Guess what! Me and my hubs are doing the Food to Fork Fondo in Maine at the end of August and I couldn’t be more excited! This is a 92 mile bike ride peppered with local farm fare along the route. Riders get to enjoy local, organic and farm fresh food while cycling New England’s iconic terrain. Not only that but the festivities start the night before with a farm-to-table dinner and end with a grande finale Maine lobster bake and BBQ at the finish line.
Now let me put it to you straight. Am I cyclist? No. Am I training? No. Am I ready to eat the crap out of what Maine has to offer in the summer?! Oh heck yeah. Not to mention soaking in this scenic New England micro-season; the salt air, the wild flowers; the smell of fresh cut grass, the buzz of cicadas and the juice running down my chin from fresh warm strawberries. I grew up going to Maine in the summers and this event has me giddy with nostalgia.
What The Heck Is A Fondo?
You may be wondering what in tarnation is a Fondo?! Great question and you are not alone. A Fondo is an organized bike ride where you get to choose the best distance for you and stop for chef prepared bites from local farms along the way. The Farm to Fork Fondo has several legs to select from. For example, Maine riders can sign up for:
- Gran Fondo which is 92 miles and the longest leg with 6 food stations
- Media Fondo which is 58 miles and 5 food stations
- Piccolo Fondo at 35 miles including 3 food stations
- Ramble Ride at 11 miles with 1 food station
I asked the race coordinator which leg he suggested considering I have no cycling experience at all and he told me the longest leg for Maine at 92 miles. So we may not be able to walk for a week after this but hey…..YOLO!
Farm To Fork Fondo Dates and Locations
Anyways, I am getting way ahead of myself. Let me backup and tell you a little bit about the Farm to Fork Fondo. I had never heard of this event until last year when I was in our local bike shop in Braintree, Massachusetts. I think I was getting training wheels installed on my sons bike when I saw a poster that said something about a farm to table bike ride. And it was in that moment I felt like my sprit animal came out of nowhere and punched me in the face. I was like; THIS. IS. HAPPENING.
The Farm to Fork Fondo takes place in 6 cites over the summer. Here are the dates and sites:
- June 11 – Pennings Farm – Warwick, NY
- June 25 – Atwater Estate Vineyards – Burdett, NY
- July 16 – Riverside Farm Pittsfield, VT
- July 29 – The country Barn – Lancaster, PA
- August 27 – Wolfe’s Neck Farm – Freeport, ME
- September 24 – Hancock Shaker Village – Pittsfield, MA
The ride includes legs from 10-100 miles, gourmet aid stations hosted by local farms, live music, family activities and more. Outside Magazine calls this event one of “2017’s Best Trips.” Need I say more?! Oh I should probably say races are limited to 600 riders and sold out in 2016 so get on it!
Why This Event Is So Kick Ace
Let me also back up again and tell you why this ride is so special. Tyler Wren is the founder of Farm to Fork Fondo and also Wrenegade Sports. He retired from professional cycling over 13 years ago and wanted to do something meaningful – something to share the best part of cycling with the world that would also have a social impact. Tyler says,
I’ve ridden my bike thousands and thousands of miles over the world and I’ve learned to cherish the days when I find myself rolling along on beautiful, quiet country roads – landscapes that are now becoming an endangered species. As cyclists, it’s natural for us to support land owners who are able to preserve the open space that we enjoy on our bicycles and who use that land to grow food that can make us better athletes and healthier people.
And here’s the best part; ALL funds raised from the Farm to Fork Fondo rides will be donated to local farms and farm organizations. In 2016, Wrenegade Sports donated more than $15,000 to local organizations.
You can check out the Farm to Fork Fondo website for each location’s event details as they vary from site to site. There are also options to buy an upgraded First Class ticket taking your experience to the next level OR if you are not into cycling and just want to enjoy the food you can do that too. All of this including route maps, logistics, ticket prices and more – all up on Farm to Fork Fondo. This ride is designed for people of ALL ages and abilities.
What You Get
Farm To Table Dinner and More
There is also the option to attend a “Meet the Farmers Dinner” the night before the ride with families from the featured ride. The Maine Farmers Dinner will be at Wolfe’s Neck Farm Little River Farmstead on the evening of Saturday 8/26. On ride day, Sunday 8/27, from 6:30-8:30am coffee and first-aid stations open with the official ride departing at 9am. Now I just saw on the schedule that the post-ride Farm to Fork Barbecue runs from 11:30am – 6pm so lets just hope that me and Jason finish 92 miles in less than 9 hours – haha!
The Maine event also features live music by Half Moon Jug Band, barnyard and organic garden tours, history hay-wagon tours, farm stand, kayak and canoe rentals, nature trials and ocean-front camping.
Wish Us Luck and Sign Up Here!
Okay so if you want to see some of this ride and my experience LIVE, I will be sharing on Instagram stories so join me there if you haven’t yet: @thisorganicgirl
Also if you want to get in on the action, do it soon before these rides sell out. Buy Farm to Fork Fondo tickets here.
See you there!?