This is a guest post from Shane Collins, a 3SquaresVT Outreach Coordinator for the Vermont Foodbank who is also a bartender for the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT.

“A good cause, a beautiful ride, and great beer,” says one rider, who just finished his fifth Harpoon Point to Point ride presented by National Life Group, when I ask what makes him come back every year. As I pour him a pint of Take 5, he tells me that he is already looking forward to next year’s ride.

Harpoon Point to Point

Shane’s view from the Harpoon Brewery beer tent.

Saturday, August 8th marked the 14th annual Harpoon Point to Point, the biggest and most successful fundraising event of the year for the Vermont Foodbank. As both an 3SquaresVT Outreach Coordinator for the Vermont Foodbank and a bartender for Harpoon, I got a unique glimpse into how both organizations benefit from the event, as well as how much fun the cyclists had during and after their rides.

Harpoon Point to Point

First-time rider Jamie.

“I’ll definitely ride again next year,” says first time Point to Point cyclist Jamie. As I pour him a beer, one of the first of the afternoon, he tells me about the 1,800 mile ride he did last year to Florida. “I wanted to try something more local,” he says with a smile.

This year’s event saw 837 registered cyclists who, by four o’clock on Saturday, had combined to raise $137,000 for the Vermont Foodbank.

[The Harpoon Point to Point is on course to reach the $1 Million mark in its fundraising history since 2002.]

I meet several riders who rode for the first time, like Jamie, but many more who are frequent fliers, returning year after year. One gentleman, who has ridden every year since 2008, completed his first “century ride” (a 100 miler) this year. Still winded and eager to get his first pint, he tells me, “No matter how much you ride, there’s really no way to prepare for that.”

Harpoon Point to Point

Riders could choose between 25, 50 and 100 mile rides, all if which began and ended at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT.

Of all the things I hear on Saturday, about how much the riders love Harpoon beer, how well-organized and how great of a cause it is, no refrain is as widely echoed as the line I first hear from Jamie. Sipping his beer and gesturing to the clear blue skies, he says, “You couldn’t ask for a better day.”

Thanks, Shane, for sharing both sides of the story with us!

If you rode in the Harpoon Point to Point, volunteered, donated or cheered a rider on – thank you! Also, if your business supported this event, we want to thank you too for making this our largest fundraiser of the year!

Learn more about the Harpoon Point to Point.

Check out the photos from the 2015 Harpoon Point to Point.