Tour de Heifer’s challenging rides attract cyclists to Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO — On Sunday, June 9, cyclists from many states will participate in the Tour de Heifer, the cycling event on Strolling of the Heifers Weekend.

Proceeds from this year's Tour de Heifer will support the Stroll's Farm-to-Table Apprenticeship Program, which teaches nutrition and culinary skills to underemployed community members, placing them in full-time, permanent positions at local restaurants and institutional kitchens.

The Tour features scenic 15-, 30-, and 60-mile rides that all begin and end at Robb Family Farm in West Brattleboro.

The Robb Family Farm has been involved with Strolling of the Heifers since it started 18 years ago.

Heifers from their 100-year-old, family-run farm were some of the first to “stroll” up Brattleboro's Main Street but, in 2011, the Robbs decided to cease dairy operations and focus on maple syrup production and pasture-raised beef cattle.

Their maple syrup was named the “Best Vermont Made Food Product” in the 2019 Best of Business Awards by Vermont Business Magazine. In addition to hosting the Tour de Heifer, the farm will offer public tours on Sunday, June 9, as part of Strolling of the Heifers' Local Farm Tours. Pre-register for Farm Tours at

All Tour de Heifer rides include a farm-fresh lunch served at Robb Family Farm. Gluten-free and vegetarian options will be available, plus lots of other treats provided by the Tour's sponsors. During lunch at Robb Family Farm, riders will be entertained by local folk trio The Full Catastrophe.

Participants may choose a route based on skill and training level.

“The 15-miler includes some pavement and more moderate hills,” said Stroll Executive Director Orly Munzing. “We call that the Country Ride, and it can be done by riders without too much experience who are in good shape.”

But the 30-miler and 60-miler, she explained, are nearly all on dirt roads and involve lots of hills: a total of 3,300 vertical feet for the 30-miler, and more than 7,000 feet for the 60-miler.

So far, the Tour has signed up riders from all over New England, plus New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

For all of the riders, there are water/snack stops on the route, including one at the scenic Green River Covered Bridge, the mid-point for all of the rides. All of the routes feature incredible views, farm and woodland terrain, and New England villages.

For families and people who love to walk, the Tour also offers a three-mile guided hike to the top of nearby Round Mountain.

All of the Tour de Heifer routes include substantial stretches of dirt roads. Use of mountain bikes, cross-bikes, or road bikes fitted with at least 28mm tires is recommended. No highway travel is involved in any of the routes. Rental bikes are available at West Hill Shop in Putney at a reduced rate of $10.

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