A couple of months after a super fun ride in the Montpelier area (Muddy Onion), it was time for Jean and I to head back up for another fun event, this time the Central Vermont Cycling Tour.
If you're a regular reader of this blog (and why wouldn't you be?), you may recall that Jean and I attempted this ride last summer. (READ MORE)
Rain of biblical proportions forced a cancelation for 2015, but the skies were clear for 2016!
And by clear, I mean clear with nary a cloud in the sky to obscure the giant blazing ball of gas radiating it's 5800K temp across 93 million miles. Yeah, it was hot, but more on that later...
>>>Link to Photo Gallery<<<
The event was a fundraiser for the Cross Vermont Trail Association, which is, as the name would imply working on the creation of multi-use trail across Vermont. I'm all for more trails!
We had three route options, 60 miles, 30 miles or 15 miles (59, 33.75 and 13.6 respectively). Jean and I had originally signed up for the 60, but opted for the 30. Call me a sissy if you will, but in retrospect, I'd probably still be out there if I had done the 60. Anyway, the 30M route promised just under 2000ft of climbing, but one of the other participants had said the previously his GPS had calculated about 3300 on this loop. Hmmmm.....
So I mentioned the temperature, and let's just say it was hot. I think it was 90F. In an effort to get the ride under way early, there was sort of a rolling start, and many people took off well before the scheduled start times. I only bring this up because I didn't get some of the mass start pics I was hoping for.
Jean started about an hour before me because I stuck around to get some shots and then hit the roads.
The route was beautiful, with all the great Vermont landscapes that you could hope for (green mountains and fields, red barns, etc). It was well marked and easy to follow. At about the half-way point there was a super long downhill, but all downhills come with an uphill, and in Vermont, they usually come with multiple uphills. I started to overheat and slowed down considerably in an effort not to cramp. I had pushed hard a few times to get in front of people for pictures, and that, coupled with carrying my stupid giant pack with a full-size DSLR was making me thankful that I had opted for the 30M. There were three great aid stations on the course tempting me with delicious treats but I always opted for fruit (those cookies and Nutella looked so good though...).
One of the things I really like about events like this is that they attract ALL types of riders. Some people were on high-end carbon cyclocross bikes and "gravel" bikes, while others were on stock mountain bikes from the early 80's.
If I had to make a critique, and if you know me, you know I do, it would be that I would expected a bit more for being a "fully supported" ride. The food stations were stocked with plenty of goods, but from my experience at the Muddy Onion, they had trucks cruising the course checking on people. I'm not sure what plans were in place if anyone needed help on the course. One of the bike patrol riders rode past me at one point without so much as a "hello," and he also ride past Jean while she was walking up a hill and didn't ask if she was doing okay. I'd think that a support person would check on a rider walking and shouldn't need to be flagged down. I also partially overheard a conversation between one of the bike patrol guys and someone else about a rider that may have bonked, but was probably okay. Maybe I'm just more geared to considering worst-case scenarios and plans for those based on my job.
That being said, we (at least Jean and I) made it to the finish safely albeit a bit hot and crusty. My Strava said we had done a bit more than 3300ft of climbing, which I love. Even when I'm on the verge of cramping and 100% convinced that my disc brakes are dragging (they weren't), I love climbing. I think we'll definitely going to have to do the 60M next year!
Enjoy some of the pics (photo gallery here) for now, but video will be coming soon!