Banking on the success of the popular Dogfish Dash, the Milton craft brewery is pedaling into the cycling world with its inaugural Dogfish Head IPA – I-Pedal-A-Lot – gran fondo Saturday, Oct. 20.
Dogfish Head Beer and Benevolence Director Mark Carter said as more and more cyclists take to the roads, it's fitting to promote cycling and cycling safety. In addition, he said, routes will highlight other areas of Sussex County beyond the beach resort area.
Three routes of 60k, 90k and 120k are planned to allow cyclists to experience the Milford area and western Sussex County, including a ride over the historic Woodland Ferry near Seaford.
Dogfish Head aficionados will give another meaning to those distances as established Dogfish Head IPAs. In miles, the routes are 37, 56 and 75. All routes will start and end at the Milton brewery.
If early registration is any indication, the event will be as popular as the Dash. As of this week, more than 800 cyclists from states all over the USA map have registered. The majority of the registrants are from Delmarva and the Mid-Atlantic region, including Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.
Carter said not only will the ride be a great outdoor event showcasing the rest of Sussex County, but it will also be economic driver for the area as many cyclists will need hotel or bed-breakfast rooms.
“It's really exciting for a first-year event to see that many folks coming in,” Carter said.
Carter said the first rest stop will be at the 15-mile mark at Abbott's Mill near Milford. He said the mill was used to ground barley for a former Dogfish Head Delaware ale.
Cyclists will continue west to Bridgeville for another rest stop.
Those doing the longer routes will continue south into western Sussex County. The long route features a ride across the ferry, passes through historic Bethel and Laurel, and on to a rest stop at Trap Pond State Park before heading east through Georgetown and back to Milton.
Carter, an avid cyclist who lives near the brewery and rides his bike to work when he can, said the ride is for all levels and is not a race.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to Sussex Cyclists and Urban Bike Project in New Castle County, two groups that are advocates for cycling and bike safety.
Velo Amis from New Castle County is helping with route planning and logistics.
Early-bird registration has passed and the entry fee is now $125. Cyclists receive a water bottle and event biking socks as well as barbecue and beer at an after-event party. Carter said it's possible a special brew will be available just for the event.
Cyclists have an opportunity to raise funds during on-line during registration. So far, $2,000 has been donated.
Registration for the 13th annual Dogfish Dash 5k and 10K on Sunday, Sept. 30, has closed with 3,000 runners. Carter said the first event had 300 runners.
For more information, go to: https://www.dogfish.com/events/dogfish-head-ipa-i-pedal-lot
What is a gran fondo?
Originating in Italy in 1970, gran fondo translates into big ride. A gran fondo is a long-distance, road-cycling event with a large number of cyclists riding a marked route with at least one route at 120k.