Happy tummies ride local. This Saturday we got to join in one of the most unique foodie activities, Farm to Fork Fondo. Since Tyler Wren retired from professional cycling 13 years ago he has started this event that supports the beautiful relationship between farmers, cyclists, and nature. In 2016 the event was expanded from Hudson Valley and Vermont to iconic farmlands in Pennsylvania Dutch country and Maine. Wrenegade Sports produced this event with the help of New Holland, Bianchi, and Colavita. The course is designed to take riders along a route to local farms so that they can meet the farmers and learn about the products they sell.
Lancaster Country’s farmland and industry supports more than 50,000 jobs and contribute more than $4 billion to the local economy every year. Dairy farming is the leading agricultural business, but the area is a well-diversified economy. We set out with Farm to Fork Fondo on the Piccolo Fondo which covered a course of 28 miles along the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside. Rides could choose from the Ramble Ride (ideal for families and children) covering 9 miles and visiting one farm. On the Piccolo Fondo we rode over 28 miles and got to visit 3 farms, the Medio Fondo covered 65 miles, and the Gran Fondo 113 miles.
At each farm stop riders got to speak with the farmers and enjoy samples from products on the farm. Each stop also provided rides with various GU and Cliff bar energy products like bars and gels. Farm stops included The Country Barn (Start/Finish), Cherry Hill Orchards (mile 9), Riehl’s Family Farm (mile 30), Wyebrook Farm (mile 56), Lapp Valley Farm (mile 76), Lil’ Country Store & Minature Horse Farm (mile 87), and Pine View Dairy (mile 100). The course lead riders through the lush green hills and farmland of the Lancaster countryside with a view that could only be described as picturesque.
Cherry Hill Orchard’s had fresh picked peaches from the orchard, fresh-pressed cherry cider, and assorted fruit pies and pastries. Riehl’s Family Farm provided samples of homemade Amish whoopie pies, shoefly pies, root beer and pretzels. Wyebrook Farm had deviled eggs with bacon on toast sourced from chickens and pigs on the farm. Lapp Valley Farms provided award-winning ice cream made with dairy from the farm’s Jersey cows, with homemade Amish waffle cones. Lil’ Country Store & Minature Horse Farm offered riders homemade Amish yogurt, cheese, whoopie pies, cookies, potato chips, pretzels, root beer and lemonade
Our favorite stop was Pine View Dairy, this farm has been in operation for 40 years and delivers the freshest dairy products at low prices by producing, processing, and selling it right on the farm. They are known for their milk bags and delicious homemade ice cream. This dairy farm is also home to 165 Holstien cows. We sampled some delicious fresh blackberries, sweet bologna, and the dreamiest, creamiest, ice cream.
As if all that wasn’t enough of a treat, riders crossed the finish line receiving miniature cow bell medals, Maple water, Cliff bar products, fresh chocolate milk, and a celebratory barbecue at The Country Barn. Local band Mason Porter provided live music while dining outside on the lawn.
We enjoyed some delicious barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, apple cobbler, fresh fruit, and a pasta salad made with Colavita Wagon Wheels pasta which was also given away to racers in their goodie bags. Colavita and Bianchi bikes were great sponsors of the events providing the professional women’s cycling team to lead the ride.
Overall it was a wonderful day and a well organized event. We would highly recommend Farm to Fork Fondo to our readers and check out their website for other race locations including Maine, Vermont, and Hudson Valley. We would like to thank Tyler, Wrenegade Sports, the farmers, and all the sponsors for putting together such a wonderful event.
Additional photos provided by Base Twelve Photos.