Have you longed to combine your love of farmer’s markets and the adrenaline rush earned after a challenging ride? Velo Girl Rides understands our addictions to both farm fresh cheese and a good sweat. They’ve created the perfect Cycle to Farm tours, and they’ve thought of every detail. They’ll even haul that giant wheel of Carolina Moon Camembert you couldn’t resist to the finish line for you. A finish line, we might add, which includes $1 mini massages. Need you ask for more?At Velo Girl Rides, a big part of the mission is fostering community. At every training ride or event, Jennifer Caldwell-Billstrom, creator of Velo Girl Rides, hand selects four veterans as “cycling ambassadors” who patrol the ranks looking for opportunities to support fellow riders with anything they might need, from answers about local haunts to a lighthearted chat about cycling in their own home town. The post ride event is not your average frozen lasagna square and warm beer, but a succulent farm to table meal, that and a musette bag as swag —SCORE!
“Women are growing in the sport,” Jennifer C.B. is happy to report. The rising number of women at cycling events is evident at Velo Girl Rides’ Cycle to Farm tours. The percentage of women/men participants is nearly 50/50—almost unheard of, as many tours report less than 25% female cyclists. Are you still unsure if you are ready for a 62 mile ride? Jennifer assures us, “the real question is have you given your body enough time in the saddle?” If you haven’t worked up to a hundred mile week just yet, no worries. Velo Girl Rides’ specialty is accessing and preparing riders for their next challenge. They offer 6-10 week training series to prepare for the Cycle to Farm tours. Sign up online; the next session starts in June. In the meantime, get in the saddle dreaming of farm fresh goodies and the glory of crossing the metric century finish line. Velo donates the proceeds from each Cycle to Farm tour to a different non-profit organization further amping the “why haven’t you signed up already?” quotient.
After you’ve made some life-long cycling buddies, and we imagine you will, catch some “hang time” at one of the free Sunday Social Rides in the Black Mountain area. Be sure to check out Velo Girl Rides other tours as well. The Mountains of Misery group ride sounds both terrifying and fascinating. Particularly when you tell us, the ride treks past Mountain Lake Lodge where several scenes from Dirty Dancing were filmed. If it is possible for us to dismount and pay homage to Patrick Swayze (via interpretive dance) that might sweeten the deal. Perhaps one of the Short Escapes Tours would be more our speed. We think we might be able to handle rides by day and brews by night in a foodie town like Asheville. Sign us up!
For more information go to www.velogirlrides.com
Photo Credits: Larry Pierson (Cyclists1, Cyclists2, Farm Stop) & Lea Seabrook (Strawberries) used by permission/ property of Velo Girl Rides.
Cycle to Farms 2014 Schedule:
◦May 3 – Chapel Hill NC
◦June 14 – Greenville SC
◦July 19 – Black Mountain NC
◦October 11 – Sandy Mush NC