The Mountain Times

°F Sun, April 20, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Riders complete the 2013 the Vermont Challenge, looking ahead

8- Vt Challenge - At The Lookout Courtesy Of Vt Challenge

During four days from Aug. 14-18, Southern and Central Vermont hosted the Vermont Challenge, a non-competitive cycling event.
235 rider's arrived from 14 states and 2 Canadian provinces on Wednesday evening, Aug.14 at Stratton Mountain. The youngest rider was 18 and the oldest was 73, with the median age of 52 years old. 27 percent of the riders were female.
On Thursday riders made their way down the mountain to Manchester and rode extended routes into East Arlington and then out to Pawlet. They spent the night in Manchester, where they were treated to a outdoor concert at Dana Thompson Park, the Farmers Market at Adams Park, and some local cuisine at Manchester restaurants.
For the second leg of the event cyclists mounted their bikes on Friday embarked on a 64-mile journey that wound past Lake St. Catherine, Poultney, Middletown Springs, Wallingford, and Okemo. But before departing Manchester the crew held a ceremony honoring Wendy Cram a long time resident of Manchester and avid cyclists and skier even at the age of 92! Wendy rang the start bell and the riders were off to Okemo!
Saturday brought the long ride: a legendary 100 mile jaunt north up Route 100, past the Killington access road, through Rutland, Pittsford, Brandon, Whiting, Lake Dunmore and the Brandon Gap. Riders circled back through Rochester and Stockbridge to complete the ride in Killington. As an added bonus Vt Challenge cyclists rode along with the runners of the "100 on 100 Relay Race." It was an exhilarating 10 mile long celebration with runners cheering on the cyclists, and cyclists returning the high-spirited encouragement.
John Sohikian, the founder and president of the Vermont Challenge noted that "all the riders finished Saturday with a total sense of satisfaction will smiles on their faces for a job well done."
Sunday launched the final leg of the tour. Everyone saddled up at the base of the Killington access road and headed back to Stratton by way of Ludlow, Chester, and Londonderry. This included a wonderful stop at Magic Mountain where cyclists were greeted, once again, with open arms and warm smiles.
In the end, this was 275+ miles of incredible scenery, peaceful countryside, and extraordinary interaction with local communities.
Next year's event will be August 13-17, 2014. For more info visit vtchallenge.com.