|2012 Tour de Farms|
The Tour de Farms offers three loop rides (approx. 10, 25 and 30 miles) and a family-friendly five-mile walking or biking option. At frequent designated stops, family farmers will treat bicyclists and walkers to tasty samples of local foods such as apple cider, quiche, bread, roasted vegetables, yogurt, wine, maple syrup, and cookies. Because the event is a tour and not a race, the pace is low key, allowing ample time to chat with farmers and relax with friends in the beautiful Champlain Valley. The Tour attracts approximately 600 bicyclists from Vermont, northeastern states, and Canada.
The Tour de Farms is co-organized by the Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN), Rural Vermont, and the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and is a fundraiser for all three nonprofit groups. Each year, the tour is enhanced by the addition of new features, such as NOFA-VT’s wood-fired pizza for sale and a stop at a quirky art gallery. This year’s Tour will offer a handful of new farmers and food producers and three StoryWalk® choices for young children. StoryWalk® offers the opportunity to read great children’s books while walking in beautiful, natural settings.
There is also a competition open to all who wish to make a short film about the 2012 Tour de Farms. Contest rules can be found at http://www.vtbikeped.org
Participants can expect to sample from B Vineyard, Champlain Orchards, Danz Ahn Farm, Doolittle Farm, Golden Russet Farm, Lemon Fair Honeyworks, Millborne Farm, Middlebury Natural Foods Coop, Misty Knoll Farms, Neshobe Farm, North Branch Farm & Gardens, Singing Cedars Farmstead, Solar Haven Farm, Stonewood Farm, Sunrise Gardens Greenhouse, Sylvan Shade Farm, Vermont Trade Winds Farm, Windfall Orchard, and the restaurants Morgan’s Tavern (Middlebury Inn) and Tourterelle.
If you’re not interested in riding, but want to be involved, consider volunteering! Volunteers are needed to assist with various aspects of the Tour de Farms, including registration, parking, farmers’ helpers, photography, crowd control, and ride marshaling. In return for a three-hour time commitment, volunteers will receive a free Tour de Farms t-shirt. Those who get in touch early are more likely to secure assignments of personal interest.
At 12:30 pm on September 16, Shoreham will kick off an Apple Fest on the town green, complete with continuous live music, crafts, and a farmers’ market featuring a variety of delicious items for sale. Apple Fest continues until 5:00 pm and all proceeds benefit the Platt Memorial Library in Shoreham.
Advance registration fees for the Tour de Farms are: $28 for adults and $13 for kids 16 and under. Day-of registration fees are $50 for adults and $20 for kids 16 and under. Children in trailers and bike seats ride free and don’t need to be registered. Registration is now open at http://www.BikeReg.com/17071
All routes begin and end at the Shoreham Town Green. The 30-mile riders depart at 10:30 am, the 25-mile riders depart at 11:00 am, and the 10-mile riders depart at 11:30 am. For more information, contact the VT Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition, www.vtbikeped.org (802) 225-8904.
The Better World Club offers bicycle-only and car-and-bike membership, including insurance and free roadside assistance. Better World Club offers VBPC members a 10% discount on new membership. The VBPC receives a donation for every new sign-up.