Another hilly ride
Andrew and I met at Onion River Sports at 6am sharp, …okay, 6:10. Heather and Dave (yet another Dave) were there with road bikes for a short jaunt. The majority of the local road riding contingent were no doubt busy all weekend at the Killington Stage Race. Our moderate speed hill route went as follows:
Middlesex Notch (hike-a-bike required)
South Hill Road (that’s right David T, I’m invading your home turf!)
Herring Brook to Jones Brook
I had hiked up to Middlesex Notch a couple of times in the past and knew it to be a lonely Wildlife Management Area host to a VAST (snowmobile) trail and much abused by ATVs. Low down there is an area with a loads of blackberry bushes. The picking in the fall is endless. Higher in the notch there are some cool mossy outcrops. At the height of land is a modest sized beaver pond with a VAST arrow nailed to a stump in the middle of the pond. The beavers must have been at work more than usual, since the water was much higher than I had seen before, and our hike-a-bike began earlier than I expected. There isn’t any doubt about where to go: just head for the large mown lawn of an estate on the other side.
We quickly and quietly made our way across the lawn and down the driveway. From Perry Hill Road we explored double track to the top of Perry Hill and the back end and highpoint of the Perry Hill mountain bike trails. The 800′ drop on the main trail and yellow loop were slow and spastic for both of us. My singletrack skills are, ahem, limited. Brand new tight cleats and a road height saddle didn’t help much. Down low on the yellow loop I did find one short stretch through a red pine grove that flowed very nicely.
Once across the Winooski we climbed Cobb Hill, which begins as an ordinary dirt road and eventually turns into a Class 4+ granny gear climb. We paused at the Moretown Store for cold drinks: V8 juice for me. On our way up Moretown Mountain Road we took a side trip up South Hill Road, mostly so that partner/nemesis-in-crime David Tremblay couldn’t chide me for skipping hills. Past the top of Moretown Gap we turned onto the gooey and mosquitoey Herring Brook connector.
After the Jones Brook and Crosstown Road climbs, we bombed down Hill Street and rolled right to a packed Montpelier Farmers Market, where I talked bikes and croissants with Fleche teammate Randy George of Red Hen Baking.
5:30 moving time
6900′ elevation gain