The fields of Ashlawn Farm glistened with morning dew as hundreds of cyclists gathered at the farm in Lyme, Connecticut, ready to pedal through “The Challenge,” a nearly sixty-mile grand tour along the Connecticut River and within the Eightmile River watershed past iconic spots such as Gillette Castle and Devil’s Hopyard State Park. “The Challenge” is one of several cycling routes available for participants in the Tour de Lyme.
In 2022, over seven hundred cyclists enjoyed the winding, scenic rides via road and mountain biking routes for all ages and ability of riders. The Tour de Lyme is not a race. It is a growing, popular recreational ride to raise funds for the Lyme Land Trust. Since 2013, the Tour de Lyme annual bike ride has been primary fundraising event for the Lyme Land Trust.
Mountain bike routes made use of the many properties that Lyme Land Trust conserves and a Connecticut state forest for an excursion over the hills and through the trees. A short family ride brought families with younger riders down to an old ferry landing along the Connecticut River. Upon return to Ashlawn Farm, participants were greeted with entertainment, food, drink, and more, from sponsors and vendors.
The starting times were staggered with the longer, more challenging rides departing at 8 a.m. and the short, family-oriented rides departing around 10 a.m. Rest stops staffed by volunteers along the way made sure the participants kept hydrated and fueled for their journey.
The 2023 Tour de Lyme is set for Sunday, June 4. For more information about participating, volunteering, or donating, visit www.tourdelyme.org.