Archive for the ‘fall’ Category

Fall Fargo Foliage Fest

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Peak color. Pave, dirt, trail. Some hike a bike too. My favorite time of year.

I left the house a bit later than I wanted, sipped a coffee and had some breakfast at a local cafe, then took off for higher ground. I ventured through the Intervale, enjoying a glorious and misty sunrise. Stunning, was the sky and the sun.

As I started to climb out of the vale to pavement, I noticed a vehicle stuck on the tracks. I’ve seen lots of bizarre things happen down here early in the morning – so I can’t say I was surprised – but it looks as if someone ‘borrowed’ the truck for a joy ride. Windows were open, with stuff left on the seats. Glove box was closed. I made sure there was no one injured (abandoned) then called 911 and was connected to local police. After a chat I continued on.

From Burlington I ventured off to Richmond via Mountain View and dropping down Governor Chittenden Rd. The Winooski River Valley was covered in a fog, and the light had a silver quality to it. No views to Camel’s Hump, but an otherworldly feeling as I hit the lower dirt road and a horse started running alongside.

Some flat riding out of town to the east, and then I climbed Stage Rd. Wonderful dirt, steep, with only a few cars passing. I saw a Long Trail hiker emerge from the woods, heading into town.

Somewhere nearing the top I turned onto a signed hiking / ski / snomo trail. Some hike a bike for the first 100′ or so, then leveling out on old double track / logging road. I skirted a small pond (north of Preston Pond), dodged some soggy trail, snapped some pics, and pressed on for the overlook.

The overlook trail is a loop, connecting as a U shape to the main trail. I took the first turn for it, riding quite a ways until the roots, rocks, and gradient made it difficult to pedal. Typical of VT trails, this rolled along for a bit, then turned straight up. I’d later learn that I took the longer / harder way up… as my descent from the lookout was equally rocky and rooty, but much shorter, and I think more rideable (for me, with my limited technical mountain bike skills…)

Returning to the double track, I made my way to Notch Rd., where I had hoped to continue on to the Bolton Access Rd. via another set of trails. I was met with some serious ATV rutted double track, and upon exploring a bit found a crew clearing trees. Chainsaws running, and ATVs scurrying up the trail, I assume these folks were prepping the trail for winter snomo use.

Bombing down Notch Rd. led me back to the river valley, where I made my way to the Cross Vermont Trail. This stretch follows the edge of a farm field and a dirt road. In the field it can be wet, and flooding from Irene left the bridge damaged – but it looks like repairs are under way, and the trail was firm.

I followed my path back into town – climbing up Governor Chittenden Rd. past Catamount, eventually meeting up with the family on the waterfront for a fall day out…

~60 miles
~3100′ climbing

Monday Mojo

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Since my bikepacking trip I’ve been looking for some mojo. Lots of rain here in VT, lots of damage and flooding from the hurricane, and lots of cold, wet, weather settling in. I always go through some downtime as the seasons change… and being in the cold and rain for the VT Fall Classic last week seemed to reinforce that the body needs time to acclimate each year. Come spring I’ll be shedding layers in this morning’s temps…

Have to find some time for some bike maintenance. The Fargo’s rear derailleur was tweaked somewhere along the Fall Classic. Shifting suffered over the final 12 miles. My chain wouldn’t drop out of the largest cog without some persuasion on the pedals, and it never dropped down into the smallest. Looks like the replaceable hanger is bent – but no adjusting with cable tension nor limit screws seems to help. I’m likely to swap to flat bars and 1×9 for the winter – so it seems this fix will just speed up that process.

The Pugsley is going to get my Titec H-bars. I have cable ready and waiting – just need the time to focus. The bars on the Pugs will go to the Fargo for the winter. Also need to re-pack the rear wheel, and check all the bearings, etc. Want to be ready to roll when the snow flies.

The IF needs a cleaning. And I’ll mount up my spare wheelset with my trainer tires for indoor roller duty. This bike has been ridden maybe only a handful of times since the Fargo arrived. Sad, maybe. But I’m just digging the fat tires now, for pretty much everything…

VT Fall Classic 114k and 200k

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

I rode the VT Fall Classic Populaire this past Saturday. It was cold. It rained. The temperature dropped. We were hit with a deluge as we took off up the Notch from our first control towards the mountains and one of my favorite roads. It was windy. Did I say it rained? Dirt was in fine shape, if not soggy towards the end. The mountains were hiding in the low clouds. Fall color will peak in another week or so, but was a wonderful contrast to the gray along the route.

I’ll let the numbers tell the story:

Pre registered: 11
Did not start: 4
Did not finish: 3
Finished: 4

Pre registered: 10
Registered day of: 3 (brave, to show up morning of!)
Did not start: 5
Did not finish: 5 (completed entire route, but well out of the time limit: 4)
Finished: 3

First 114k finishers in @ 7h20m. (I was lanterne rouge and finished in 7h30m)

First 200k finisher arrived in an amazing 9h30m, which was an incredible ride, under these conditions. A group of three riders made it in just under the time limits @ 13h25m.

I focused on keeping moving to generate heat, and forced myself to drink. Food went down easy. Liquids were tough. The camera stayed tucked away for most of the ride – impossible to operate in my overmitts, and tricky at best in my liner gloves.

I’ve done this ride, and similar loops, many many times, and am always reminded at just how beautiful my neighborhood can be.

Wet Morning

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Got in a great ride this wet morning, and was treated to another rainbow. The colors faded as I approached the lake – in a matter of minutes a strong full arc double rainbow went to a single band of color looking north to town.


Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Fall evenings getting cooler. Sky deep and cold blue. Leaves on the ground. Crisp.


Monday, November 15th, 2010

First fixed ride in a long long time. Pushing the 2.2 Nevegals is work (while waiting for snow, to mount the Nokian Extreme 294s). Playing in the dirt is a nice change from the skinny tires…


Sunday, November 14th, 2010


Short fall ride. Busted Time RSX carbon road pedal.

Recent Snaps

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

A lovely fall…

Fall Overnight (almost)

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Planned to do an E24O (extended 24 hour overnight) with Greg this weekend. Ride ~60 miles. Climb halfway up the spine of the Green Mountains. Hike a bike / ride in to Camp @ Silver Lake. Ride out in the morning through Moosamaloo and The Natural Turnpike for breakfast in Bristol. Ride home.

Greg hammered all week to get a roof on a project he was finishing up… so his legs were toast. At the ~35 mile mark he said he felt worse than when we completed the Lake Champlain 200k. Options were to continue on with a major bit of work in front of us, or slowly head back home. He chose to call it, and offered to ride back to my place solo so I could carry on. Not willing to leave him stranded and suffering (and with no way to carry the 10 year old 3 season tent on my own, and manage to still carry my extra layers, food, and stove) – we enjoyed a leisurely ride home.

A bit of a disappointment – but when I woke up this morning to freezing / sleeting rain and took a short ride to the local cafe I was glad not to have spent a night at higher elevation with a 60 mile wet, rainy, 40 degree ride home.

Bike and gear worked admirably. The tent is something I didn’t carry last year. A bivy and tarp setup is in my future for the cold. All in, a good day out.

Marathon Mom

Sunday, October 17th, 2010