Not a Resolution, but a Challenge
We’re on the cusp of a brand new year and you know what that means! Nope, not New Year’s Resolutions. Olympian and long-course triathlete Sarah True had a great Instagram post recently that said “Resolutions seem so harsh: You’re trying to “fix” something about yourself and either you succeed or fail. That’s it. With a Challenge, it’s more about reaching towards something new and exciting. The process of pursuing something difficult is transformative in and of itself. Whether or not you reach your goal is secondary.”
We couldn’t agree more. What new challenges are in store for you this year? What can you do to grow as a cyclist in the next twelve months? Do you want to get stronger on hills? Be able to ride farther and longer? Maybe you want to try gravel riding, or take a lesson in mountain bike riding. Maybe you want to learn to take it slow this year, and simply enjoy the scenery.
There’s something else wonderful about this time of year, besides turning the last page on the year’s calendar. We’ve passed the Winter Solstice and the days are getting longer. Every minute more of sunlight is another minute closer to being able to ride outside after work! It means that cycling season is on the horizon and it’s a good time to plan the cycling calendar.
There are so many great cycling events in the course of the year that it’s worth taking a look at the whole thing and picking out the ones you really want to do. And because we’re all about helping women ride, we’ve done the legwork for you. (You’re welcome.)
Below is a list of our 2019 must-do cycling events, in order of occurrence. We’ve also created a Google calendar of these events. Click on the logo on the bottom right of the calendar to add it to your calendar.
When choosing an event, read the descriptions carefully to be sure to choose a distance and difficulty level that’s right for you. You want to make sure that your event is a reasonable stretch for you, a challenge that will encourage you to strive toward achieving it without grinding you down to a nub. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, but be willing to do the work necessary to get to your goal.
**Please note that the information gathered here is as accurate as we can make it at this time. To be certain about 2019 dates, locations, routes, and other details, please visit the event’s website.
**Special Note! Registration for The Vermont Overland goes live at 10AM on January 1. Spots fill up fast, so if this one catches your interest, be prepared to sign up soon!
Aquariana A women’s winter retreat weekend sponsored by bikekitz, this event does it all: Guided fat biking, xc skiing, snowshoeing, gravel riding, plus a show by comedic storyteller Cindy Pierce, massages, and more. January 25-27.
Vermont Overland Maple Adventure Ride (VOMAR) A gravel road circumnavigation of the Ascutney Basin area of Vermont featuring climby, narrow, scenic roads with a destination sugarhouse at full boil. March 24.
Muddy Onion Spring Classic A 30-plus mile fully supported gravel ride with a focus on relaxed fun. April 20.
Rasputitsa “The Rasputitsa is a psychotic 40-mile, insane, drop to your knees and cry sufferfest with an absurd section so difficult that people won't believe your stories called Cyberia.” April 27.
Women’s Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix A three-day grand prix with an individual time trial, road race, and criterium. The mission of this event is to “highlight the need for parity in the male dominated sport of competitive cycling.” May 3-5.
Tour of Battenkill Called the “Queen of the Classics,” this one-day road race has three distances: A 75-mile Gran Fondo, a 42-mile Medio Fondo, and a new 26-mile Piccolo Fondo. May 11.
Killington Stage Race This three-day stage race has a circuit race, a road race, and an individual time trial. May 25-27.
Raid Rockingham With 45-mile and 60-mile route options, Raid Rockingham combines elements of the area’s best gravel roads on a supported course with a great party awaiting you at the finish. There will be cold craft beer on tap and some tasty grub to match.
Black Fly Challenge A 40-mile gravel grinder that “traverses the rugged Moose River Recreation Area on mountain roads composed of dirt, gravel, sand and exposed boulders with several steep elevation changes.” June 8.
The Ranger This forty-mile gravel adventure ride is as famous for its “Party in the Pasture” as it is for its demanding and beautiful route. June 9.
The Prouty This two-day athletic event raises funds to benefit Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) and offers 20, 35, 50, 77, and 100-mile routes. July 12-13.
The Dirty Project A small, passionate, focused and for-the-fun of it "bad-ass" ride to generate a pile of cash for a worthy cause — currently The Prouty, but moving forward the mandate may change as others in need reach out, with the ride being the mechanism for drawing donors in.
Raid LaMoille Say it like a local, “lah-moyl” – rhymes with olive oil. Got it? A challenging route that includes a significant amount of packed-gravel riding and some major climbing segments. This is not a race. A properly prepared rider and bike of most any type can do this.
RAGBRAI An annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state of Iowa, RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest, and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world. July 21-27.
Rooted Vermont Gravel race featuring two routes, an 85-mile option and a 45-mile option, starting in Richmond and ending at Cochran’s ski area. Organized by Ted and Laura King. August 4.
Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) A fundraising ride for Dana Farber Cancer Institute, this event offers multiple distances to choose from, including a two-day ride from Sturbridge to Provincetown. Early August.
The Overland A “44-mile dirt road bicycle race featuring 5,700 feet of climbing, seven sectors of ‘Vermont pavé’ (unmaintained ancient public roads), two well-fortified sag stops, a magnificently scenic route and an awesome party afterwards.” August 25.
Green Mountain Stage Race Four challenging days of racing with a time trial, circuit race, road race, and criterium. August 29.
The Kelly Brush Ride A family-friendly event that includes 10, 20, 50, and 100 mile routes through Vermont’s Champlain Valley. September 7.
Vermont 50 Iconic mountain bike race with multiple distances. September 29.
Peacham Fall Fondo This mid-fall scenic gravel ride had its start last year. Date for 2019 is TBD and will be added as soon as Ian and Gretchen decide on a date.