Archive for the ‘dirt road ride’ Category

Moosamaloo Overnight

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

I snuck out on the IF for an overnight last weekend. Burlington to Shelburne and Charlotte on Spear, then dropping down to Vergennes and off to Middlebury on the backside route, staying to pavement most of the way down to Middlebury then up to Moosamaloo. Return route included Steam Mill and Natural Turnpike and some new (to me) dirt roads near Monkton.

The ADKs from Vergennes

The ADKs from Vergennes

Crossing the tracks on the Trail Around Middlebury

Crossing the tracks on the Trail Around Middlebury

Crossing the tracks on the Trail Around Middlebury

Crossing the tracks on the Trail Around Middlebury

I had a late lunch in Middlebury and then connected the TAM to skip some busy roads, only to find a construction detour that put me right back on Rt. 7 south out of town. In East Middlebury I hunted for a decent beer at the gas station / convenience store but nothing sounded good – so I topped off on a snack or two and water and headed up up up VT 125. The climb up 125 took forever. I was pretty cooked from the ride, and I walked the first steep pitch just out of town, pushing the bike uphill until I reached a pull off where I collected myself, hydrated, and then pushed on for camp.

At FR32, Goshen Ripton Rd. I turned onto dirt. This was about ~52 miles into my ride, and I found myself off the bike and pushing for a stretch to give the quads and lungs a break. FR32 is one of my move favorite places to get to on a bike.

FR 32

FR 32

My plan was to arrive around dinner time, setup camp, then make dinner while shooting a time-lapse sunset from the Voter Brook Overlook. I pulled into the Moosamaloo Campground at about 6:30, found an open site, dropped some $$ into the deposit box, and setup my Tarptent Moment.

Tarptent Moment Setup from Mike Beganyi on Vimeo.

The Voter Brook Overlook is a 5 minute ride further down the access road. It was a bit underwhelming with regards to getting a good sunset time-lapse – but I tried out the GoPro and made dinner.

Setting up the GoPro

Setting up the GoPro

Voter Brook Overlook... last frame from an unimpressive time-lapse.

Voter Brook Overlook… last frame from an unimpressive time-lapse.

Dinner, Voter Brook Overlook

Dinner, Voter Brook Overlook

Voter Brook

Voter Brook

After dinner I rolled back to camp, did some bike and gear adjustments, bear bagged my food and kitchen, and planned to turn in for the night. After I played with the long exposure settings on my Canon G12.

Bike, Tent, Lights, Night

Bike, Tent, Lights, Night

Self Portrait, lit by Tent

Self Portrait, lit by Tent

Morning found me up early, with the other campers still sound asleep. I made breakfast and broke camp, and headed for Steam Mill and Natural turnpike, 2 of my other favorite places to be in VT on a bicycle. Both of these roads are up up up… so I started the day with a good deal of climbing.

Campsite

Campsite

Camp road, morning light.

Camp road, morning light.

I stopped at the Robert Frost trail to adjust some clothing, and take advantage of the restrooms at the trailhead, from there I found Steam Mill Rd.

Robert Frost trail sign

Robert Frost trail sign

Steam Mill Rd.

Steam Mill Rd.

FR 59 Sign and IF

FR 59 Sign and IF

Wetlands, Natural Turnpike

Wetlands, Natural Turnpike

End of the World

End of the World

From high up on the Natural Turnpike I dropped into Lincoln, then Bristol for an early lunch / second breakfast at the Bristol Cafe and Bakery. A large group of GMBC cyclists congregated while I was enjoying my food. They were on a Sunday ‘touring’ ride. I chatted with a few before they left, then rolled out myself for home.

Bristol Bakery and Cafe

Bristol Bakery and Cafe

I picked a few new roads on the run back from Bristol… and the route pretty much did me in. I struggled from Monkton to home, but the roads I did choose are sure to be additions to future routes… especially if I route them to be downhill. Piney Woods Rd. is a lovely lane and a half (at most) of dirt… and it is steep as it follows the creek. Plank Rd., North Rd., Parks-Hurburt Rd. and Old Stage Rd. are also nice alternative routes (dirt) for going north / south and connecting into Bristol from Chittenden County.

No problem. I was slow enough at this point...

No problem. I was slow enough at this point…

Creek on Piney Woods Rd.

Creek on Piney Woods Rd.

Piney Woods Rd.

Piney Woods Rd.

From Monkton I followed familiar roads back into town, struggling with the heat, and feeling a bit dehydrated. I returned home about 30 hours after I left.

Adventure!

Adventure!

Clement MSO 32s in their natural habitat

Clement MSO 32s in their natural habitat

Almost home - barn on Baldwin Rd.

Almost home – barn on Baldwin Rd.

Day 1
~62 miles
~5926′ climbing
Pavement with a bit of dirt and trail

Day 2
~57 miles
~6220′ climbing
Dirt with pavement

Spring

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

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Spring Dirt

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Looked for 60+ miles today. Legs and lungs and body only had ~28 in them. Fatigued, and the knee is sore and hamburger from a recent wreck on the family cargo bike.

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Spring, I think, is here.

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Devil’s Washbowl

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A nice ride with Greg, Jim and Julia up and up and up to Devil’s Washbowl, a short little road that is lots of fun.

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And, getting there and back is part of the journey. Pave, dirt, some Class IV road, some hike a bike and three covered bridges.

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A lovely afternoon out.

Fall Classic – Photodump

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Enjoyed the 2013, and likely last* (for awhile) VT Fall Classic Brevet and Populaire. I rode the Populaire, with Greg. Felt great at the start, ended up coughing up blood and struggling by the end. Finished with a couple minutes to spare.

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*I’m burned out from being brevet organizer… so I’m taking some time off. There is movement to continue with some of the VT rides, and I’ll post up any solid information as soon as I hear something.

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Jay Peak

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Jen wandered into my office last week and said ‘We’re going to Jay Peak, I found a cottage to rent, water park tickets included. Pack your bike.’

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We rented a slopeside / golf course side cottage for 2 nights at the main ski area. Played at the waterpark and ate way too much resort food. Jen got in a trail run, I got in a punishing bike ride. 

I rode down from the lodge on VT 242, caught VT 101 and VT 100, and then picked up some side roads to intercept VT 58 and pass through Hazen’s Notch. I left early and had no luck on a Saturday morning finding an open cafe and coffee. I barely managed to make it back after ~38 miles on 2 water bottles and 3 clif bars. I bonked hard climbing the 7 miles up VT 242 from Montgomery.

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It felt great to be out on the dirt, exploring a new (to me) area. Lots of cool roads in the NEK to explore… so I’ll have to get back. The bike and my legs felt off all day. I certainly don’t climb like a used to – the long dirt climb back to the cottage was pretty rough. Nothing in the tank, and my legs felt flat.

Sunday Dirt

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Photo Jan 13, 9 06 32 AM

Been a long time since I have written those words. Dirty ride with Greg in Middlesex, VT. Mountain bikes, with studs. Dirt roads, some trail. Ice, mud, snow, hike a bike, slop on the way down when the temps warmed up. Just under 18 miles, with a claimed climbing of ~2750′ according to the online maps. Will have to run it through TopoFusion later. Pretty amazing scenery, and a convenient place for the two of us to meet at the Red Hen Bakery.

Photo Jan 13, 8 03 25 AM

Photo Jan 13, 9 10 17 AM

Photo Jan 13, 9 11 40 AM

Some thoughts from the ride: I started keeping my kit ‘ready to go’ – so I’d always have the same things at the ready. While this has been working – I looked at the sky, at the road, and the temps as we were suiting up in the parking lot and decided to leave the camera in the car. I also figured we’d get up the first few climbs and decide to bomb back down – so I left extra calories with my kit bag. The first rule of bike club is: always take the larger camera. The second rule of bike club is: always take some extra food. The third rule of bike club is: always take the same kit, repeat and modify as needed.

I did the entire ride on some licorice and my coffee and bagel from an hour before. Yes, we did less than 18 miles, but I was feeling it at the end.

Fall

Monday, October 8th, 2012

My favorite time of year. Last weekend was cloudy and wet, this week was cloudy and wet – and then …

Be sure to click for the full size version. Pretty much captures why I love living and riding in VT.

VT Fall Classic 2012

Monday, October 8th, 2012

We had 40 riders start the VT Fall Classic last week. And, as a rider from Washington DC pointed out, it seems that it will not be a true ‘classic’ unless the weather offers up a challenge.

I rode the short course with friends, and in my haste as organizer I DNF’d before I even left the parking lot. My hot pink brevet card was sitting on the counter at the Old Spokes Home, where I was staging sign in and registration. Realizing this at the first control I accepted my fate but still enjoyed the ride. Any day on a bike is a good day, regardless of speed, time, and finishing status.

It has become harder and harder for me to write about this course and this ride. I developed the original route as a personal ‘birthday ride’ for myself over the course of 3 years, initially started during a time when my wife and I were adjusting to being new parents, and dealing with residual medical issues. There was alot of adjusting and pain (mental and physical) in those days, and my riding time plummeted from previous years. Getting on the bike was a gift, but one with the stark realization that my fitness was gone – and riding dirt roads with steep grades over long distances was something I was going to need to really work at – which continues to be an ongoing process.

After a few unofficial, non event scouting missions of both halves (there are almost 2 distinct north and south rides tucked within the long course) I launched the first official RUSA event in collaboration with the NERds to great weather and good roads in 2010. We’ve since grown the number of riders, tweaked the course and controls a bit, and have had rain and cold at some point during the rides ever since.

The 2012 edition proved promising from the start. A large contingent of riders converged on Burlington from ME, MA, VT, NH, NY, Washington DC. I ran into Lovely Bicycle! and her troupe on Saturday afternoon as they were exploring the Old Spokes Home (the start and finish of the ride), and I met up with more riders later that evening at a very crowded Farmhouse Taproom. Small groups were able to sit together and share food and drink, and eventually folks parted ways to rest for the late(r) (7am this year, instead of 6!) start.

Sign in went smoothly. We had quite a few folks who showed up ‘day of’. Hank Stokes volunteered at the start and finish (Huge Thanks to Hank!) and made sure everyone got off to a good start, and was at the finish with hot coffee and pizza. Bikes ranged from a few carbon racing machines, some classic and classy steel rigs, modern Indy Fabs (Ti and Steel), a couple of Rawlands, a pair of Velo Orange, and I think we had a mountain bike. We also had a rider complete the long route on a fixed gear.

At 7am I sent everyone off, and a small group of us left a few minutes later. The route rolls out of town, where eventually the road turns up, and we start to mix in dirt. I drifted between a few sets of riders near the back of the group, and enjoyed the morning fog and fall color, as well as the company of friends from Maine. I spent much of the day with Greg, who convinced a friend to ride – although he thought he signed up for our Cafe Cruise… a much different experience than the Classic.

For our little group, the rain held off until just afternoon, as we left our stop at the Village Cup. We covered the last ~22 miles in various stages of downpour and solid rain. At some point I got separated from Greg and others, and after soft pedaling and standing under an oak tree I just couldn’t wait any longer as I was getting cold – so I finished solo. I was about 7 minutes out of the time limit, had it mattered. I changed into dry clothes, wolfed down some hot coffee and pizza, then got picked up by the wife and girls, so I could snag our car. I made it back to Old Spokes, relieved Hank from volunteer duty, and waited and welcomed 200k riders in from the wet.

Despite the rain everyone returning was pleasant and had smiles on their faces, many excited that they finished, and offering compliments on the course. By about 7:15pm we had accounted for all riders, and for the first time ever running an event I was able to get home early.

40 starters (50, had all that preregistered been able to make it)
10 riders officially finished the 123k route within the time limits. Another 4 finished after the cutoff. And 3 of you finished on time but walked off with your brevet cards, or didn’t turn them in…

12 very wet riders finished the 200k route.

Be sure to check out the Old Spoke’s Blog, Dave’s report, Lily’s report, and Lovely Bicycle!’s (pending) report and photos.

Sunday (some) Dirt

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Short ride in and around BTV and suburbs today. The IF got the call… need to really ride it more, as I forget how to shift it, and mangle the gears, and the fit feels off – but I know I’m just so used to the Fargo.

~40 with supposedly ~2200 in climbing today, pave out of town then dirt past Shelburne Pond. Cross over to the steep dirt of Ayer Rd., north to Butternut for a little loop, then reverse.