Did it ever rain at graduation? It did. The oft-repeated line after our mortarboards had drooped to pathetic saturation was that no one would have wanted it any other way. The graduation show was so well done, the weather didn’t even remotely ruin our spirits. And the funny thing? Appalachian Brewing Company’s Gettysburg location had just opened up a few months prior. Naturally we went there to celebrate. I guess both Kermesse Sports and ABC know how to put on a show.
I insist cycling friends put this on their calendar each year because it is a full experience. Register today before the price increases. And don’t worry, there are two distances to consider if Eichele Hill is looming too large. If you were on the fence before reading this, hopefully you’ve been convinced to hop off and register. Save those ten bucks for the dinner at ABC you’ll be considering after enjoying their wonderful finish line food.
All photos (including the cover photo) are courtesy Janine Carroll. Her photos of last year's event can be found here.