Bicycle built for food

Pedal provisions: Along the route, bikers stop to sample and purchase local fare. Cycle to Farm
Pedal provisions: Along the route, bikers stop to sample and purchase local fare. Cycle to Farm

To really get the lay of the farmland, hop on your bike.

The second Cycle to Farm event offers an opportunity to experience the countryside and meet local producers while getting some exercise. “You get to ride right past the farm and really take it in: the sights, the smells,” says Jennifer Billstrom, ride director. “It's a unique way to feel more connected to the farm.”

The bicycle tour offers two lengths, so bikers of all skill levels — even kids — can get involved. Choose from a 63-mile course that visits five farms, or a 15-mile, mostly flat course that visits two farms.

At each farm stop, bikers can sample produce and make purchases. Volunteers will transport the items back to the finish line, so there's no need to bring saddle bags.

The routes begin and end in Black Mountain, where an afterparty with local food and live music will follow. New Belgium, which sponsors the event, along with Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, will provide beer and games.

The ride takes place on Saturday, July 20, and spots go quickly. The 63-mile course is already more than half full. For tickets and more information, visit cycletofarm.org.

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