Cycle to Farm offers the best of both worlds

201403_05_logo Cycle to FarmVelo Girl Rides, organizer of the Cycle to Farm tour of local farms by bicycle, added two more locations to bring cyclists to beautiful local farms to enjoy stunning scenery, eat locally-grown and raised food, and buy products at local farms — Chapel Hill and Greenville, SC. Already there are rides in Black Mountain and Sandy Mush, both near Asheville.  The rides are about 62 miles long and the cost is $69. Non-riders can sign up to eat for $14 for adults, $7 12 years old and under.

“It was difficult to choose just two additional locations, since there are so many beautiful cycling routes and fantastic local farmers throughout the South, and so many communities eager to expand agritourism,” explained Jennifer Billstrom, creator and director of the Cycle to Farm events, in a news release.

201403_06_Chapel Hill rideThe first Chapel Hill event will be held on Saturday May 3 in partnership with Farmer Foodshare, which provides locally grown food to families that need support.

The first Greenville event will be held on Saturday June 14, 2014 and is in partnership with LiveWell Greenville. I wrote a travel story on Greenville for the Boston Globe. Great place to vist and cycle!

The third annual Black Mountain event will be held on Saturday, July 19, 2014, in partnership with the Black Mountain Parks and Greenways and the event returns to Sandy Mush for a second year, on Saturday, October 11, 2014, in partnership with the Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District, to promote farmland preservation.

201403_07_Black Mountain rideAll of the events are strictly limited in the number of cyclists, so that the smaller farms are not overwhelmed with customers, and to keep the Fabulous After Party small and a real opportunity for the farmers, volunteers and riders to gather as community. As a result, these events sell out well before the day of the ride.

For more information, and to sign up as either a volunteer or rider, see http://CycleToFarm.org. Cycle to Farm events use a route of about 62 miles,  a “metric century,” visiting local farms about every 10-15 miles. The farmers offer samples of tasty food to the cyclists, as well as offering their products for sale. Cycle to Farm staff collect the purchases and transport them by vehicle back to the Start/Finish, where riders return after 4 to 7 hours riding through beautiful rural countryside. For many, it is their first experience riding the route and discovering the area.

Once back at the Start/Finish, cyclists enjoy a delicious farm-to-table meal at the Fabulous After Party, sourced from the farmers they visited during their ride. The farmers and the many volunteers who work the event also join in the meal, along with beer and local musicians providing entertainment.

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2 Responses to Cycle to Farm offers the best of both worlds

  1. Yea, I can’t imagine how much deliberation it required to agree on which two new locations were going to be added to Cycle to Farm tour. By the way, my grandparents lived near Brevard for a while, and the valley before their mountain would probably make an incredible addition to this tour.

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