Vermont’s Top Rated 4-Day Tour
We revised our starting locations last year, which was a huge success, so those locations will stay the same. We'll again offer routes through some of the most picturesque roads found anywhere. We will continue our approach of breaking down the field into rider led groups.
The Vermont Challenge is not a race, it's a friendly social tour that offers a competitive edge and challenge. If you're a cyclist that rides frequently and enjoys new challenges, riding new terrain and meeting other like-minded riders, then the Vermont Challenge is a MUST ride for you. Come join us and celebrate 2021: The year of re-opening!
- 4 consecutive days of riding
- Limit total registrations to 100 riders
- Will offer a water bottle, tech T and a Jersey. You MUST register by 6/15 to secure a Jersey. No exceptions.
- Each rider's check-in kit/bag will be pre-stuffed for distribution.
- We will offer 4 lunches and 2 group dinners
- We'll break up into 3 lengths of rides per day that we'll break down into 2 -3 average pace levels per length
- Each of our 3 daily routes will have its own support/refueling vehicle.
- Will provide a list of all services on all routes. These files should be uploaded to your phone.
- Will have a designated stop on each route
The way up and the way down are not, just not, one and the same.
That's all I can think as I push/pull/cajole the wheels into one more rotation, then another. I stand, putting my full weight on the pedals. Think positive, I coach myself. I'm grateful .. grunt.. for the cool green tunnel of hardwoods shading the road. Grateful ..groan..for the packet of maple syrup from the last aid station, liquid energy. I'm grateful for the six guys who let me draft for the last 10 miles. Grateful for the swimming hole ahead that's going to be deliciously cool.
Then, the trees open up. There is light. The road crests at the gap. Below, a toy landscape of farms with red barns spreads out. Patches of green fields are dotted with miniature black and white cows. A white spire rises through trees in the distance. I pause to take a swig of water, shift into my largest gear and then let go, screaming down the other side, taking the S turns like a ski racer on a GS course.
By far the best way to see Vermont, I'm convinced, is on a century ride or organized group ride. In the past few years, a host of new rides have sprung up with events such as the Vermont Challenge, Farm to Fork Fondo, and the Vermont Gran Fondo, making the national Top 10 lists. Others, like the Tour De Kingdom, are lesser-known gems that will show you roads you never knew existed.
Yes, you pay an entry fee but you get a sag wagon, in case you have a mechanical issue. And then there are the aid stations. Since this is Vermont, instead of GU and Budweiser, there might be PB&J sandwiches on slabs of homemade bread (Vermont Challenge) or woodfired pizza with farm-fresh toppings (Farm to Fork Fondo). After parties? In Vermont, you don't bring the beer to the party, you take the party to the beer. Three rides start and finish at Harpoon Brewery, Long Trail Brewery and Woodchuck Hard Cider this year.
There is an organized ride somewhere in the state nearly every week, here is one of our favorite loops, in August.
If you took the best aspects of a multi-day guided bike tour (sag wagons, lunch stops, dinners sharing stories of the day over a craft brew) and combined it with four days of the semi-competitive (read: bragging rights only) fun of a century ride, you'd get the Vermont Challenge.
Stratton skier John Sohikian dreamed up the Vermont Challenge as way to showcase some of the best riding routes in southern Vemont. The four-day event heads along the valley between Manchester to Dorset, before climbing into the mountains around Stratton and sending riders on a 107-mile fondo toward Okemo.
Of course, you don't have to do all four days of rides. You can sign up for shorter routes each day (starting at 23 miles). You can stop where you want (last year's favorite rest stop was at Wilcox Dairy, which makes a killer salted caramel ice cream). You can join in the group kickoff dinners at the Taconic Hotel in Manchester or eat on your own. You can do just the Valley Days (Day 1-2) or just the Mountain Days (Day 3-4). In 2016, the fifth running of the Challenge the ride raised $9,200 for local charities and $10,000 the year before. vtchallenge.com
Day 2, Friday - will start from the Pawlet Community Church, 38 VT Route 133, Pawlet, VT.
Day 4, Sunday - route out of Dorset Theatre, 104 Cheney Rd, Dorset, VT.
4 Bike Tours (Thursday through Sunday)
2 Dinners per Rider
4 Farm to Table Lunches (Thursday through Sunday)
Tour Cycling Jersey
Tech Support during Rides
PICTURESQUE SOUTHERN VALLEYS AND HISTORIC VILLAGES
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12
START TIME: 8:00 AM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13
START TIME: 8:00 AM
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14
START TIME: VARIOUS
Start Time: 9:00 am
Start Time: 8:00 am
Start Time: 7:00 am
MOUNTAIN & VALLEY TOUR
SUNDAY, AUGUST 15
START TIME: 8:00 AM