Farm to Farm E-Biking in Bridgewater
By Geoffrey Morris
Twelve miles per hour is really the ideal traveling speed to soak in the countryside. It’s fast enough to get you around, yet relaxed enough that you can take in that allee of trees or intricate stonewall design.
In fact, that was my average pace on a recent bike tour around Bridgewater, led by Collin Daulong, who with wife Caitlin, owns and operates KC & E Adventures, based at Mine Hill Distillery in Roxbury. While my adventure took us around to the farms and historic sites of Bridgewater, KC & E organizes trips all over New England, Iceland, Italy, and elsewhere, as well as rides for kids and families.
Our trip began at 9 am at Sunny Meadow Farm, with a brief overview by Collin, born and raised in Bridgewater, about the tour, the bike, and the area. It’s the Farm to Table Experience. Sunny Meadow has been continuously tilled for some 300 years under the tutelage of only four families—currently selling organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and poultry in its farm store and at farmers markets. The place is so gorgeous it’ll make you weep.
The bike for this tour is the Specialized Como—a ten-speed, $4,000 electric bike. The cycling experience on an electric bike is very similar to a traditional cycle—only way, way better. You pedal the bike, downshifting for uphills, upshifting for flat terrain. There’s no throttle. There’s no noise. It’s cycling.
The beauty of the e-bike is the assist on the hills. Even in first gear on a traditional bike, a mild hill becomes a heart-pumping workout—an adventure killer. You huff and puff uphill at 2 mph, not the magic 12 mph provided with the electric assist. Says Daulong. “Electric bikes allow you to explore more, in less time, and with less effort. Some of the hills we rode up are really steep. An experience like that would be limiting with a traditional bike.”
Which is helpful for our next stop at Maywood Gardens, a 40-acre private estate that provides fresh-cut flowers, vegetables, and field crops sold at the Bridgewater Village Store. Owned by financier Peter May, Maywood is a member of Audubon International and also produces wine from grapes grown on the estate—Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, for those keeping score at home. While the tour does not go onto the grounds, the 12 mph pass-by puts riders at a nice height and pace to see the vineyard, greenhouse, and acres of natural beauty.
We also stopped at Greyledge Farm, which specializes in all-natural, pasture-raised beef, pork, and chicken. While the tour makes a few farm stops on its farm theme, cycling around Bridgewater is quite magical. If ever there were a town that practiced understated elegance, it’s Bridgewater. Grey, distressed siding, natural rolling hills, and soaring deciduous trees.
The Farm to Table Adventure streamed us quietly to various stops, sneaking in a piece of chocolate and espresso at the Village Store in the center of Bridgewater, ending back at Sunny Meadow for a box lunch from The Smithy, in New Preston. Fresh sandwiches, Asarasi water culled from trees, and a figs-nuts-cheese platter.
Other tours include finishing-touch tastings at Mine Hill Distillery, Kent Falls Brewery, and Hopkins Vineyard.