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Tour de Taste: An Autumn Culinary Adventure on Wheels!

Sep 06, 2016 02:52PM ● By Victoria Pipas
What could be more perfect than a bike ride around Lake Morey on an Indian summer day in early September? How about the same ride with pit stops for gourmet food samplings and local produce from Upper Valley farms and businesses?

The Tour de Taste, with its beautiful biking routes and delicious culinary samples, provides the recipe for a perfect autumn day. Tastes like September in the Upper Valley to me! Read on for more details about the day.

Sunday, September 11th is the date set for the 10th Annual Tour de Taste. Although it offers the opportunity for a substantial bike ride, perhaps the most delightful aspect of this event is that it is not your typical endurance race. Participants are encouraged to bike at their own pace, checking in at the start between 10 and 11am, and riding at their leisure until 4pm at the latest.  

In addition, there are multiple routes available, depending on the distance you want to bike. For a family-friendly ride, try the 6-mile loop around Lake Morey. For a longer ride with older children or an adult group of riders, try the 20-mile Classic Loop. For more advanced riders, the River Road Extension Loop offers 31 miles with an extension along the water, as the name suggests. No matter which ride you choose, there will be an ample selection of pit stops along the way, but be sure to make your selections wisely because you will be required to choose your route when you register online, and the route you have chosen cannot be changed on the morning of the event. You can see a map of the events and read full descriptions of each one on the event website.

And now on to the details of the “taste” portion of the event (the most important aspect, in my humble opinion). All routes start and finish at the Samuel Morey Elementary School in Fairlee, and routes are well marked to lead you to the food stops. 

This year, 11 local restaurants and farms have donated products to stops along the routes. Meet farmers, owners, and chefs along the way at each of their respective tables. As for comestibles, you can expect baked goods from King Arthur Flour and Lou’s Bakery for starters. For more savory options, watch for stops with treats from the Canoe Club, the Lyme Inn, the Base Camp Café, and others. As for the final treat, look for the Strafford Organic Creamery at the end of your ride. If you are considering the longest route, note that it offers only one more stop than the 20-mile route. If, like me, you might weigh your options based on a mileage-to-food-stop ratio, you would be best served by the 6-mile loop, but the 20-mile will offer the most variety with the most reasonable mileage. And the longest loop will offer you the opportunity to burn off most of the delectable calories you will have ingested. Decisions, decisions!

Registration for the event is $35, with discounted rates for Upper Valley Trails Alliance members. If you would like to ride for free, consider signing up as a volunteer! You can have the pleasure of sharing your time for a good cause and also sample all these tasty treats for free. 

Visit the webpage to register your whole family today. This is an event you won’t want to miss. 

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