Called the toughest mountain bike event in the Northeast, the Freetown 50 has made a name for itself as a challenging and extremely well-attended endurance mountain bike race in Assonet, Massachusetts. Initiated by Rock Hard Racing, this event has etched itself into the hearts of mountain biking enthusiasts. While news that Rock Hard Racing would be bowing out might have disheartened many, the torch was taken up by the new Southcoast NEMBA Chapter. Their decision wasn’t merely about preserving a tradition; it was about celebrating it, with the added goal of raising funds for their chapter.
What sets the Freetown 50 apart isn’t just the race itself, but the atmosphere. It’s an amalgamation of spirit, camaraderie, and sheer love for the sport – it’s an epic event that brings over a hundred racers yearly to Assnoet to let their legs burn and suffer in one of the Best Mountain Bike Events in New England.
Event & Course Info
At its heart, the Freetown 50 celebrates Assonet’s challenging and picturesque terrain. And this year is no exception. Racers can expect to traverse some of the most popular race sections, but in a delightful twist, the course will also introduce bikers to some untouched trails – favorites of the Southcoast NEMBA Chapter but a mystery to the previous Freetown 50 regulars. There are three route options:
50-mile Marathon: Designed for the veterans and the daring, this race is a test of endurance and skill. Bikers will complete two laps of the 25-mile loop for a total of 2,096 ft of elevation gain.
25-mile Half Marathon: With an elevation gain of 1,048 ft, this race offers a balance between challenge and speed, making it perfect for both seasoned racers and ambitious intermediates.
10-mile Novice XC race: Tailored for beginners, this race promises 376 ft of climbing. It’s a fantastic way for newbies to experience the thrill of the Freetown 50.
Along the course, aid stations will be positioned to cater to the participants’ needs. Additionally, mechanical and sag support will ensure that any technical hitches won’t keep riders from crossing the finish line.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
While there is not an official lodging partner, there are only a few hotels around Assonet and nearby Fall River including Townplace Suites or the Holiday Inn Express but more available if you look in Somerset and surrounding areas. For a more home like experience, there are vacation rentals in the area that suit a variety of tastes, from cottages on the river to homes perfect for a group of riders participating in the Freetown 50. If you prefer to camp under the stars, Freetown-Fall River State Forest and Dighton Rock State Park are both good options for camping.
The culinary scene of Assonet, MA is a charming blend of New England traditions and local flavors, with eateries offering everything from fresh seafood dishes to classic American fare, all set against the town’s quaint, historic backdrop. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy cafe or a family-owned restaurant, Assonet provides a taste of Massachusetts’ rich culinary heritage. Local favorite spots include The Ledge, Nutrition on Main, while if you venture into Somerset you can enjoy Roger’s Family Restaurant and Fiesta.
Nestled in Massachusetts, this charming town is not just a haven for history buffs but a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Beyond the renowned Freetown 50 race course, the Freetown-Fall River State Forest boasts an array of mountain biking trails suitable for riders of all skill levels. The diverse terrain ensures every biker is challenged and thrilled. Navigate trails like the Bell Rock Road or the infamous Ledge Road Loop. These trails offer a mix of rocky outcrops, dense woodlands, and serene pond views, guaranteeing a refreshing ride in nature.
Water sport enthusiasts will enjoy kayaking on the Assonet River this time of year. Set off from the Elm Street Bridge and paddle upstream towards the tranquility of the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. Its gentle currents cater to both novices and seasoned kayakers.
Anglers will appreciate fishing at the Assonet Ledge which is a popular local spot for those looking to relax and cast a line. The calm waters, combined with the overhanging trees, provide a peaceful setting for catching species such as bass, pickerel, and even the occasional trout. Ensure you have the necessary permits and are aware of the local fishing regulations before going though!
The Freetown 50 is currently the only event produced by its organizer, there are many other top mountain bike events in Massachusetts and the broader New England area, including Bear Brook Classic organized by State 9 Racing, as well as Wilmington Whiteface, which used to be a qualifying event for the Leadville Race Series MTB. For multi-sport athletes, check out other Strambecco best-rated events taking place in the state, such as The Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnée (D2R2), one of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in New England. Be sure to check out our full list of Strambecco Best in Class road and trail running events in the state of Massachusetts and the New England region as well.
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