Events: 2018 Oktoberfest (And Why You Should Register)
(2018) Rouleur magazine stepped into brevity calling the final cycling monument Il Lombardia ‘up and down around a big lake all day.’ Il Lombardia’s secondary name, Classica della foglie morte is loosely translated to the Festival of Falling (Dead) Leaves. It takes place the week after the UCI World Championship road race and has been in operation since 1905. It is the fifth and final monument of the cycling calendar as well as being the last Autumn Classic still with UCI status. It is a proper send off to the pro cycling season.
I have always found the end of the road cycling season exciting. After a long year of spring struggles and summer racing it feels good to let the guard down and ride for sheer pleasure. The fall rides are just that: pleasure rides. Some of the events have gone away for 2018 but one ride in particular continues to deliver on its similarities to the Festival of Falling Leaves. We don’t need to leave the continent - much less the Philadelphia area - to experience a close second.
If Rouleur magazine stepped into brevity to describe Kermesse Sport’s Oktoberfest Ride, they may describe it as ‘up and down all day with a reservoir in the middle.’ Oktobefest Ride’s date of October 21 is prime leaf peeping in these parts. Expect flaming colors of hardwood early slumber. While the route touches many of the shores of Green Lane Reservoir, it also tours along the Copper Mine Creek Preserve, another stand of hardwood forests bordering Unami Creek. It is one of the most picturesque experiences in fall cycling on the east coast.
In 2010 the Lombardia organizers reintroduced the Muro di Sormano, a climb with occasional gradients around 25%. Oktoberfest Ride’s equivalent is not far removed from the Muro di Sormano. Eichele Road boasts ramps approaching 25% (depending on the source) providing a climbing challenge to any who roll up to its flanks. Summiting Eichele Road means you have reached the second highest point on course. Theoretically it’s nearly all downhill from here.
I have completed Oktoberfest Ride for the last three years and found immense enjoyment in the renewal of the old professional bike course from the Univest days. To start and end at Appalachian Brewing Company means concerns such as parking, food, and drink are taken care of. Each pedal turn can be made with the idea that German-inspired food is cooking and bubbling at the ride headquarters. The German-inspired beer is having the foam swiped off the top in anticipation for finishers. In a Kermesse Sport event no detail is overlooked. That fact makes the entire day enjoyable.
Several years ago I climbed away from Unami Creek and followed the road through the falling leaves. The funny part was I didn’t need to regard the route markers because traffic had ground a path into the leaf piles to a fine dust. For a few miles my concentration existed just beyond the leading edge of my front tire. It was only after I rolled out of the wooded areas did I realize what an experience it was to pedal through a forest engaged in hibernation. With the end of the 2018 cycling calendar, the Kermesse Sport Oktoberfest Ride is the perfect experience to prompt the hibernation of the road cyclist by pedaling up and down and around a reservoir all day. You may as well end the year at Appalachian Brewing Company with some schnitzel and an Oktoberfest. It will hold you over nicely until the Sourland Classic.
For 2018 Kermesse Sport has extended a coupon code for ten dollars off registration to Oktoberfest Ride. Use coupon code ‘Creaky’ upon registration. Offer expires October 16th.