Tour de Farms hits the roads on Sept. 21

SHOREHAM — Delicious foods, delightful bicycling and spectacular scenery are in store for all who participate in the seventh annual Tour de Farms. Scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 21, in Shoreham, the Tour de Farms offers a choice of two routes: a family-friendly 10-mile loop and a more challenging 30-mile loop. At frequent designated stops, family farmers will treat bicyclists to tasty samples of local foods such as apple cider and apples, maple walnuts and maple syrup, cheese, meatballs, potatoes, chicken and pork, baked goods and pies.
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. This year’s tour is sponsored by Earl’s Cyclery & Fitness, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Shelburne Farms, City Market, Healthy Living Market & Cafe, Ingrid Punderson Jackson Real Estate, Langrock Sperry & Wool, Merchants Bank, and AARP. Over 700 bicyclists from Vermont, Northeastern states, and Canada are expected to attend.  
The Tour de Farms is co-organized by the Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN) and the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and is a fundraiser for both nonprofit groups. Each year, the Tour is enhanced by the addition of new features, such as a stop at a quirky art gallery. This year, participants can expect to sample from Shacksbury Cider, Vermont Trade Winds Farm, Windfall Orchard, Champlain Orchards, Doolittle Farm, Golden Russet Farm, Bridport Creamery, Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Sunrise Bakery, Lazy Dog Farm, Daona Farm, and LaDuc Acres.
Those not interested in bicycling may wish to consider volunteering. Volunteers are needed to assist with various aspects of the Tour de Farms, including registration, parking, farmers’ helpers, sign setup, and ride marshaling. In return for a three-hour time commitment, volunteers will be entered into a raffle to win various prizes including gift certificates from the Farmhouse Group of restaurants and the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op, Terry bicycle saddles, and Louis Garneau bicycle helmets. Those who volunteer well in advance of the event are more likely to secure assignments of personal interest.
Advance registration fees for the Tour de Farms are $35 for adults and $18 for kids 16 and younger. Day-of registration fees are $50 for adults and $25 for kids 16 and younger. Children in trailers and bike seats ride free and don’t need to be registered. Advance registration is now open at www.acornvt.org and stays open until 5 p.m. on Sept. 15.
The Tour de Farms will be held rain or shine. All routes begin and end at the Shoreham Town Green. On-site, day-of registration runs from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 21. For more information or to volunteer, please contact the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition via [email protected] or (802) 225-8904, or ACORN at [email protected] (802) 382-0401.

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