Cycling Date: Saturday 02-August-14
Mileage: 79 miles
Weather: Cloudy to partly sunny. Low 60s to start. Upper 70s to end. Doom and gloom forecast from yesterday gave a 40-50% chance of rain. We woke up this morning to predictions of 0-10%. A lot can happen over night. No rain today. Lots of humidity. Winds out of the SSE
Highlights of the day:
I know this is Jeff’s line but allow me to say that today is one of my favorite days of the tour. Really. I mean it. I’m not sure if I’m excited to be back in mountains or with people who start dropping their R’s or both. I am sure that I think it’s beautiful, challenging, and a lot of fun. Oh, and I do get to watch the Red Sox on NESN for the first time in over 2 months. I’m wondering if I will recognize any of the team after all the trades they made recently, but I digress…
We crossed the Hudson River today, seems we’ve finally made it back east. Roads used to be a bit rough in New York but most of Rte 7 has been repaved over the winter and it is beautiful. It was so nice we could actually enjoy the scenery. Rolling hills. Green and lush. We crossed our 11th border into our 12th state. Vermont. We are back in the mountains, the Green Mountains to be exact.
Many riders stopped in Old Bennington to visit the Old First Church, the oldest Protestant church in Vermont, and browse through the cemetery in search of Robert Frost’s grave. After a little history, it was time to tackle the big climb of the day. The route out of Bennington features a great 8-mile climb towards Wilmington, VT. It is mostly gradual at 4% with a few short kicks up to 8%. If you put the strong legs these riders have developed with a cool day, you get a really enjoyable climb.
Out of Wilmington, the riders went up a shorter 3-mile climb to the top of Hogback Mountain that boasts a “100 mile view of three states.” Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. There was also a specially painted giant Adirondack chair. It’s been there for several years but the paint job is new as part of Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce’s “Mountain Chair Madness.” It’s part art, part fundraiser, and part just fun.
After all the work, the riders were rewarded with a very nice descent into Brattleboro, VT. It is mostly down hill for the better part of 14 miles. Non-technical. Just fun. A very nice way to end great day on the bike. Now it’s pizza party time!