Fall Run Will Once Again Thunder Out of Adams
ADAMS, Mass. — A group of local volunteers will revive a long-standing tradition that has lain dormant for the past four years: the Fall Run.
The popular motorcycle ride had been sponsored by Custom City Cycles and was an annual event in Berkshire County from 1982 until 2017. Originally a small group of friends, the ride quickly morphed into a 2,000-plus rider event that raised more than a half-million dollars for local charities, especially Shriners Hospital.
In 2017, however, Mike Roberts, an owner of Custom City, announced that the Fall Run would no longer happen. According to the Fall Run's new webpage, "Mike joked … that it may take someone like Jay Leno and a million dollars to bring it back.
"We are here to tell you," the organizers continued, "there is no Jay Leno and no million dollars, but a small group of volunteers are meeting weekly planning to bring back the ride that brought to much joy to so many people."
Jeff Snoonian, one of the founders of the revival, does not even ride a motorcycle.
"I'm a civic-minded guy," he told iBerkshires. So in the midst of the COVID-19 shutdowns, Snoonian decided to do something about it. "You can't just sit around while COVID was happening for a year and a half."
He reached out to Mike Steuer, a longtime rider and past participant in the Fall Run, and said, "like two idiots, let's get the Fall Run back together."
"We found more idiots," he said, who quickly agreed to get working. "The response so far has been incredible."
Snoonian said they have three or four dozen volunteers now, but probably need around 50 more to really run the ride smoothly. Steuer noted that the volunteers are the key to running the Fall Run. The "people that are involved are what's gonna make this happen," he said.
The group is excited to welcome motorcyclists back to Berkshire County.
"People made it part of their fall pilgrimage," said Dave Boyer, another founding member of the revival, referring to previous years' Fall Run rides. Indeed, Boyer told iBerkshires that riders in previous years came from as far away as Buffalo, N.Y., and parts of New Jersey.
Snoonian mentioned that some of the final Fall Runs raised tensions between the group's organizers and the town of Adams. This year, Snoonian said, that couldn't be further from the truth.
He said, "the second I walk[ed] into Town Hall, and mention[ed] what we wanted to do, they said, 'whatever you need, we're behind you 100 percent.'"
The 69-mile ride will begin at Bowe Field in Adams, go south through Adams on Route 8, take Route 116 into Ashfield, and then come back via Route 112 and 8A. It will also finish at Bowe Field.
The Fall Run was always a charity event, and the organizing committee gave more than $500,000 to the Shriners throughout the ride's history. This year's Fall Run also aims to donate the proceeds — this time, to the American Legion Riders and local American Legion posts in order to help veterans and their families.
The Fall Run will take place Sept.19. It begins and ends at Bowe Field, after which there will be a party that will be open to the public for free (with a suggested donation of $5). David Nicholas, owner of the Bounti-Fare restaurant, is providing the catering. They are also having a series of raffles at the afterparty, as well as some live bands, and will be hosting a fundraiser golf tournament at Forest Park Country Club prior to the ride.
Registration is available now through the website. The cost is $15 per person until August, after which it will cost $20. Riders can register any time up to and including the day of the ride. Volunteers can reach out to the group via the Facebook page or website.
Steuer is most looking forward to the sheer sense of wonder that observers get when they see the caravan of bikes go by. It's "surreal," he said. He likened it to "thunder coming down the road."
Tags: fall run, motorcycles,