Sunday, July 2, 2023

Central Vermont Cycling Tour

Ah, the good old CVCT. This was one of the earliest gravel rides Jean and I did, back in 2016. We had actually signed up in 2015, but the weather was so torrentially bad, it was cancelled. Anyway, fast forward through a pandemic and other stuff, seven years later, and we're back.

It was a great weekend of camping with our friends Liz and Dan at one of our favorite campgrounds, Lazy Lions in Graniteville, VT.  Clean, quiet, and nearby trails to walk the mutts, what more could we ask for?

Jean and I got to Vermont on Thursday evening and had Friday to chill. And by chill, I mean go on a nice little leg stretcher of a gravel ride around Montpelier. Most of the 1000ft of climbing was in the first couple of miles, but by this point, Jean just knows to expect it. Liz and Dan arrived later that evening and it was time for the festivities to begin with a campfire and adult beverages. This was our only chance for a campfire because rain was heading in.

And the rain stuck around just about all of Saturday, sometimes heavy, sometimes just a drizzle. It made for a relaxing day to lounge about Montpelier and bolster the local economy a bit, including a stop at Onion River Outdoors to stock up on snacks and fenders.

When it comes to bike events, I really do enjoy the pageantry of it all--the sign-in table, the volunteers, the numbers, the start line, the pre-ride meeting--all of it. So the fact that the CVCT has a "start whenever you want," policy was bummer for me. That being said, it was quite fortuitous because we had an *incident* on Sunday morning that would have otherwise made us miss the start. Jean and I got locked out of our travel trailer. We considered several options to *break in,* but ultimately decided to call a mobile locksmith to get us back in. GW Locksmiths had us in the trailer about 30 min after we called them, so, thanks!

We got ready as quickly as we could and rolled in to Morse Farm at the end of the event's rolling start window. I don't think it was strictly enforced per se, but we didn't want to be *those people.*

Anyway, the weather was perfect, and not a bit of mud despite all the rain the previous day. Liz and Jean rolled out first, and then Dan and I started, he and I opting for the 33 mile loop.

The course was typical Vermont gravel; scenic, bucolic, gravelly, and hilly. 

Two hills stood out, one at about mile 18 and the other at about mile 27. Both were a couple of miles long, and both had some super steep sections. I may not be fast, but I do love to climb. Dan had swapped out his front chainring from a 42t to a 38t and I think he was happy with that decision, perhaps as happy as being able to eat two Creemees at the end of the ride!

All in all, it was another great day on the bike. None of us had any mechanical issues, no one got lost (thanks to great signage), the aid stations were well stocked, and I even ran into a buddy along the ride (who ended up having his own "locked out," problem).

Looking forward to more riding and camping in Vermont!

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