Tour de Slate bike ride still on

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MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS — The 2020 Tour de Slate will go on as planned this year on Aug. 1.

The event features five different bike routes participants can take ranging anywhere from 100 miles for the more experienced cyclists, all the way down to the rails to trails route, an eight mile bike ride.

The bike rides begin at Middletown Springs and cover parts of slate valley. Each rider pays $65 to participate in the fundraiser. Those who are participating in a team ride pay $55 per person, while an entire family can ride for $100.

All of the money raised during the Tour de Slate goes to Teen Challenge Vermont, an organization who's mission is to "provide teens & adults freedom from addiction and other life-controlling issues through Christ-centered solutions," according to their website.

The event will take precautions, including taking every participant and volunteers temperature to scan for the coronavirus. Social distancing practices will also be in place, and riders are asked not to ride in a pace line.

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Tour de Slate began in 2018 with roughly 75 total riders. Last years event saw 104 riders and over $23,000 raised to Teen Challenge Vermont.

The 2020 goal is to fund-raise $31,135, a 33 percent increase from last years total. Events director Stan Achey said that figure will be tough to reach this year because of how the coronavirus has affected local businesses.

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Achey said roughly two-thirds of all the funds raised come from local businesses, while the remaining third comes from the cyclists themselves. With many local businesses hurt from the pandemic, Achey said he wouldn't feel right asking for them donations.

"So many businesses are going to be on financial life support, I can't go and ask them for donations," Achey said. "I'm just not made that way."

Tour de Slate encourages riders, and those not riding, to fund-raise by offering incentives. For example, an individual rider is given a ride jersey and a free ride in the following years event if they raise $1,000.

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Achey said that total registrations, as of now, are up compared to the previous two years during this time of year.

The event director also said that the majority of people start to register about three weeks before the event.

Achey is optimistic the total number of riders will increase because of the lack of rides the area has had in 2020 because of the coronavirus.

"There's got to be a pent-up demand for rides like this one," Achey said.

To register for Tour de Slate, go to tourdeslate.org.


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