In late June 2017, First Stop Board Barn Team Athletes joined 57 other athletes for the 111 mile Dirty Project. The trek, comprised of 11,000+ ft of elevation gain, was established to help raise money for cancer research. During this year’s event, $146,097  was raised by teams who participated. The route passed through western Vermont towns including Woodstock, Quechee, Pomfret, Sharon, Strafford, and West Fairlee.

Lou Bregou, Kirk Kardashian, & Mike Barton in the 2017 Dirty Project Ride.

In order to fund preventative research, charity events such as the Dirty Project exist. This ride, not for the faint of heart, covers more than 110 miles of Vermont dirt roads with an elevation change of 11,000 feet throughout the course. In order to preserve the dedication and passion towards mountain biking, the ride is exclusive to a certain amount of athletes that are hand picked by Brian Nolan, the event’s organizer. The Dirty Project’s inaugural ride featured only 25 bad-ass riders. The 2017 ride had 60 participants, and the Project plans to extend that number to 80 next year. This is to ensure their mission statement is honored, but their donation funds increase.

First Stop Board Barn Brand Director, Randy Elles, followed up with Bregou after the race: “We were the second highest fundraising team overall behind The Friends of Hanover Crew, but we were number one by far in fundraising per team member. Each of us raised around $2,435 per rider. We will be back next year, and every year until the war on cancer is won! I hope you will join us by coming out to support the riders and this great event.  To quote Mike O'Neil ‘we put a man on the moon 50 years ago, we should be able to cure cancer’" Bregou said. Bregou, a technology project manager for a tech company based in Pennsylvania, enjoys the outdoors any chance he can get. When not working, his family enjoys skiing and mountain biking together whenever possible.

The First Stop Board Barn riders chose Cannondale bikes for the event, which enhanced the overall experience of the charity ride. Taking 28mm tires that allowed for the utmost gravel grip, the SuperSix EVO was the choice bike for the gravel roads and unmaintained terrain.  Another added bonus to the Cannondale bike was it’s absurdly lightweight structure, which allowed for easy control during climbs. For the descent, the SuperX’s added disc brakes helped the team riders for a smoother descent on the steeps.

The Dirty Project - it's about people, the cause, and the dirt.

August 08, 2017 — Becca Zidik