Some recent snaps. The moody lake, a family walk in the Intervale, a leaf lined bike path, a stone skipping foray to the Mad River, and the colors of fall.
Took a detour home from town to take in the Intervale in all its late fall glory. We are lucky to live in an area of Burlington that is served by 1 main road route to downtown and several options for MUPs. The route of choice on the Bak is usually along the gently graded lakefront MUP, and old railbed turned into the ‘Burlington Bike Path’. Another option is the ‘127 Bike Path’ – which parallels and crosses the Winooski river into town, cutting through the Intervale. Its a great shortcut when getting from our place to points southeasterly of town. On our trip home last week I took the Bak for a gently off road roll. First on dirt farm roads and then on some flat single track along the river and through Ethan Allen Homestead. We connected back up to the 127 MUP for the last leg of our journey into the New North End. The Bak handled great on the dry stuff – but when it got really snotty I felt transported to my youth when I piloted my first car – the hand me down family wagon – through the snow.
Fall maintenance time… the IF is in the shop (my garage, I mean bike storage facility) for the forseeable future. I try to pull the BB and most of the components at least once a year. Tonight I noticed a bit of a play in the BB after getting the drive side off – the Phil BB seems to have worn into its inner shell on the non drive side – the axle wobbled when I spun and pulled on it. I’ve sent an email off to Phil & Co. – hopefully they can refurbish this with a new housing. I imagine that the axle and bearings are still good.
Looks like I’ll be on the Surly FG for the next few days until I sort out the BB. Worst case is that I’ll be shelling out some $$ to fix this with a new BB, which is double the quote price of a refurbishment of existing components.
Short ride with Greg and Keenan out to ‘the Cut’ on the causeway. This is the first time the Bak has made the trip to the waters edge. The path is in good shape, the bike ferry docks look great, and the temps and colors were perfect.
Greg is riding his all-terrain-a-saurus. He bought a used mountain bike from Old Spokes two years ago and converted it to a road bike. He’s added some really wide semi knobby tires for dirt road cruising, and picked up a free bike trailer for the little one. Missing are his rack, panniers, and bright yellow fenders. Last winter he made his own studded tires.
Hoping to ride the southern half of the 200k route this Sunday. We are promised good weather… everything is shades of yellow, orange, and red – hopefully we’ll have a bright blue sky. More pics here, here, and here. The image above is of me climbing a short 15% grade during the first 1/3 of the ride. The real climb starts after a steep pitch to a stop sign – and then a left turn into the wall.
John, Patrick, Jim and I did a test run of the northern half of a 200k Dirt Road Permanent I have been planning. We covered ~75 miles of the northern part of the route. I was cooked and the gents did well to get me back to town.
The route was 60% dirt, with plenty of sharp rollers and a few long climbs. The grades ranged from steady 5% to an 18% wall about two thirds into the route. Temps were in the 50s and even though I was dressed well (in Ibex wool) I had a persistent chill most of the day. The foliage was peak at the higher elevations – colors simply stunning. We’re hoping to ride the southern half of the route this weekend – colors should still be peak – and if we get some sun and clear skies we might get a view to the ADKs.