Ian Boswell's Peacham Fall Fondo
The Peacham Fall Fondo in its first year will draw almost 200 riders to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Ian timed this ride during the fall, which most World-Tour athletes use as their offseason. We linked up with him the other day to ask him some questions about the event, his relocation to Vermont and all things gravel.
You’re a World Tour rider, you’ve raced and seen every corner of the world, what made you want to settle down in Peacham, Vermont?
“Since I was young, I always dreamed about having land where I could grow and hunt and enjoy nature, and my fiancée, Gretchen, is from Vermont. This house in Peacham just fell into our laps, and with the big barn attached, I could see lots of opportunities for life beyond cycling.”
What’s it like to train in Vermont when you’re not traveling? Do you have any favorite loops or roads in particular?
“Training in Vermont is great, but it’s the riding in Vermont that really gets me going. Training is often very structured and specific. The roads to explore here are endless, and the terrain is challenging and gorgeous. My favorite loop is always the next loop I have mapped out.”
What led you to start the Peacham Fall Fondo? And what are your goals for the event?
“After moving to Peacham, it became very apparent that we had found a very welcoming and proactive community. Folks in this community work hard, and I wanted to start the PFF in an effort to share what I could with our new friends and neighbors here. As I am traveling most the year, it's difficult for me to be as active in the community as I would like, and PFF is my way of giving back to my community. My primary goal for the event is to provide a fun, safe, community-centered event that will support the revitalization of the town’s tennis court for future events that will bring people together.”
Break down the event for us, where will it start/finish, what’s the route like and how does it stand out (other than being in one of the most beautiful parts of Vermont)?
“The ride starts and finishes in Peacham village, and passes through the village again at the midway point, meaning riders can choose to make the 45-mile loop a 22 mile one, if they want. The route showcases some of my favorite roads to ride in the area and is a combination of more gravel than pavement. The route includes about 4,500 feet of climbing and some stunning views of the (remaining) foliage across the hills of the Northeast Kingdom.”
What are your thoughts on the shift towards "type-2-fun” style events like Dirty Kanza, The Overland, and Leadville, within the road/endurance cycling industry? Where do you see things going in the future and what are your World Tour pears saying about it?
“It’s great that riders and race promoters have found a new way to get folks excited to ride and race bikes. You now see more World Tour races going across dirt or unpaved roads, its an evolution of the sport. Modern bikes allow for bigger tires, disc brakes and a wider range of gears which has opened up a vast number of new roads to discover.”
If there were one piece of life and racing advice you’d give to younger athletes, what would it be?
“Nothing in life comes easy or quick. Be persistent, learn from the past, work towards the future and always embrace the struggle of the moment.”
Gretchen and Ian have secured many sponsors for this years edition including Tim Scott Real estate, Cabot, CyclingTips, Sram, Wahoo, Canyon, Untapped, Vermont Overland and more. After the ride they'll be raffling off prizes from these sponsors. You can buy tickets here. If you're not registered already and want to experience peak foliage in the Northeast Kingdom atop gravel roads (with World-Tour athletes), you can sign up for the ride here.