Canada to Mass - Wil's Ride
Wil Blanchard will be riding his bike from the Canadian border to the southern edge of Vermont starting on May 15th. The 280+ mile journey will cross six counties and utilize six different VMBA chapters’ trail networks as he climbs over 30,000 vertical feet. His ride in not supported – he’ll be carrying all he needs on his bike.
Wil is part of the Bike Packers chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association. Unlike the other 18 chapters with isolated trail networks, the Bike Packers have established a route from Canada to the Massachusetts border. Bike packing has been around for a while, but is getting more attention in Vermont due to the work of those that established the route, which took over a decade of meetings, conversations, mapping and input from public land managers. Route architect, David Tremblay decided that it was time to “go public” by becoming a VMBA chapter this year - and riders have noticed.
David is a veteran of the legendary Tour Divide ride, which follows the Continental Divide and spans 2600+ miles from Canada to the Mexican border. As impressive as that is, history will remember Wil Blanchard as the first to ride the Vermont route in one shot. When asked what he hopes to accomplish with the ride Blanchard shared, “I will have accomplished a personal goal, but also will bring attention to the bike packing opportunities in Vermont in hopes of kick-starting the new chapter this year.” He acknowledged that he is a bit nervous, but is prepared for the journey, which he hopes to complete on May 19th. He mentioned, “I’ll try to limit myself to only 60 miles a day to maintain my energy.”
You can follow Wil’s journey on VMBA’s Facebook page. Each day his progress will be posted each morning and evening. The “Where’s Wil” updates will begin on May 15th. Stay tuned!