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.