Trying to keep the cars parked as much as we can this summer – today I made a delivery of a dehumidifier to ReCycle North. Tucked under the cover is a ceiling fan that they wouldn’t accept – so I stopped at Local Motion (our local cycling and trail advocacy organization) on the way home and left it with Brian who ensured me he would put it to good use – or give it a good home. After lightening the load I made stops at the post office and the grocery store.
I’m experimenting with PowerGrips on the long distance machine, and have to admit that after the short ride today I have mixed feelings. It was a pleasure to wander around town in street shoes and still feel connected to the bike – but in getting things snug enough to pull through the pedal stroke I felt like I was mashing my toes… Kent loves them – he even did the Great Divide with them on his fixed gear – but I’m thinking I’ve got the adjustment off, I need to find stiffer shoes, or my feet just don’t like being compressed by the diagonal strap. (I seem to remember toe clips being more comfortable… but a pain to keep tightening.)
Rode a great century from Burlington through Smuggler’s Notch and back. Climbed the notch from Jeffersonville and discovered that the further I got along the better I felt – the first 1/3 of the ride was muggy and humid – the last 2/3 the temperature started to drop and I found my legs. Upon reaching the top I discovered a traffic jam and I caught nearly every motorcycle and car that passed me while I struggled up the grade. The story from the Harley folks on the downward side was that as troopers were working a previous wreck a motorcycle came around a tight corner and crashed into the back of an emergency vehicle. The rider went to the hospital with a broken wrist and possibly broken ribs. I came round the corner just as they were getting the bike on the tow vehicle.
The ride down was supposed to be the fun part – but with all the traffic I took it easy and was approached by every other car in line about what was happening ahead. After clearing traffic I had the whole lane nearly all the way to Stowe, as traffic didn’t start moving until I was enjoying some lunch at Harvet Market on the Mountain Road.
Climbed to Bolton Ski area today. This was my first serious climbing of the season and it felt good. Slow, but good. I averaged nearly 6 mph up the climb – and looking at the GMBC Time Trial results I won’t win a medal anytime soon… but it felt good to work hard for 4.4 miles. The VDO topped out at 17% grade – with long stretches at 9-10-13-14%.
Enjoyed the day with the GMBC Touring group on the Franklin County Follies on Sunday, June 3. I opted for the long ride – and as I wasn’t feeling well from the start I suffered . My stomach and allergies were causing me trouble and I overheated heading up some 14% grades through beautiful country on the way to Fairfield. The ride from Fairfield to Enosburg Falls was fun – especially seeing the older gent (I assume he wasn’t with the group) on the Colnago in full kit, sans helmet, climbing away up Duffy Hill Road.
I seem to have missed the re-group in Enosburg Falls – I kept looking for the store called on the cue sheet but it seems everyone camped out in front of the falls for a break. After a few circles through town I settled on the Brooks Pharmacy for a snack and I was off into a stiff headwind. I fought the headwind for what felt like the entire way home – 118 was very windy and rolling – with some good climbs thrown in for fun. There were a few occasions where the wind coming through the valley bounced me around quite a bit – and I got discouraging comments from a few riders coming the other way ‘Glad we’re headed home with a tailwind!!’.
I was cooked by the time I got to Averys Gore WMA on 118 – most likely dehydrated and still unable to find anything that agreed with my stomach (and I didn’t notice how much sun I got until my wife commented on the goofy tan lines from my gloves). The climb through the gore was wonderful – I’ll have to get back to this area again – hopefully when there aren’t many clouds so I can take in the long views to Jay Peak.
109 was pleasant (sans wind) after I hit some long downhills as I rolled towards 108.