Loop through Plymouth Vermont

This past Saturday I awoke to a sunny sky, light wind and a meeting time of 6:00am. My friend and fellow Ripton bike commuter Jeff was riding down to Springfield, VT. to meet his traveling brother and asked if anyone was interested in riding along for some of the way. It was easy for me to say yes and and as a bonus, our friend Noah was going to ride as well. Noah, Jeff and I have been planning a good ride together for years, but have never been able to make it happen.

After rendezvousing in my driveway, we started off with a climb up and over Rt. 125 and a quick trip down Rt. 100 for breakfast at the Rochester Cafe and Country Store.

I highly recommend The Rochester breakfast, it’s a lot of fuel for a big ride.

With stomachs full and a light tail wind we make great time down Rt. 100 and took River Road, the short dirt cutoff, to Rt. 4.

The plan was for Noah and I to ride south to Rt. 100A and make a loop back to Ripton, while Jeff continued on to Springfield. Noah had a return time of around 1:30pm and the riding was flat, so this didn’t seem like a problem.

We hit the country store that has been closed since Hurricane Irene, just before the 100A intersection, around 10:15am and bid Jeff a bon voyage. This is where the riding changed. Turning onto Rt. 100A the first big climb appears. I’ll admit, I tend to look at directions on a map and ignore the contour lines. It adds a bit of spice to my rides. I also missed the point on the map referring to Plymouth Notch about 1 mile up Rt. 100A, so this climb was a surprise. The grade was pretty consistent, the views were great and there was no traffic, a perfect road. We rode past “Silent” Calvin Coolidge State Park and many well kept country homes. The decent was gradual down to Rt. 4 where we turned east and picked up North Bridgewater Rd. to take us to Rt. 12.

North Bridgewater Rd. is another perfect Vermont cycling road. No traffic, great views, smooth dirt and another steep climb with many false summits. Some people pay money to ride roads like this.

At this point we realized time was getting away from us (shocking) and we decided to take more direct route home. After a fast and smooth dirt decent we intersected Rt. 12 and took that north to Rt. 107.

From there we rode Rt. 107 to Rt. 100 and traced our steps over East Middlebury Gap (past a large bull moose near the top of the gap) back to my house.

Until I can find a better online mapping site (suggestions welcome), Google Maps will need to suffice. Great company, 107 miles and a bit of climbing makes for a great ride.

What was in the handlebar bag?

Bar Bag

Inspired by a post Dave Cain made last month on his blog Yurtville, I thought I would give a rundown of what was in my handlebar bag for the Lake Champlain 300K brevet pre-ride. This serves as a future packing list for me and possibly information for others. The bag is a rather large Velo Orange Grand Cru and inside I found…..

Main Bag:

  • My tool and repair kit – to be outlined in a future post
  • 2 spare inner tubes – 650b tubes are not stocked at most shops
  • Reflective sash
  • Princeton Tech EOS Bike light
  • First aid kit – Band Aids, some ibuprofen, duct tape, large bandages and gauze
  • Ziplock bag with sunscreen, “emergency rations” (snacks), T.P. and spare batteries
  • Large Ziplock bag for “to go food” – chicken nuggets, pizza or other greasy food
  • Rain pants wrapped with a reflective leg strap
  • Rain jacket
  • Ibex Shak full zip long sleeve jersey
  • Cue sheet and a map of the route – stored in the top flap map pouch

Front Pocket:

  • Waterproof saddle cover – I try to take really good care of my Brooks saddle
  • 2 plastic grocery bags – many uses from vapor barriers to rain covers

Handlebar BagSide Pockets:

  • Ziplock bag with drivers license, debit card, cash, pen (and brevet card if needed)
  • 2 pairs of Nitrile gloves – for mechanical or medical repairs
  • Snow Peak titanium spork – for digging into rock hard ice cream
  • Leatherman Skeletool

Back Pockets:

  • iPhone 4
  • Chain lube – a quiet bike is a happy bike
  • Halt dog repellant


The total weight for all of this is……..  I don’t want to know.