Routes for All Riders in Manchester and the Mountains
Photography By Hubert Schriebl
The arrival of the Vermont Challenge coincides with a surge of interest in road and mountain biking around Manchester, which saw the formation of a biking taskforce in 2010. Efforts have continued ever since to build Manchester as a biking destination hub, and since 2013, the group called Manchester + Mountains (MMBC) Bicycle Club has installed bike racks, a bike repair station in the center of town, built biking trails and given help and support to events like the Vermont Challenge.
Local riders like Joe Wagner, a Manchester CPA, and his wife started riding their bikes with the group a few years ago, and what began as a way to get a little exercise together has now blossomed into a huge part of the couple’s social life. “We ride together,” Joe says, “and afterwards we get together socially. Our bike pals have become our good friends.”
Joe has been seeking sponsorships and special deals for bike riders and for Challenge riders from area businesses who are happy to see long lines of cyclists peddling through town.
OTHER TOURS AND INFO
The local bike racing circuit includes a couple of other fun seasonal events with rides that vary from
16 miles to 53 miles. The Tour de Bondville on June 25 is a day-long bike ride and golf tournament at Stratton Mountain in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, ending with a well-attended party and raffle.
Another, the Tour de Grace on July 9, a (mostly downhill) 17.7 mile ride from Stratton to Townshend, where the Grace Cottage Hospital is located, is another enjoyable bike riding possibility. Or, if your tastes run to simply enjoying the pastoral countryside with no competitive factor built in, there are all sorts of day rides posted by Battenkill Bicycles. Check Battenkillbicycles.com for updates on rides from the Arlington/ Battenkill stretch through Norman Rockwell country to the loop around Mt. Ascutney on the other side of the state. You can’t go wrong.
On August 6 the brave and the t will gather at the base of Mt. Equinox in Manchester to Gear Up For Lyme. This challenging annual uphill bike race is 5.4 miles up the scenic Mt. Equinox Skyline Drive to the top of the mountain and is held two weeks before the fabled race up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. All funds raised from the Gear Up for Lyme race help fund research for a lyme disease cure as well as support the local charities of the Rotary Club of Manchester.