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- Inaugural Vermont Challenge to cycle through central Vermont
Wed, Feb 15, 2012 06:08 PM
This August an estimated 400+ riders will set out to complete
the Vermont Challenge-the only bicycle Challenge that tours
Southern and Central Vermont over 3-4 days and draws upon the
creative energy of local businesses and people of Vermont in each
"Cyclists tend to be better off economically than many other
athletes. A cyclist who attends events like this on average makes
around $70K per year, and that's a lot compared with the average
earnings of say skiers or riders, for example... There are many
events like this around New England and riders will make the annual
trip, often with their cycling groups, to take part in such rides
year after year. I personally travel with my cycling group most
weekends in the summer," said Janet Bumstead, Vermont Challenge
organizer. Participants also tend to bring fans along with them for
the event, she said, guessing that about 3-6 family and/or friends
on average that accompany each althlete.
The founder of The Vermont Challenge is long-time second homeowner
and avid cyclist, John Sohikian. "We have owned a home in Vermont
for almost 20 years and we just love the landscape and the people
of Vermont," he said. "The Vermont Challenge combines both our love
of bicycling and Vermont to bring you the very best of both
experiences. Vermont offers some of the best bicycling routes
America has to offer. The routes that you'll travel include some of
our favorite roads. We, the team at The Vermont Challenge, in
conjunction with the resorts of Stratton, Okemo and Killington
along with the towns of Manchester, Ludlow and Killington welcome
you to experience Vermont on two wheels with us. Savor our fine
cuisine, smell the wildflowers and green grass and laugh with the
warm and friendly people."
Sohikian designed the routes so that cyclists will have the chance
to ride over Vermont's legendary "Gaps" crossing the spine of the
Green Mountains with stunning vistas in each direction as well as
cruise through classic New England villages each day. Three ride
options are offered: The 4-day Grand Challenge, the 3-day Weekend
Challenge or the 1-day Legendary "Gap" Century, where riders will
complete 100 miles in a single day.
The Grand Challenge
The Grand Challenge, the signature tour, begins at Stratton on
Wednesday evening, Aug 15. Riders then continue to Manchester,
Okemo and Killington before returning to Stratton on Sunday, Aug.
19. Cyclist will have the option of completing a century ride on
Saturday, Aug. 18 that crosses the Brandon Gap, one of Vermont's
six legendary gaps across the Green Mountains before finishing that
day at Killington's Wobbly Barn.
The Weekend Challenge
Short on time? Choose the Weekend Challenge,
which begins Thursday evening, Aug. 16 in Manchester and finishes
back at Stratton on Sunday, Aug. 19. This route, like the Grand
Tour, provides cyclists with the option of completing a century
ride across the Brandon Gap. Transportation back to Manchester on
Sunday will be provided.
The One-Day Legendary Gap Century & Half Century
Can't take a
day off from work? Ride the one-day Legendary Gap Century, which
begins and ends at Okemo on Saturday, Aug. 18 and crosses the
legendary Middlebury Gap before returning to Okemo's Jackson Gore
resort for a big after-ride lunch and party.
Not ready to ride a full century? Choose the Half Century option,
which leaves Okemo and heads for the picture post-card village of
Woodstock before looping through roads along the Black River before
returning to the festivities at Jackson Gore.
While there are no time limits, and this is not a race. The Vermont
Challenge is not designed for beginners. For the shorter routes, it
is recommended that riders be capable of maintaining an average
pace of over 12.5 mph and ride 30-40 miles on a regular basis.
Riders wishing to take on the century should be able to maintain an
average pace of over 15 mph and have excellent bike handling
For more information visit. vtchallenge.com