The Hibernator is an epic off-road/gravel endurance race that takes place in the beautiful and famous off-road biking area of West Burke Vermont. There are two race lengths with the shorter at 50 kilometers and the metric century of 100 hundred kilometers with over 9,000 feet of climbing! It seems this is a unique event in terms of terrain with a gravel bike being sufficient while the rough terrain means many opt for a full mountain bike to complete the grueling course. October will bring the third version of the quickly growing race which saw 70 riders in 2020 and at the time of writing this article there are already 100 riders signed up. This mixed terrain event taking place in the mountain bike capital of the northeast is sure to be a challenge for all levels of rider and destined to become an increasingly popular event in the coming years.
The Overland is one of the most popular and longest running gravel events in the US. The extremely scenic route spans 54-miles, features 7,000 feet of climbing, seven sectors of “Vermont pavé” (unmaintained ancient public roads), and two well-fortified sag stops. It’s the ultimate overland adventure ride. Open dirt roads, amazing scenery and an epic course unlike any you’ve ever ridden before, all within a beautiful Vermont pastoral setting. Don’t be fooled though by the rolling nature of Vermont’s Green Mountain roads, the route comes with a barrage of short punchy climbs throughout.
With over 1,500 participants, this is one of the most popular gravel events in the country, let along New England. This event sells out very quickly. Registration opens annually on Jan 1 at 10 am, so it’s important to mark your calendar.
The event is produced by Vermont Overland, an organization dedicated to promoting a variety of gravel, adventure cycling, and running events every year — all with the purpose of sharing the spirit of adventure and making it possible for people to go explore Vermont on their own. The Overland specifically benefits the Reading/West Windsor Food Shelf and Ascutney Outdoors, both integral organizations in the event’s host town of Reading/West Windsor.
As it might give away in the name, the Peak Woodsplitter is a 6 hour endurance mountian bike race that takes place annually in Pittsfield Vermont. With a shorter loop length, riders are tested on how many laps they can complete within the designated time. Taking place in the famous vermont Green Mountain Trails system, the route is guaranteed to enjoy some awesome single track as your lungs are suffering.
Regarded by Outside Magazine as “One of the best 25 events in the world to do right now,” the Vermont Gran Fondo is one of Americas premiere cycling events. With 4 variations of the fondo, there is a level for every cyclist. Starting with the Piccolo at 40 miles with 2,700 ft. of climbing, and the Medio Facile Fondo with 85 miles and 6.5k feet of climbing. Then there are the “big boys” starting with the Medio Difficile Fondo remaining at 85 miles but 8.5 thousand feet of climbing and finally the main Gran Fondo course of 130 miles and nearly 12 thousand feet of climbing! According to the Vermont Grand Fondo, “Each year the course’s four gaps are drawn from a selection of seven gaps; Appalachian Gap, Lincoln Gap, Roxbury Gap, Moretown Gap, Rochester Gap, Middlebury Gap, and Brandon Gap. The popular 6-gap ride includes all but Moretown Gap. Depending on road construction projects, which have been many, the course will vary from year to year creating a unique ride each time.” One gap on Fondo is known as the Lincoln Gap with averages 15% and tops out at 24% giving it the infamous title as the steepest paved mile in America and 9th steepest climb in the world according to the Global Cycling Network. The Vermont Gran Fondo takes place in beautiful Northern Vermont and makes the perfect event as a weekend vacation and a destination biking event. It is part of the Gran Fondo World Tour which makes it an event for any level of rider to make the voyage to.