Too Epic?? (again)

This will be my first ride report, ever.  I don’t normally think that a simple bike ride deserves retelling in writing, no matter how many kJs, miles, or mountain passes.  Today was different.  Of course, I didn’t think much of the pinch I got on New Boston road, though it turned out to be a harbinger of things to come.  Fortunately, it was the only mechanical of the day, or I might not be here to write about it.

I headed out of Chelsea continuing north on Vt-rt 110 — worth mentioning because it climbs towards Washington, VT and is really quite nice.  The action started with Atherton Road (technically a gap).  I ended up confusing the turns, and after some help from a guy mowing his lawn, ended up on a road called Woodchuck Hollow.  It started as dirt, turned into class-IV, snowmobile-trail, and got worse from there.  At one point I was convinced that I’d lost the road.  I tried to consult my borrowed Garmin, but I couldn’t figure out how to work it.  Supposedly it does more than I use it for — heart rate and ride time.  I had to pull the first of my two road-bike wheelie-drops of the day to clear this bad-boy, and nearly was elated when I finally, eventually, made it back to real roads, and (gasp!) pavement.

Don't try this at home.

After some miles on rt-25, brook road, goose green and generally beautiful (paved) Vermont roads, Bear Notch road was next on the docket.  It started as a normal dirt climb, and as I passed an old A-frame shack on the left, I smiled and returned a wave to the people sitting out on the porch.  They shouted something that I couldn’t hear, and I turned back to have a chat.  The crazy-looking guy and his wife were actually quite nice, but warned me that I wouldn’t be able to go through the notch on my skinny tires (I was used to this kind of warning, and of course ignored it — I think lots of people think that you can’t ride road bikes on dirt roads), but also told me to “seriously” watch out for bears.  Wow.

So turns out he was right.  Not about the bears, thankfully, but about the road.  After a bit of technical climbing, it was just too much and I had to walk.  I came upon four people trying to get a four-wheeler un-stuck from the mud — bad sign.  They warned me of a steep, rocky descent coming up, and recommended that I walk.  Ha!  I’m way too stubborn and proud to take advice.  I only had to walk a bit more, and after some cleat-cleaning was on my way.  They weren’t kidding about the rocky descent.  The stuff for mountain bikes, for sure.  Some white-knuckling, and another wheelie drop, and I was clear.  Not easy-going, for sure, but rideable, and eventually, thankfully, I made it to Middlebrook Rd.  The rest, thankfully, was not worthy of a report.

The route.

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~ by awerbuch on August 22, 2010.

One Response to “Too Epic?? (again)”

  1. I think you’re allowed to do a report on any road ride including wheelie drops. Especially if clipping out involves landing on Speedplay cleats.

    I ran into my first impassible road in Connecticut the other day—Breezy Hill in New Hartford. Wasn’t really sure they had them here. Similar to you situation, it got narrow, then chopped up and lumpy, then the pavement stopped and it was too steep and loose to ride. You might actually be able to ride it, given your skillz; I’m pretty sure I could do it on a CX bike.

    Interestingly, the unrideable part of Breezy Hill continues as a regular road a few miles later, which then turns into a narrow, fully-canopied, and totally rideable hard-packed dirt forest road for a mile or two before going back down the other side of Ratlum Mountain. Very fun.

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