June 2017 - BICYCLING
Summer Fondos, Tours and Races
By Darryl Caron
The Farm to Fork Fondo is “a farm fresh feast from the seat of your favorite bicycle.” It’s an organized ride where you get to choose the distance best for you and stop for chef-prepared bites at farms along the way.
The mission of the third annual series is to highlight and support the symbiotic relationship between cyclists, farmers and beautiful landscapes. Riders can immerse themselves in iconic farmlands and meet the farm families working hard to produce healthy, fresh foods you’ll enjoy. Foodie cyclists should get ready for a day filled with culinary delights made from ingredients sourced from the beautiful farms along the routes.
Farm to Fork Fondo, a production of Wrenegade Sports, expects 3,600 participants for the series from 40 states and several countries. Their festive and welcoming events are mass-start, fully-supported rides, not races including distance options from 10 to 100 miles for all abilities, gourmet aid stations hosted by local farms, live music and family activities. Outside magazine has named the series, one of “2017 Best Trips.”
The founder of Wrenegade Sports is Tyler Wren, who relocated from Rensselaerville in Albany County, to Burlington, Vt. a couple of years ago. When Tyler retired from his 13 years of professional cycling in 2014 he wanted to do something meaningful that would allow him to share some of the best parts of the amazing sports of cycling in a way that could have a positive social impact, while still being just plain fun. He’s ridden his bike thousands of miles all over the world and has learned to cherish the days when he finds himself rolling along on beautiful, quiet country roads.
In 2016, Wrenegade donated $15,000 to local organizations in the host communities via their volunteer competitions. At each event, volunteers are assigned to teams that each represent a different area farm or charitable organization. Teams compete by making sure every cyclist has an awesome day. At the end of the day, riders vote for their favorite team and determine the donation sizes. The proceeds are from sponsors, participant donations, and all raffle ticket sales.
The 2017 Farm to Fork Fondo series schedule includes: Hudson Valley on June 11 from Pennings Farm in Warwick; Finger Lakes on June 25 from Atwater Estate Vineyards in Burdett; Vermont on July 16 from Riverside Farm in Pittsfield; Pennsylvania Dutch on July 29 from The Country Barn in Lancaster; Maine on August 27 from Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport; and Berkshires on September 24 from Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield.
All participants receive a mass-start led by friendly professional cyclists, deluxe aid stations at working farms with small bites from the farm, post-ride barbecue and finisher brew, Farm to Fork Fondo shirt, raffle tickets for prizes including new Bianchi bikes, marked and supported rides, finisher’s prize, and GPS timed segments. Riders can also RSVP for the Stages Segment Challenge to compete for the Polka Chicken Jersey and the chance to win a Stages Cycling power meter. For details and registration, visit farmtoforkfondo.com.
With the arrival of summer, Adirondack Ultra Cycling offers several rides and races to challenge cyclists. On June 17, the Adirondack 540 Gran Fondo takes place in Wilmington. This is the unofficial preview of the Adirondack 540 Race, which will be held on September 15-17, and uses the same 136-mile course. Rolling hills, steady climbs, thrilling descents and breathtaking views are a staple of this course, which travels along Lake Champlain and through the High Peaks.
For riders curious about endurance cycling, a popular event and best for ultra beginners is the Saratoga 12/24 Race on July 8-9, held in Saratoga Springs. The event is held on a 40-mile loop that travels northeast through Wilton and Gansevoort to the Hudson River, before heading back to Saratoga. Riders may race for 24 or 12 hours or do a 120-mile three lap challenge. There are also day and night 40-mile fun rides.
The course is fully marked, patrolled by race officials, and includes checkpoint/rest stop at the start/finish and halfway point. The event attracts intermediate and seasoned riders and is one of the top road endurance races in the country. For more info and to enter, go to: adkultracycling.com.
The Capital Bicycle Racing Club’s 16th annual Capital Region Road Race is on July 15 at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School in the village of Ravena – 10 miles south of Albany. The race, directed by Beth Ruiz, is on a rolling 20-mile course with several short and steep climbs, with distances of 43, 63 and 83 miles depending on the category.
There are races by category for men, women, masters, citizens and juniors, with equal cash prizes for men and women. Juniors may race by category for only $10. CBRC members support Special Olympics New York at several of their events, so consider a $5 or larger donation to that program. See cbrc.cc for details and register at bikereg.com.
The Adirondack Mountain Club presents their 12th annual ididaride! Adirondack Bike Tour on July 30 at the Ski Bowl Park at Gore Mountain in North Creek. Riders can choose from a 75-mile loop with 8:30am departure or a 20-mile ride (shuttle to Indian Lake and bike to North Creek) starting at noon.
The ride has wide shoulders for much of the route. You’ll ride through some of the most beautiful scenery, cutting right through the central Adirondack Mountains, most of which is public NYS Forest Preserve land. The tour cycles through the towns and hamlets of Bakers Mills, Wells, Speculator, Sabael, Indian Lake, North River, and back to North Creek. The ride will take you alongside Mason, Lewey and Indian lakes.
A long descent begins in the hamlet of Indian Lake and meets the Hudson River in the hamlet of North River with a relatively easy ride into North Creek. The 75-mile loop, primarily along Route 30 and Route 28, is challenging with long ascents and an elevation gain of 3,460 feet – you are riding in the mountains!
There are four rest stops with snacks, water and porta-potties, and a few cafes and mini-marts in Speculator and Indian Lake. A SAG wagon and mobile mechanical support are provided. Riders receive a map, ididaride! T-shirt, and fun post-ride party with food and drinks! All proceeds benefit ADK conservation, advocacy and recreation programs. For more info and to register, check out adk.org/play.
Practice safe, smart cycling by knowing the rules of the road and follow them. See you out there!