In July: "Tour Opacum": A Bike Ride for Land Conservation

"Tour Opacum" - A Bike Ride for Land Conservation!
Land Trust partners with Southbridge Bicycle, Rapscallion Brewery  
for July 9th Bike Ride; All levels welcome for 100, 50, 25 mile Routes

Opacum Land Trust is sponsoring a Bike Ride on Sunday July 9th through the heart of Opacum's service area, highlighting the scenic beauty and small town charm of Sturbridge, Brimfield, Brookfield, Monson and surrounding towns. Bike enthusiasts will seek the honor of completing the full 100-mile ride, while other riders and families can choose a route in keeping with their ability, including 50 and 25 mile loops, and a family-friendly 7.5 mile ride that makes the day a win for everyone!   All proceeds from this ride will go to support the land conservation work of Opacum Land Trust - helping to protect the beautiful character of our communities.
Situated in the rolling uplands of central Massachusetts, in the watersheds of the Quaboag and Quinebaug rivers, the service area of Opacum Land Trust is a scenic region of forests, farms and quintessential old New England Villages. TourOpacum will bring riders past some of Opacum Land Trusts conservation properties, including Monson's Flynt Quarry (site of one of our rest stops), the Plimpton Community Forest and Riverlands conservation areas in Sturbridge and the Broz-Simon Conservation property in Brookfield. Most of the routes bring you through the beautiful village of Brimfield, with a rest stop at the historic Hitchcock Free Academy, which now serves the town as a community and education center (www.Hitchcockacademy.org)
Rapscallion Brewery at Hyland Orchard on Arnold Road in Sturbridge is the start and end point for TourOpacum. As riders return to Rapscallion between 1:30 and 2:00 they can receive their free beer or other beverage, courtesy Rapscallion. Live music by the Tony Soul Project will fill the afternoon, food and drink is available from the Rapscallion Food Truck, and folks can also bring a picnic lunch. Disc Golf is also available at the brewery.
Opacum Ale: Rapscallion will unearth a special recipe for the occasion, an amber ale made two decades ago in partnership with a land conservation group to protect the North Woods in Maine. Adopting the name Opacum Ale to raise awareness for this local conservation effort, the beer will be released just prior to Tour Opacum and will be on tap during the event as well, with registered riders offered a complimentary pint. A portion of the sales of the beer will be donated to the organization.

Ed Hood, Executive Director of Opacum, is excited to have Rapscallion's enthusiastic and generous support for this first ride of TourOpacum.   With the brewery's central location in Opacum's service area, the very important feature of local craft beer, and Cedric and Christina's commitment to helping grow TourOpacum, Rapscallion is an ideal partner for the event. Ed is particularly grateful for the guidance and technical support of Jon Steppic, owner and manager of Southbridge Bicycles, and himself an avid bike rider.

TourOpacum Registration
for all routes is online at BikeReg.com, with the proceeds from the $50 registration fee going to support Opacum Land Trust. Rest stops with food and water available to riders and a support vehicle will be available for emergency assistance. Rides begin at staggered times and are synchronized to wrap up between 1:30 and 2:00 at Rapscallion, where the after-ride celebration will take place.
Opacum Land Trust is a regional, non-profit land conservation organization protecting land for wildlife, forestry, farming and outdoor recreation.  We work in eastern Hampden County and southwestern Worcester County in the towns stretching from Monson to Charlton. Founded in 2000, Opacum currently protects over 1,700 acres of land, and is actively working to protect more land across its service area. We can be reached at Opacum Land Trust, www.OpacumLT.org, 508-347-9144.

Details of the routes and starting times can be found at BikeReg.com/tour-opacum, and on our website. For specific questions about Opacum Land Trust or the TourOpacum, please call or contact us at info@opacumlt.org.

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