Work and Ride

The IF at the top of the drive...
The IF at the top of the drive...

I spent three days in the Berkshires teaching at the Heartwood School. I managed two short rides to explore the local dirt. Lots of steep climbing on gravel and sand and loose dirt. I was wishing for wider tires as I was running the 28s with the Honjo’s. Wanted to get out more – but it was hard to cram a bit of catching up with friends, teaching, and riding into the time I had. I’d love to get back…

A fork in the road on the way up to Middlefield.
A fork in the road on the way up to Middlefield.
Beaver!
Beaver!

Sunday Dirt, a Mini Epic Ride

Chatting on Baldwin, heading into the wind...
Chatting on Baldwin, heading into the wind...

70+ miles – Mountain View out of town, Governor Chittenden Road (dirt, and a ripping descent) down to Rt. 2, Kenyon Road up and up (dirt) drop down into Richmond on the pave, then Wes White Hill (rough pave to dirt, 13% or more) along the pond into Huntington, East Rd. (up and dirt) with views of Camel’s Hump, a short stretch of pavement and then on to Shaker Mountain Road (dirt, steep, and forever), Big Hollow (dirt and a ripping descent), a bit of pave to Lincoln Hill (dirt and steep and a rolling false flat on top) to drop down into Hinesburg for refreshments and then a ‘quintessential’ Vermont stretch – Baldwin (dirt) to Drinkwater (dirt) to Prindle, to Roscoe (covered bridge / dirt) to Lewis Creek (fun descent, dirt, covered bridge) to Spear to Guinea (dirt) to One Mile Road (dirt) to Hinesburg Rd. to Ferry Rd. to Charlotte. Views of Mansfield, Camel’s Hump, the ADKs, Lake Champlain. Three major climbs, three covered bridges and 60% or more of dirt. I had an 85 mile day with ~5,700+ feet of climbing by the end.

Dropped my chain into the little ring somewhere on Shaker Mountain Road... a fast descent awaits after the left turn.
Dropped my chain into the little ring somewhere on Shaker Mountain Road... a fast descent awaits after the left turn.

Thanks to Jim for snapping some pics as I brought the camera but left the SD card in the laptop. And a huge thanks to the boys for letting me pace it out over the steep stuff. My first Yoga class the Saturday before took its toll… plenty of power to diesel on the rollers and the pavement – not much to deal with the steep on the dirt.

Spring Dirt 1.1

Jim brought the camera out this weekend. These are a few of my favorites snitched from his photostream.

Spring Dirt

The view from Govenor Chittenden Road
The view from Govenor Chittenden Road

Spring ride with lots of dirt – a mental boost and a gear shakedown for next weekend’s 200k. We rolled out of town from our usual start along Mountain View and the always fantastic ’seasonal’ Governor Chittenden Road. Lots of gravel and a roaring brook. On to Richmond via a closed and muddy Kenyon Road – 10% or more in grade, skinny 28’s slipping in the muck when I would stand up. Seated climbing, rear over the rear. Great views to Camel’s Hump. Down into town on the wrong side of the closed bridge, follow the river past Cochran’s and to Jonesville and then up, up, up Stage Rd. (optional as Bolton Notch was gnarly and gravelly). Flying along the highland flats to Brown’s Trace and a stop @ the Village Cup. Busy Rt. 15 then on to Tower Rd. and into Colchester on Lost Nation, Curve Hill, and others. Loop out to the bay and home. Just about 58 miles, with some great climbing and scenery. The group (4 out of 5 Flèche teammates) worked well together – each of us pacing ourselves on the steep stuff and working together into the wind pulling on the flatter terrain.

Kenyon Road was closed to cars...
Kenyon Road was closed to cars...
John on the A. Homer Hilson
John on the A. Homer Hilson
Climbing up and up Stage Road
Climbing up and up Stage Road
An Independent Fabrications, A. Homer Hilson, Kogswell, and Gunnar...
An Independent Fabrications, A. Homer Hilson, Kogswell, and Gunnar...
... all dressed in Brooks saddles - a Swallow, B17, B17N, and a Swift.
... all dressed in Brooks saddles - a Swallow, B17, B17N, and a Swift.

Another Fall Ride


Did a nice loop through Richmond 2 weeks ago. Was planning on riding the southern half of the 200k Permanent but opted instead to get up late, sip tea at a favorite cafe, and roll south at a leisurely pace. The landscape was a riot of color.



More Pics


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.

Dirt Road Permanent


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.











Stitching



Stitched together the last bit of a 200k mixed terrain ride… hopefully to become a registered RUSA permanent. Three route options range from 70 miles to 125 miles. The usual suspects will be tackling the 90 miles to verify the cue sheet in early October and I’ll get out solo to confirm the extended closing leg of the 200k route in late October.



Lots and lots of dirt – maybe 80% of the route. Plenty of climbing. Fantastic views to Mansfield and Camel’s Hump – even a quick peak at the lake and the Adirondacks. Country lanes, small towns, country stores, sheep, horses, and mountain ponds. The colors are just starting to pop – I think it will be the perfect leaf peeping ride.

D2R2

Prepping for D2R2 tomorrow. I’m in for the short course and I plan on riding the IF. Debating on what to carry – the contols appear well spaced and with the weather looking fine I may ditch the Barley and take a small seatbag. I’m pulling the fenders and lights and I’ll be sneaking on some 32s to give me a bit more tire for the dirt and loose surfaces.

I’m planning on lots of pictures and ‘getting my money’s worth’ of the ride. No racing from control to control – I’ll be happy to be out on the bike and I’ll finish at a reasonable pace.

Sunday Dirt


Got out for 50 this Sunday morning with Jim and John. We had a partial dirt tour from Richmond to Huntington and mixed in some quiet paved roads to stitch ourselves a loop. The three of us + Patrick are riding the D2R2 in a few weeks – and in addition to ‘training’ we all really like scenic, quiet dirt roads. We took the busy (even on a Sunday AM) Rt. 2 out of town, headed past Catamount on Mountain View Rd. – then dipped down to the valley on Gov. Chittenden Highway – a great seasonal road. In Richmond we followed the Winooski east a bit, then turned up on the edge of Camel’s Hump State Park. We were rewarded for the 15% grade with some great views of a quiet valley. Along pond road there is a – pond. We cut down to Huntington and then through the hollow to Hinesburg, scouting a few more dirt roads for a future ride. We wrapped up at John’s, and a cold Smuttynose hit the spot. I also picked up our cake pan from John – as we left it awhile back at dinner. It rode home on the Mark’s Rack (more on that later) held down with my improvised helmet strap / double strap method.



I met mamafiets and Ava at yoga for the ride home. I was tickled to see the Bak parked in a spot normally occupied by a car. Jen surprises me sometimes with her logic… which is great. At the beach she simply parked in the parking slot next to her girlfriends – at yoga she didn’t want to wrestle the bak over the curb – and figured if a motorcycle can park in the lot – then she could. (oh how I love thee…) I had 45 minutes to wait so I let the beer do its work and napped under a tree. We headed for home with a grocery stop and then were off to Plainfield to dinner with friends.