Thursday, October 18, 2012

Beautiful Vermont Dirt Roads

From Harris Cyclery

image credit: Elton Pope-Lance
Quite a few of us around here love cycling on dirt roads, and no state in New England has more of them than Vermont (in fact, according to the VT Agency of Transportation, there are more dirt roads than paved!). Over this summer and autumn there have been some lovely organized rides in the area. We’d like to share some ride reports and pictures from our friends, employees and customers.
In May, local randonneurs Pamela Blalock and John Bayley (aka the Blayleys!) hosted the 4th annual DROVES – the Dirt Roads of Vermont Epic Sojourn. From what we hear, this is a tough but gorgeous multi-day ride covering some of the finest dirt roads the state has to offer from Ludlow to Waterbury.
In June, Elton took part in the Veteran-Cycle Club Vermont Ramble and posted some great shots. Starting at the The Old Spokes Home in Burlington, this ride along Lake Champlain was done mostly on vintage 3-speeds! The Veteran-Cycle Club is “an international organization dedicated to research in cycling history, restoration, and riding old bicycles from all eras.” You can visit the New England section here.
In August, the famous D2R2 was held, with routes starting from Deerfield, Massachusetts and extending into Southern Vermont. There are several routes to choose from, ranging in length and difficulty but all offering beautiful scenery. Lots of local folks took part in the ride this year. Our friend Anton posted some nice shots of the 100K, and Velouria’s write-up describes the 40 mile River Tour route.
The last weekend of September saw the return of the Vermont Fall Classic – the final brevet of the season offered by the VT division of the New England Randonneurs. Riders had the choice of a Populaire and a 200K route out of Burlington, each with plenty of dirt and climbing. The Vermont Fall Classic has been an especially popular ride, with its stunning views of the beautiful autumn foliage. Although the dramatic weather conditions presented a challenge this year, participants were mostly undeterred. Read Per Tonn’s ride report, and have a look at pictures from Mike Beganyi and Velouria. More ride reports are forthcoming.
With much of October still ahead, this is a great time of the year to get away for the weekend and enjoy the dirt roads of Vermont. Now, if only it would stop raining!

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