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Wrenegade Sports, LLC
431 Pine St, Suite 314
Burlington, VT 05401

241 Pine St, Suite 314
Burlington, VT, 05401
United States


Gourmet farm to table cycling event series featuring aid stations on local farms. Inspired by the Italian gran fondo bicycle ride.

Ambassador Blog

Will Ride for Food

Rachael Balinski

People ask me what my training plan looks like now that I’ve retired from Olympic competition.  I tell them that I’m on the Don’t Get Fat Plan. They think I’m kidding.

I’m not kidding.

I am extremely food-motivated.  I always have been. From the age of 16, when I set my sights on the Olympics and began training twice a day, I have fantasized about my post-workout coffee and muffin.  It was my morning ritual, so ingrained that it wasn’t long before the barista at my neighborhood cafe, The Ithaca Bakery, began making my order in advance so that it was ready and waiting for me by the time I reached the front of the line.  I bore my hard-earned prize triumphantly from the counter to a nearby table and blissfully dissected the muffin as I perused the morning paper.

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Sometimes the thought of that coffee and muffin was the only thing that got me through a hard workout.

Looking back, I wonder whether I rowed so that I would enjoy breakfast, or enjoyed breakfast so that I would row.  I suspect it’s some combination of the two. They’re symbiotic, you see: without the workout, the treat is an unjustified indulgence; and without the treat, the workout is a joyless chore.

These days, I’m wont to combine my workout and my treat into a seamlessly integrated adventure.  For example, last week I made a 40-mile pilgrimage to the location of the first Dunkin Donuts store, in Quincy, MA.  The donut I had was no different from the one I can get at the Dunkin location just down the street, but the fact that I rode for hours to get there made it that much sweeter.  Moreover, now I can say that I’ve been to the original Dunkin.

The epitome of the epicurian adventure is, of course, the Farm to Fork Fondo.  If you join me on a ride this year, I guarantee you’ll find that the ride is shorter for the farm-fresh food along the way, and the food is more delicious when it is hard-earned.  Whether it’s apple turnovers in Vermont or goat-milk cheesecake in the Finger Lakes, you will have never tasted treats so good.

And the best part?  After all that riding, you won’t feel one bit guilty about gorging yourself.

-- Caryn Davies

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Farm to Fork Fondo - What's All the Hype About?

Rachael Balinski

I'm excited to be participating in the Farm To Fork Fondo--Pennsylvania Dutch for the third year in row. My first Farm To Fork Fondo was my very first organized ride and first time riding on roads instead of dedicated bike paths. Last year I added a few more organized rides to my schedule--including my first century ride--but none were as special as my Farm To Fork Fondo experiences.

Let's face it, the scenery is hard to beat.

  My first Fondo--I'm the one on the right.

My first Fondo--I'm the one on the right.

And there's no better fuel than orchard-fresh cider and peaches,

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dairy-fresh ice cream,

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and whoopie pies! 

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The Farm To Fork Fondo--Pennsylvania Dutch route has a "moderate" difficulty rating which, for a casual cyclist like me, means hills worth training for. Although I made it up all the hills my first year without hill conditioning, I felt much stronger last year after becoming a regular on a local bike shop's weekly hill ride. Since the event is a month earlier this year I might not be quite as ready as I was last year, but I'm committed to participating in at least a few hill rides between now and the end of June. 

Aside from weekend rides, the only other "cycling" I do is a weekly indoor cycling class. I know some cyclists don't think indoor cycling "counts," but I've found that the right type of class really can improve my conditioning. I have a favorite instructor who includes a combination of tough climbs and speed intervals in her programs that make me a stronger rider when I get on my bike. Plus, on a stationary bike I can ride as hard as my legs will let me, without holding back for fear of encountering "traffic" on the bike path.  

I'll be doing the Medio Fondo, which is about 50 miles. While that distance is longer than my usual weekend rides, it's not so long that I won't be able to enjoy the day. When deciding which distance to do, it's important to remember that you will want to spend time at the Farm Stop Aid Stations. I may not linger at each of the five stops, but I will take my time at a few of them to meet the hosts, chat with the volunteers, and enjoy the refreshments. So, while I could cover 50 miles in about 3 hours, I expect to take at least 4 hours to complete the Medio Fondo--and will savor every moment! 


With all those Farm Stop Aid Stations, it's hard to imagine being hungry after the ride, but the great spread at the Post-Ride Farm to Fork Barbecue always is too good to resist. Plus, it's a great time to relax, enjoy live music, and chat with other riders--and congratulate each other on such a great ride. 

I’m looking forward to it already!



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