Join us on the Tour de Heifer!
The fourth annual Tour de Heifer happens on Sunday, June 8, 2014! The Tour is a set of highly scenic rides with 15-mile, 30-mile and 60-mile routes. Some are quite challenging, with lots of elevation gain; others are more family friendly (although they still have some hills!). There is also a five-mile walking option.
All of the Tour de Heifer routes are almost entirely on dirt roads, and most of them entail considerable elevation change. (That is, hill-climbing!)
And all of the routes begin and end at Lilac Ridge Farm in West Brattleboro, and feature incredible views, farm and woodland terrain, New England villages (one with a covered bridge), and much more.
Registration includes a farm-fresh lunch and entertainment back at Lilac Ridge (for 60-milers, there’s a lunch spread about halfway at Green River).
Got questions? We’ve got an FAQ!
For complete details, route maps, and to sign up, visit our page at WWW.BIKEREG.COM. (This will be the registration page for both cyclists and hikers.)
The tour is a fund-raiser for our Vermont Farm/Food Business Plan Competition.
Use of appropriate bikes is strongly recommended — mountain bikes, cross-bikes, or (maybe) road bikes fitted with 28mm knobby tires.
MANY THANKS TO OUR TOUR DE HEIFER SPONSORS:
Water bottles for participants from:
… as well as:
BIKE SHOP SPONSORS: Burrows Specialized Sports, West Hill Shop, Brattleboro Bike Shop, Bicycles Unlimited; “SAG” WAGON PROVIDED BY: Brattleboro Subaru/Brattleboro Ford FOOD/SUPPLIES DONORS: Vermont Natural Spring Water Co., Dunkin Donuts, Drews, Breuggers Bagels, New England Natural Bakers, Commonwealth Dairy, Vermont Creamery, Grafton Village Cheese, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Stonewood Farm, G. Housen, Cape Cod Chips, Clif Bar, Against the Grain, Vermont Smoke & Cure, Honest Tea. SPECIAL THANKS: Vermont Land Trust and of course…our host, Lilac Ridge Farm, and all the farms along the Tour de Heifer: Winchester Farm, Robb Family Farm, Franklin Family Farm, Deer Ridge Farm, Sunrise Farm, Circle Mountain Farm, Full Steam Farm, Olson Farm, Gateway Farm, Shearer Hill Farm, Bree-Z Knoll Farm and the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center.
Tour de Heifer FAQ
What type of bike should I ride?
This depends on the ride you select and the options you have available to you.
Family Rides: Any bike will do: cross, road, hybrid, unicycle, recumbent, tagalongs, etc. Having gears is good for the hilly sections, which are all paved. The dirt/gravel sections are relatively flat. The 15 mile ride is about half paved and half dirt. The extension which makes this into a 30 mile ride is along a rolling riverside road in Guilford. It is dirt/gravel, but very easy to ride.
Classic Gravel rides (15, 30, and 60): We recommend a cross bike or a road bike with slightly wider tires. A mountain bike is fine as well, particularly for the shorter distances, but, as you know, will be slower up the hills and on flatter sections. We regularly ride these gravel roads with cross, road and mountain bikes. The ideal is probably the cross. A number of people ride these gravel routes on a road bike with 25 mm tires, while some of us feel more comfortable with 28 mm or even 32 mm. Cyclists have a wide range of comfort with riding a road bike on dirt/gravel roads. Some folks aren’t keen on the way their bikes handle on the dirt, others are nervous about exposing their (sometimes expensive) machines to the dirt and dust. We think that many miss out because of these concerns. The 15, 30 and 60 mile rides are along lovely roads with little traffic. One of the joys of the Tour de Heifer is having people discover that they can get off the pavement with their road bike. Of course, mountain bikers and cross riders are already familiar with the joys of dirt.
One note on the 60 mile. There are two short segments that travel along woods roads. You may need to walk your road/cross bike through part of these sections, depending on road conditions. Don’t let this deter you. The ride is worth it.
If you have more specific questions or just want to talk this through, please email the Tour Coordinator, Hanna Thurber, at email@example.com. We love to talk about bikes and riding dirt roads in our neighborhood.
All that being said, our motto is “Ride the bike you have!”
What kind of support is available?
We will have snack/water stops along the different routes. All of the rides (except the 15 mile classic challenge) go through Green River, near the covered bridge. There will be a larger snack/water stop there, along with a PortaPotty.
You should begin the ride well stocked with water and snacks, particularly for the longer rides. Don’t expect to find any stores along the routes to fuel up. There are none, as you are in the heart of rural Vermont.
There will be a couple of sag wagons and a roving mechanic, all in signed vehicles that will be going along the routes. There will also be an emergency number given out at registration if you need to call for assistance. Count on texting only, as cell signals are sporadic in these areas. While we will provide support, riders should be prepared as well, with food, water and tools of their own. We have many miles of routes to cover and help may not be immediately available.
When and where is lunch?
Lunch is back at the Farm for all 15 and 30 mile riders, as well as the hikers. The lunch buffet is usually open from 11:30 to 1:30, but food will be available in coolers after that time.
60 mile riders will have a lunch at Green River to fuel up for the second half of their ride. There will also be food at the farm for all 60 milers, even after the lunch buffet has officially closed down. Though we start wrapping things up at the farm around 3:30, we will stay set up for all 60 mile riders who come in after that time. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We know it is a long ride.
Are there places to bail out early if I get tired?
Yes, there are a number of places along the classic gravel rides where you can bail out. Just ask at one of the water stops if you are unfamiliar with the options. Or ask at registration, so you can mark your map. Please note that our sag wagons will be covering only the official routes. The 15 mile family ride is out and back, but there will be support if you feel like you just cannot make it. The last several miles of the 15 mile family ride are mostly downhill and then just a half mile of flat dirt road back to the farm.
When does my ride start and can I start at a different time?
All of the ride times are suggested and you may start when you wish. However, please consider that our registration, snack/water stops and sag wagon support are based upon the suggested times. We encourage more leisurely 60 mile riders to start on the earlier side, closer to 7:00 AM, while stronger riders might wait until 8:00 AM. Our rest stops might not be ready for strong riders who start before the suggested start times. You are welcome to choose your time, just prepare accordingly.
I have a question that is not addressed here.
Send an email to the Tour Coordinator, Hanna Thurber, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.