Bangor Daily News features a must-read article on Maine's best farm rides, highlighting Farm to Fork Fondo - Maine!
Read the full article at Bangor Daily News.
Don’t expect dry granola bars and orange slices at rest stops during the Farm to Fork Fondo Aug. 24-25 at Pineland Farms Inc. in New Gloucester.
Instead, this event that links riders, farms and chefs offers “small bite” delicacies created from produce on working farms along the routes.
Literally translated from Italian, a “fondo” is a “ride” and is typically a long distance ride, or “gran fondo” organized for large groups of cyclists.
Tyler Wren, owner of Wrenegade Sports and event director for the Farm to Fork Fondo, said he wanted to create a very inclusive and non-competitive riding experience when he designed his local food-centric fondo series.
Maine is just one of eight fondos in the series. Other rides will take place in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“The ‘farm to fork’ is a unique thing we created where you get to choose the distance best for you and ride farm to farm sampling gourmet food,” Wren said. “It’s a celebration of farms, food and fitness for everyone.”
Riders in the Maine fondo can choose from among the family friendly 10-mile ramble, the 35-mile “Piccolo Ride,” the 55-mile “Medio Fondo,” or the challenging 85-mile “Gran Fondo.”
“It’s just a lot of fun and a great way to see local agriculture at its very best,” said Matt Sabasteanski, outdoor recreation director at Pineland. “We are involved for those very reasons.”
Pineland is a 5,000-acre facility that combines a working dairy farm with miles of four-season trails for hiking, bicycling, snowshoeing and skiing.
“We work hard to keep the agricultural piece alive to show to the public,” Sabasteanski said. “The [Farm to Fork Fondo] really fits hand in glove with what we do with running events that keep people engaged and active in the outdoors.”
The fondo is designed with all levels in mind.
“We really pride ourselves on having riding options for all abilities,” Wren said. “At the fondo you will see the pro riders at the front and people on rusty bikes at the back and everything in between.”
Registration fees depend on the route selected and include pre-ride coffee, gourmet snacks at aid stations set up on local farms, a post-ride barbecue and live music at Pineland Farms .
“This event is all about showcasing the importance of farmland preservation and basically telling the stories of these farm families,” Wren said. “We also want to motivate the cycling community to support these farms.”
It’s not a tough sell, Wren said.
“We have a big following and had 500 riders in each of our last two years in Maine,” he said “Maine is really a great place to tell the story of local farms and farming.”