We're excited to announce Sep 23, 2022 as the date for the 5th annual Grand Depart of the Vermont Super 8 bikepacking route.
The Grand Depart will take place in Montpelier, VT on Friday, Sep 23. Exact time and location TBD. Riders have three mileage options:
the 260-mile North Lobe, the 380-mile South Lobe, or the 640-mile Full 8. The route contains every kind of terrain surface you can imagine exists in the Green Mountain State, including sections that may require hike-a-bike. See full details of the route here. The route .gpx is frequently revised, and may continue to be revised up to the week before the Grand Depart.
You will need to be solely and completely responsible for your own services and support. Preparation should include ahead-of-time research to acquaint yourself with the route, with camping options and commercial resupply along the route. You need to bring enough gear to ride safely, visibly, and to stay dry and warm. We will provide you with a detailed .gpx file and some camping/resupply resources and information, but the rest is your responsibility alone.
It will be paramount for riders to set well-informed expectations and to make contingency plans for the case that expectations aren't met. You're encouraged to peruse the results listings and ride reports of previous Super 8 riders.
Super 8 riders strive to adhere to the self-supported standard common in bikepacking events around the world and described here in detail. Deviation from the self-supported standard may result in a scratch (disqualification).
To register for the 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 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. If this pertains to you, please reach out in good faith and we can try to figure something out together.
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.