Endurance races, ski trips, musings, and adventures on the East Coast.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The "Epic" Ride

Who says Vermont doesn't have epic rides? A lot of people actually. And while I'm not here to say they're completely wrong, they're not exactly right either.
Look, Vermont ain't Colorado, or Utah, or BC, or North Carolina. It's not the same scale and they're just aren't the remote areas that you can find in those other North American hotspots. Plus, the singletrack doesn't connect as well. It's getting better, but let's not kid ourselves here.
That being said, in many ways I think the epic rides in VT are just as fun as anywhere else, maybe more so, and the potential is HUGE.
As part of the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival Nina and I set out with some friends (and a few super strong folks from out of town) on a 70 mile ride that connected Waterbury and Stowe. It was a mix of singletrack (some of it old school and choppy, some if it newer and slightly more flowing) and old logging roads that are becoming singletrack-esque. Was it the best riding around? Not quite, but it was awesome to connect the two towns, and the ride included sections of the best trails around, so we got some of that too.
But here's the really cool part. Halfway (or so) through the ride Nina and I decided to bail to keep things on the fun and not super hard side. So, we rolled a couple of miles downhill from the singletrack to the Malt Shop in Stowe. Burgers, grilled cheese, and most importantly Milkshakes awaited. Sound like somewhere else, Europe maybe. Post-lunch we had a choice: direct route on the road, or trail most of the way home. We took the road option with the thought that we'd demo some bikes back at Perry Hill.
To me, that's the kind of thing that makes Vermont so cool. You can ride singletrack, drop into town for lunch, and then keep riding. You can't do that in the same way out west. And I also think that's where the potential is.
Imagine a well built, well signed singletrack network that connected Stowe, Morrisville, Waterbury, Moretown, Waitsfield, Montpelier, Middlesex etc. You could do huge rides, drop into any number of towns for lunch, do Inn to Inn tours, whatever. Seems like that's the direction people are working towards, but it's still a long way off. Seems like something that's worth working towards though.

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