by Martine Palmiter, PPTC Event Coordinator of the 2016 Farm Tour
While storms the day before had us on edge, we were truly fortunate to have a great day for the 7th Montgomery County Farm Tour this past Oct. 2. This year, 450 registered riders and many volunteers made the day very special — for the first time ever, the Farm Tour was a fundraiser for the Montgomery Countryside Alliance. Riders’ donations and the proceeds of this event all goes to support the MCA! The club brought in your personal donations of over $1200 for the MCA, and we raised an additional several thousand dollars for the MCA in organizing this event. All the volunteers should be very proud, as I am. We have created a strong partnership this year with the MCA. Without their tireless preservation efforts we would not be able to enjoy this biking haven. That we still have farms and orchards a short-drive from I-270 is a miracle.
We thank Caroline Taylor, Director of MCA for working with our club to ensure its success.
We are also grateful to the other sponsors of this event: Rocklands Farm and Dickerson Market for hosting our rest stops and Kingsbury’s Orchard for the picnic space and providing music! We thank Poolesville Golf Course who generously let us bring over 450 cyclists to park on their grounds. We thank them, our amazing MCA and PPTC volunteers, as well as Revolution Bike and EvoCycleWorks for providing mechanical and SAG support.
And of course, I want to acknowledge Denise Cohen, who started this annual event as a small bike ride several years ago, with the goal of showing club members how beautiful the routes are, and to appreciate this part of rural Montgomery County. She made connections with the local farms and the MCA. I want to acknowledge her role this year in providing me history and background and general guidance as needed, to make this a success. And Rita Cohen, her mother, got to come this year to experience the picnic and see Denise off as she rode her first Farm Tour.
Last and most important — the Potomac Pedaler volunteers. I cannot name all of them but there were many. I personally thank Robin Sparer, who managed the Rocklands rest stop with such skill, even when certain supplies did not show up, and tables were missing at first, and ice ran out. Her team was amazing and she became my right hand in other planning matters. I want to thank Laurie Welch, my other main lead, who coordinated all the volunteers and who worked all summer lining them up. She also created an online file to store all the planning documents so we can do this again next year! She was invaluable to the planning, and somehow keeps very calm under pressure.
I want to thank Ellen Letourneau from MCA for managing all the volunteer staff at Kingsbury, and working with Gene Kingsbury and Dickerson Market in arranging for the band, the decor, the transport of produce and wine, the set up and clean up of that picnic. I want to thank Steve Cohen whose showed us his talents in obtaining local food and baked goods, and obtaining excellent caterers for Rocklands and Kingsbury and kept us well fed. Thanks to Andrea Foster and Gregg Adams who managed the added Dickerson Market stop which saw 75-100 riders.
I want to thank the efforts of the Potomac Pedalers’ administrative staff, Brenda Ruby and Sherri Core, for their ever present hand on email marketing, registration, collecting donations for MCA, among other unsung heroic tasks involved in this event. I thank Ann Corran and her team at registration, Kim Lamphier for making signs, and Denise Cohen for her parking team. And of course, Jim Quinn and his wife Heidi get my highest five kudos, for braving the rains the days before the ride to check the routes for debris, for marking the roads. True dedication.
And if you haven’t done so already, please go to our Facebook page and look at the photos from our beautiful day. Check out the MCA FB page as well.
Thank you Peter Klosky and others who took photographs for this event.
And thank you to the riders — your registrations, donations, and support of this event sends a message loud and clear that the protected farmlands of the Montgomery County Ag Reserve are an appreciated resource we, as a community, will continue to support.