November 15, 2023
By Cara Gentry
This fall the WVLT partnered with Raw Endurance for the third annual Cider Donut Bike Tour to raise money for the Wallkill Valley Land Trust. The ride was 23 miles long, visited three local farms, one cider house, one distillery, and many dozens of cider donuts. About 40 people and two packable dogs braved the dreary forecast to attend the event.
Raw Endurance’s cofounder David Guilford says they started the annual cider donut bike tour as a festive way to enjoy the outdoors on a scenic trail, visit local farms and have a taste of the fall season here in the Hudson Valley. They wanted to incorporate fitness and a yummy treat in a fun casual setting for athletes who may be finishing up their racing season as well as the everyday enthusiast who enjoys bike riding.
We started the cool crisp fall day in New Paltz, riding the recently renovated Wallkill Valley Rail Trail south to Gardiner where we hopped on the road for a short stint to Wright’s Farm and Tantillo’s Farm. These family farms are situated across the street from each other and have dueling donut recipes. With factors such as the level of crispiness, preferred donut density, cider flavor intensity, and seasonal spice level, the conversation surrounding the donuts was as complex as the donuts themselves.
We left the dueling farms and headed back to the Wallkill Valley Trail Trail for the ride northbound. We had obtained special permission to utilize an orchard road from the rail trail to Dressel’s farm and Kettleborough Cider House. It was a steep ride up the gravel orchard road, but we were able to avoid leading a large group of bikes on the busy road. Cider donuts from Dressles were accompanied by hard cider sampling from Kettleborough Cider House and an amazing new of the Shawangunk Ridge.
With the threat of rain growing, the group continued back to New Paltz, where some folks decided to return to their vehicles and others continued to Coppersea Distilling for live music by Jonny Stickerboy Owens and food by Creekside Bistro. The tasting room was welcoming as the rain rolled in and we were able to stay dry. We sampled whiskey, ate some heirloom apples, and continued the discussion on our favorite donuts of the day.
The main lesson learned from this year is that a cold rainy day doesn’t keep folks away from riding their bikes and enjoying the area’s best cider donuts!
WVLT and Raw Endurance are already planning next year’s event and we hope you join us.