July 1, 2006
Cycle - Riding the Rivers
Armed with insight from locals, I opted to ride this selection from Vermont Life's Ten Great Bike Rides in the opposite (clockwise) direction. My earlier scout had confirmed this would provide gradual uphills and some steeper rewards for the downhill direction. The day dawned with sunshine and four of us carpooled from Montpelier to the P&H Truck Stop on 302 at I91. (This is a great truck stop: recently renovated, friendly, large restrooms, lots of parking, breakfast all day, renowned pies and lots more!)
One of our group opted for a shorter 38 mile circuit, returning from Bradford via a scenic New Hampshire alternative route. The other three rode the planned fifty mile route, following the Connecticut, Waits and Wells rivers. With 2 of the 3 riders being on a tandem, the ride had a brisk pace.
This was interrupted when the inevitable daily thunderstorm came along. Luck was with us as we pulled into a general store with thunder rumbling and the first drops hitting the ground. After securing plastic bags for our bike seats, we ate lunch, chatted with other customers and watched the torrents of rain from sheltered cushy chairs on the porch. Forty minutes after the rain started the sun returned and we enjoyed our mostly downhill last 19 miles on dry pavement! What fun! The truck stop was a great venue to regroup, change clothes, have a snack and share bike stories before doing the hours drive back to Montpelier.