The 2022 Grand Depart of the Vermont Super 8 will be held on Friday, September 23 in Montpelier. Exact time and location TBD. Finalized .gpx file TBD as well.
To register for the 2022 Grand Depart, send a Letter of Intent to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no entry fee. Please include the following in your letter:
Your intended mileage option
Your mailing address.
Your understanding that this ride is fully self-supported, that you acknowledge resupply and any support services (food, medical, etc.) are your sole responsibility. Please also include your agreement to abide by our self-supported standard. If you're interested in a different standard such as "self-sufficient," please reach out about this.
Your plan for getting to/from Montpelier. Some notes:
Traditionally we accept GD riders starting at any point along the route, including Brattleboro or Derby Line, because of the potential added convenience and decreased carbon footprint. If this interests you then please mention it in your LOI.
This year we encourage any riders traveling from out of state to carpool or take a train (Amtrak's Vermonter line goes to Montpelier).
This year we will not be accepting LOI from riders flying to Vermont from out of state. We'd like to minimize the event's carbon footprint as much as possible.
Your previous bikepacking experience (if any!). Previous bikepacking experience is not required. The Super 8 is a very challenging route, but novice riders have successfully taken it on in the past. If you are new to bikepacking, feel free to include questions in your LOI, and we'll do our best to direct you to helpful resources.
What is the Vermont Super 8 Grand Depart?
It's a self-supported bikepacking adventure that takes place at the end of September. Most riders start and finish in Montpelier. The course is self-navigated using GPS devices, and the ride is entirely self-supported. Riders are provided with a route and a list of resources, but they otherwise must carry their own gear and make their own camping arrangements. The course features many extremely rugged roads and trails.
In 2021 we held a Grand Depart of the Vermont Super 8 bikepacking route on Friday, Sep 24.
VT Super 8 FKT's (Fastest Known Times) as of November 2021 (dd:hh:mm):
Full 8 (640 mi.), individual male self-supported: Logan Kasper / 2:23:16 / 2021 ITT
Full 8 (640 mi.), individual female self-supported: Brittni Gorman / 8:10:30 / 2020 GD
South Lobe (380 mi.), individual male self-supported: Logan Kasper / 1:17:25 / 2021 ITT
South Lobe (380 mi.), individual female self-supported: Brittni Gorman / 5:09:30 / 2020 GD
North Lobe (260 mi.), individual male self-supported: Logan Kasper / 0:22:18 / 2021 ITT
North Lobe (260 mi.), individual female self-supported: Brittni Gorman / 2:08:50 / 2020 GD
What exactly is the Self-Supported riding standard?
Read about it here.
Finish times for the 2021 Grand Depart
Riders had three mileage options for the figure 8 loop that starts and ends in Montpelier. Those riding the Full 8 also get finish times for the individual loops that comprise the Full 8, the North Lobe and the South Lobe. Time spent in Montpelier does not count towards an individual lobe time, but does count towards the Full 8 time. Unless otherwise noted, riders use geared bikes, ride as individuals (rather than teams), and Full 8 riders start with the South Lobe.
"SCR" stands for "scratched," which means the rider did not finish. The times of riders who bypass significant sections of the course but otherwise continue riding get marked with an asterisk (*).
2021 Ride Reports:
Full 8, Grand Depart:
South Lobe, Grand Depart:
North Lobe, Grand Depart:
Full 8 ITT
South Lobe ITT
The 2020 Grand Depart saw a COVID-cautious turnout. Some riders attempted a new "self-sufficient" standard, meaning they bought no resupply and entered no buildings during their rides. Results are posted below in dd:hh:mm format.
Photo courtesy of Corey Hendrickson
In 2019 we hosted a Grand Depart of the Super 8. Riders had 3 mileage options. The event was registered on Trackleaders.com and can be replayed here. Results are posted below in dd:hh:mm format.
In 2018, the Super 8 was undergoing major developments. Payton MacDonald took on an ITT of the perimeter route as part of his "Sonic 8" project.
In 2017, we hosted a "choose your own adventure" Grand Depart. The Super 8 was more of a network than a definitive loop. All 4 riders camped together for the first two nights, then continued on their separate ways.
Brian Oley rode a plus-tire drop bar mtb and explored a lot of singletrack in Central VT. He stayed out for ~10 days.
Daniel Jordan rode most of the Super 8 perimeter on a drop bar mtb. 8 days.
Eric Azriel rode a fat tire mtb and stayed out for 3-4 days.
Kris Dennan rode a gravel bike and joined for 3 days.
In 2015, Calvin Decker rode the XVT in 38 hours. You can read about his ride here: