The Second Annual Heart of the Islands Bike Tour, which took place on July 9th in the Champlain Islands, raised over $800 for Local Motion, a nonprofit promoting human-powered transportation and recreation in the greater-Burlington area. The ride was organized by Vermont Farm Tours, a local culinary tour business, as a way to bring cyclists to the Islands and raise funds for the Island Line Trail, which was badly damaged in the spring floods.
More than 210 cyclists participated by riding one of the Bike Tour’s three routes – 10-miles, 25-miles or 37-miles – visiting Island farms, vineyards and art studios throughout the day, returning to Snow Farm Vineyard in the afternoon to enjoy wine, music, and massages. The tour coincided with the annual Open Farm and Art Studio Weekend.
“What a wonderful way to see the Islands; the whole event was so well-organized! The weather was perfect, such neat places to visit, and I have to say the free massage and wine tasting was a welcome finish to the tour,” said Joyce Cellars of Winooski, VT, a volunteer at the event.
A new addition to the Bike Tour this year was the silent auction, which raised over $300 for Local Motion. Auction items included donations of products or services from Bike Tour sponsors and community members, and artwork from Island artists. “It’s a win-win situation,” said Melissa Meece, special events coordinator for Vermont Farm Tours. “Auction participants got a great deal on local products and services, while also supporting the important work that Local Motion does to promote active, healthy communities. We will definitely expand the silent auction in 2012.”
Chris Howell, Vermont Farm Tours founder and Bike Tour organizer notes, “I’m very excited to see such an enthusiastic response to this year’s tour. The Heart of the Islands Bike Tour more than doubled in size since it’s inaugural year in 2010, and it’s shaping up to be a significant fundraiser for Local Motion in the years to come.”
Chapin Spencer, executive director of Local Motion, says of the collaboration, “We need more partners like Chris and Melissa at Vermont Farm Tours–capable organizers committed to local causes. The Heart of the Islands Bike Tour is a perfect fit with our mission. I’m excited to see the event grow again next year!”
Sponsors of the 2011 Heart of the Islands Bike Tour included Snow Farm Vineyard, Skinny Pancake, Vermont Pain Relief, Earl’s Cyclery, Green Living Journal, Cabot Cheese, Terry Bicycles, Vermont Wings, and Sweet Basil Cards.
The 2012 Heart of the Islands Bike Tour will again start and end at Snow Farm Vineyard, South Hero in early July. Stay tuned!
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