Postponed: Join us on the Tour de Heifer!
Postponed! New date TBD.
Vermont’s most challenging dirt road rides! The tenth annual Tour de Heifer will be rescheduled as soon as it is safe and reasonable to do so.
15-mile, 30-mile, and 60-mile dirt road rides, plus a family-friendly hiking option
The Tour de Heifer’s 60 and 30 mile challenge routes follow dirt roads with minimal pavement. Both entail significant elevation change — that is, hill-climbing, and lots of it! Both the 30 and 60 mile challenges are loop rides with opportunities for bailing out.
We also offer a less challenging (but still hilly!) 15-mile country ride!
Families and people who love to walk will enjoy our guided hike to the top of nearby Blueberry Hill.
NEW LOCATION FOR 2020:
All of the routes begin and end at Bunker Farm (857 Bunker Rd, Dummerston, VT 05346), and feature incredible views, farm and woodland terrain, New England villages, and much more.
About Bunker Farm: The Bunker Farm is a family run farm which produces naturally raised meats, vegetables, annuals, perennials, and maple syrup. It is also an agricultural educational center for local students and the community.
Our story is pretty simple. Two Vermont boys met and married two sisters from Maine, and the rest is history! Our collective passion for agriculture and the environment has led us to The Bunker Farm, a historic farm in the heart of Dummerston, Vermont. Through the Farmland Access Program of the Vermont Land Trust, we have been able to bring the farm back into production, and are proud to be part of Vermont’s working landscape and local food economy.
What’s for lunch?
Pizza!!!! …by Mach’s Wood-Fired Pizza, plentiful sides and beverages and freshly baked cookies for dessert! AND MUCH MORE!
And, Brattleboro’s Whetstone Brewery will be on hand to offer samples as well as drafts for sale! So be sure to tuck a little cash into your pocket!
PLUS: Live Music back at Bunker Farm by The Full Catastrophe
Laurie Indenbaum – fiddle
Andy Davis – accordion
Jim Fownes – piano
“The Full Catastrophe” plays New England traditional dance music. Andy Davis, Laurie Indenbaum and Jim Fownes perform the lively music found at a New England contra dance. Jigs, reels, waltzes and polkas drawn from the French Canadian, Irish and Scottish roots Vermont dance traditions.
What The Tour Supports
Your participation helps local farmers and food producers. Strolling of the Heifers is a Vermont farm/food advocacy organization working since 2002 to connect people with healthy local food, with the aim of helping family farms and local food producers to grow and flourish. The Tour helps support the Stroll’s Farm to Table Apprenticeship Program, which teaches nutrition and culinary skills to underemployed community members, placing them in full-time, permanent positions at local restaurants and institutional kitchens.
The Tour de Heifer is a part of the Strolling of the Heifers Annual Parade Weekend. The weekend starts on Friday with a pre-parade festival on the Brattleboro Common. On Saturday, don’t miss the world-famous Strolling of the Heifers Parade, followed by the Slow Living Expo and Farmers Breakfast and Farm Tour on Sunday.
60+ mile Heifer Challenge Ride: A very challenging ride
- Starts anytime between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. (More leisurely riders are encouraged to start as early).
- 6,300 +/- ft. elevation gain
- Snacks midway; lunch upon return to Bunker Farm (served 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.). There are also three other water/snack stops along the route.
- Route will be marked along the way.
- Earlybird registration, through May 14: $70 (adult and youth)
- Advance online registration, May 15-June 6 (5 p.m.): $80 (adult and youth)
- On site registration: $85 for adults, $20 for youths under 16 (who are capable of the distance)
Download PDF Map: 60-Mile Route
30-mile Green River Challenge: A challenging ride for experienced riders
- Starts 9 a.m.
- 2,500+/- ft. elevation gain
- Lunch upon return to Bunker Family Farm (served 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. buffet style)
- Hard copy maps will be available at ride check-in. Route will be marked.
- Earlybird registration, through May 14: $70 for adults, $20 for children 16 and under.
- Advance online registration, May 15-June 6 (5 p.m.): $80 for adults, $20 for children 16 and under.
- On site registration: $85 for adults, $20 for children 16 and under.
Download PDF Map: 30-Mile Route
15-mile Country Ride: A moderate ride for experienced cyclists
A hilly and very scenic 15 mile ride. The route includes a nice mix of forest roads that open out to incredible views of the VT countryside, and classic VT farms and farm houses. There are a few short sections of pavement. This route is suitable for gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and even road bikes with wide tires. The total elevation gain is about 1500′.
- Starts 10:00 a.m.
- 1,500+/- ft. elevation gain
- Earlybird registration, through May 14: $40 for adults, $20 for children 16 and under.
- Advance online registration, May 15-June 6 (5 p.m.): $45 for adults, $20 for children 16 and under.
- On site registration: $50 for adults, $20 for children 16 and under
Download PDF Map: 15-Mile route
For Walkers: 5-mile Blueberry Hill Stroll
- Hike starts at 10:30 a.m. Start Location TBD
- Lunch upon return to Bunker Farm (served 11:30-2:30 p.m. buffet style)
- Scenic vistas
- Online or on-site registration: $20 per person
Lunch Only Option: Have friends and family join you for lunch after the ride
- Stop by for lunch! served 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. buffet style at Bunker Farm.
- $15 per person, online or onsite
All ride times are suggested times — riders are free to depart when they wish. However, ride support is based on the scheduled times. The check-in table will open by 6:30 a.m. for early risers.
Registration Details and Rates
- Online registration deadline: Saturday, June 6 at 5 p.m.
- On-site registration: beginning at 6:30 a.m. the day of the event, at Bunker Farm (higher rates in effect for same-day registration).
- All registrations include a healthy catered lunch (served at Bunker Farm 11:30 am. – 3:00 p.m. buffet style). There are also snack/water stops along each route, at reasonable intervals.
- Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Children riding in trailers or tag-alongs, free.
- This is a rain or shine fund-raising event — no refunds for any reason
The Tour is part of Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, so plan to arrive a few days in advance, and enjoy our Friday and Saturday events including the Parade and Expo on Saturday, June 6. Details at www.StrollingoftheHeifers.com. Click here for lodging and dining information.
Don’t have a bike? That’s no excuse! West Hill Shop in Putney, VT will rent you an excellent gravel bike for $10. You may pick up the bike before June 7th. For gravel bike rental information call the West Hill Shop at (802) 387-5718
Got questions? Scroll down or click here for our FAQ!
Registration includes a farm-fresh lunch and entertainment back at Bunker Farm.
MANY THANKS TO OUR TOUR DE HEIFER SPONSORS:
Lunch and Beer:
Bike Shop sponsors:
- Burrows Specialized Sports, Main Street, Brattleboro: http://www.burrowssports.com/
- West Hill Shop, Putney VT: http://www.westhillshop.com/
- Bicycles Unlimited, Greenfield MA: http://www.bikes-unlimited.com/
Cabot Creamery, Clif Bar, Commonwealth Dairy, Drew’s All Natural, Dunkin’ Donuts, Grafton Village Cheese, Leader Distribution, Mocha Joe’s, Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Teddie Peanut Butter, Sidehill Farm, Vermont Country Deli, Vermont Creamery
SPECIAL THANKS: Vermont Land Trust and of course…our host, Bunker Farm.
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.
15 mile ride: 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.
Green River Challenge and Heifer Challenge (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. All 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.
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 go through Green River village in Guilford, 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 friendly bike mechanics available at the registration area, and we have found that if you have a problem or worry, checking in with our volunteer mechanics there often prevents further problems down the road.
There will be a mechanic at the base, and a couple of sag wagons 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 riders, as well as the hikers. The lunch buffet is usually open from 11:30 to 2:00, but food will be available in coolers after that time.
Please note, particularly 60 mile riders, that we will have a substantial snack/water stop around the halfway point, to provide you with fuel to finish the last halves of your rides. Our experience is that most 60 mile riders prefer to stock up on snacks and fluids, rather than eat a full lunch out there. 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 30 and 60 rides where you can bail out. You can also combine the first half of the 60 with the last half of the 30, by taking a right on Deer Park Road rather than a left (unless Green River Bridge is open). Just ask if you have questions about this option.
If you have questions about bail out points just ask our Tour Coordinator in advance, at registration, or at one of the water stops if you are unfamiliar with the options. Please note that our sag wagons will be covering only the official routes.
If I signed up for the 60, can I drop back to the 30 (or vice-versa)?
If you registered for the 30, you can change your mind and do the 60, or if you registered for the 60, you can do the 30. They are the same price. If possible, let us know at registration, but you can change your mind on the fly, or use the map to make up your own intermediate ride using one or more of the shortcuts between routes.
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.
What does the Tour de Heifer Support?
The Tour is a fund-raiser for Strolling of the Heifers — The Tour helps support the Stroll’s Farm to Table Apprenticeship Program, which teaches nutrition and culinary skills to underemployed community members, placing them in full-time, permanent positions at local restaurants and institutional kitchens.
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