'Exchange Street Extravaganza’ Folded Into Fondo
In its third year, Vermont Gran Fondo turns start and finish area into festival
Middlebury, Vermont – May 5, 2016 –For the third edition of the Vermont Gran Fondo, set for Saturday, June 4, cyclists will find a stretch of Middlebury’s Exchange Street transformed into a hub where riders can take advantage of a bicycle safety check the night before, find convenient parking and grab coffee on ride-day morning, and take a shower upon finishing.
And for the first time, the Gran Fondo après ride party will take place just steps from the start and finish area.
Organizers have already planned two new climbs for this year’s Fondo, as well as a route with classic Green Mountain features such as covered bridges and general stores. Now they’re delivering what many previous participants have asked for: a central staging area for all pre- and post-ride activity, bike and non-bike alike.
The action will begin on the eve of the race, Friday, June 3, at Woodchuck Cider House, 1321 Exchange Street, from 3 to 6 p.m. Participants can register, pick up their packets, submit their bicycles for safety checks by professional mechanics, and taste a variety of Woodchuck’s hard cider offerings.
On the morning of the ride, participants will head to the home of the Vermont Coffee Company and Stonecutter Spirits at 1197 Exchange Street. Morning-of registration, packet pick up and free VCC coffee will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. Riders in the Gran and Medio distances, will head up Exchange Street for a 9 a.m. start from Woodchuck; Piccolo riders will start at 11 a.m. All participants will finish their journeys at Woodchuck later in the afternoon.
Ample parking will be available at Woodchuck Cider House, Vermont Coffee Company, and just up the road at the professional office building at 1330 Exchange Street.
After riders return, they can stop by Vermont Sun Fitness Center at 812 Exchange Street and take a complimentary shower until 4 p.m. Meanwhile the après ride party will get underway at Stonecutter Spirits at 3 p.m. and last until 7 p.m., with live music, food, beverages and local ice cream, as well as Stonecutter’s signature spirits.
Food is being provided by Farmers and Foragers, a local and organically sourced food truck based out of Burlington, Vermont. They are a true farm-to-truck experience which takes great pride in serving up simple recipes that highlight the beautiful bounty of Vermont's farms, lakes and forests. In addition to Farmers and Foragers, LuLu ice cream is a small batch, artisan ice cream shop created by Martha and Laura Mack, sisters, in the summer of 2012. It is housed in a small storefront on Main Street in the quintessential Vermont village of Bristol, population 3,500, just 30 minutes south of Burlington.
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Daby Touré will provide live music during the apres ride party. He recently released a new album on Cumbancha and a renewed creative energy. Based in Paris, France, Touré hails originally from Mauritania with family roots in Senegal. While his father and uncles formed the pioneering Afropop band Toure Kunda, Touré has always followed his own music path, with influences ranging from African folk melodies and desert blues, to jazz, pop, reggae, funk and soul. Blessed with an open mind and an explorer’s spirit, Tourés catchy songs are as likely to appeal to fans of African stars Habib Koité and Youssou N’Dour as they are to followers of Bob Marley, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.
The fee is $125 for the Gran distance, $115 for Medio riders and $80 for Piccolo riders. Rates increase on May 16th. Riders on all three routes will be supported by mechanics and sag wagons from local bike shops and bicycle-touring companies. All entrants are invited to pick up their registration packets and receive a complimentary bike check at Woodchuck Cider House from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 3rd or the morning of the ride at Vermont Coffee Company starting at 7:30 a.m. With registration, participants also receive professional ride-day photography; custom-designed cycling socks; and entry to the après-ride party. Vermont Gran Fondo cycling jerseys and shorts may be purchased at additional cost.
For more information and to register, go to VermontGranFondo.com.
The Vermont Gran Fondo wouldn’t be possible without founding sponsors VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, bMighty2 and the Addison Independent; and event sponsors Vermont Hard Cider Company, Vermont Coffee Company, Schneider & Palcsik Injury Lawyers, Better Middlebury Partnership, Discovery Bicycle Tours, Two Brothers Tavern, Hammer Nutrition, Drink Maple, Stonecutter Spirits, Vermont Sports Magazine and Vermont Ski & Ride and the Addison County Chamber of Commerce.
About the Vermont Gran Fondo Organizers
The Vermont Gran Fondo is produced by Cycle Addison County, Inc., which is chartered to support cycling in the region through programming, education, infrastructure and equipment. Its members include cycling enthusiasts and athletically inclined tourism and business development representatives.