Sunday, July 3, 2011

5,958 vertical feet, 108 miles, 86 degrees, and 3 times up...

The Smugglers Triple, totaling 5,958 vertical feet over
105 miles of Vermont roads.
The plan for this weekend was to do as many miles as possible.  So far, that is exactly what I have done.  I took to the road today with the plan to at the very least ride the notch road (rt 108) twice, but the goal of riding multiple mountain roads.  With the sun beating down, I took route 15 all the way to Jeffersonville where I began the steady grind up the Smugglers Notch side of the mountain with plans to meet Andrew at the top.  I passed and met many other riders on the road who had ventured down to lovely Vermont from Canada, mostly Quebec where I was informed the riding was significantly flatter than the roads of Vermont.
The peak of the climb.
For those of you that have never been on the Notch Road, it is a beautiful trip.  The Smugglers Notch side is a steady grind up into the trees of Mt. Mainsfield.  Once in the trees, the road begins to switchback around the giant rock formations encasing both sides of the road.  The Stowe side of the Notch road is very similar, but a more gradual climb, with two walls of pavement towards the end.  The road also switchbacks around giant rock formations where hiking trails have been forged.  
The Smugglers side of the climb is small
compared to the mountains which
surround it.
I was strong enough to climb the notch three times, the last of which ended at a much slower pace than the previous two.  After the final climb up the Smugglers Notch side, we descended towards Stowe, but bypassed the village by going through Moscow and coming through Waterbury Center.  Once in Waterbury, we went separate ways.  I ventured back towards Burlington by way of Route 2 through Bolton and Richmond where I decided to take a quick spin up the first part of the Bolton access road.  After remembering I had already ridden the Notch road three times, I turned around and continued to Burlington where energy stayed high, and I stayed awake.

Overall, a good day for the legs, tan and fun.  I'm looking forward to tomorrows ride.  Hopefully the weather will hold out for all 70+ miles.

Arc hard, ride fast, go plaid!

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