What are you doing June 26, July 17, August 6 or August 28? While you check your calendar I will tell you why you should join me on a Farm to Fork Fondo.
I first heard about the Farm To Fork Fondo series from Chrissy. With her encouragement I reached out the organizer and was so excited to work out a sponsorship I didn’t realize the event I had my eye on conflicted with a work conference. Luckily my primary role in that event is planning, not presenting, so instead of sitting in meeting rooms in early August I will be riding through the gorgeous farmlands of the Pennsylvania Dutch Farm To Fork Fondo course with my husband. There are so many reasons you should clear your calendar and join me, but I’ll highlight my top five.
Five Reasons To Do A Farm To Fork Fondo
1. Gorgeous farmland. The Pennsylvania Dutch Fondo is held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the other Fondos have equally bucolic settings in New York (Hudson Valley), Vermont (Pittsfield), and Maine (Freeport). One of the goals of the organizers is to unite the cycling and farming communities and support local farms.
2. Delicious food. All of the Farm to Fork Fondos feature local food, both at the aid stations along the course and in pre- and/or post-ride festivities. I’m looking forward to post-ride barbeque in Pennsylvania, but am a bit jealous of the lobster bake at the Maine event.
3. A fully-supported ride. This will be my first organized ride, and the fun atmosphere sounds perfect for someone like me. Each event has three supported distances to chose from, so there is a perfect option for every level. I originally wanted to do the Gran Fondo (109 miles), but when I thought about the weather in August, I decided that the Medio Fondo (69 miles) would be enough of a challenge. (Our 25th anniversary bike ride was about 70 miles.) There’s also a Piccolo Fondo (26 miles) and a Ramble Ride (9 miles).
4. Overnight option. We live about 2 1/2 hours from Pennsylvania Dutch country and the rides start at 8:00 am. Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn and worrying about traffic, we will be enjoying some of the “First Class Experience” and staying on-site at the Manor View Inn on Friday night. That also means we’ll have an opportunity to participate in the Bianchi Pro Rider bicycle skills clinic, line dancing at The Country Barn Stables, and Colavita gourmet farm dinner at The Country Barn Lodge on Friday night, plus a “hardy” pre-ride breakfast on Saturday. We haven’t made any summer vacation plans, so I am looking forward to making the most out of this weekend away.
5. Reasonable prices. Since this is my first organized ride, I don’t have other cycling events to compare to, but compared to running races the registration fees seem reasonable, ranging from $69.99 for the Piccolo Fondo to $124.99 for the Gran Fondo. Those fees include support at the aid stations along the ride and the post-race meal. Even the First Class packages aren’t that expensive when you consider that they include registrations for 2 or 3 people, dinner, lodging, and other extras. Best of all, you can get 10% off your ride registration using the code COCO.
Have you ever participated in a Gran Fondo or organized group ride?