I thought I'd drop by to share an adventure...
This past weekend I drove to South Burlington, Vermont to ride in the BikeMS Green Mountain Getaway. Way back in January I booked a campsite at the Mt. Philo campground. I chose it because they only had seven well-spaced sites, and the site I picked had a lean-to.
The lean-to turned out to be a most fortuitous choice, as the night before the event it rained steadily for the entire night, except of course, when it poured. The lean-to kept my tent dry, and gave me plenty of room to sit and read; staying dry without the confines of a tent.
The rain stopped early the next morning, just in time for the ride. The organizers were prepared, though, and had everything set up under tents.
Lining up for the start. With some very short pre-ride comments, and a truly most excellent singing of the Star Spangled Banner by one of the riders, they let us loose on the route.
Even though the rain had stopped, it was by no means certain it would stay stopped judging from the clouds.
The more we rolled along the route, the skies threatened less. We saw more of views like this as we rode south away from Burlington.
The route took us through Vergennes. I locked up the brakes to stop for a picture of the falls on Otter Creek.
The sun became stronger, burning off the clouds and evaporating all the rain off the ground to drive the humidity up. Thankfully the rest stops had ice and cold water. As the heat and humidity went up, the scenic views continued on a route that paralleled Lake Champlain.
The turnaround point was the Crown Point historical site just over this bridge on the New York side of the lake.
Crown Point’s history goes back at least to Samuel de Champlain’s explorations in 1609. A French fort was built here in the 1730’s and was blown up in 1759. The English built a larger fort here, and that blew up too. Luckily for me, nothing blew up while I was at the rest stop. In this picture you can see the ruins of the French fort.
I dragged myself away from all that history and rode back over the bridge, catching a view of a lighthouse dedicated to Samuel de Champlain.
The route then bent along the eastern shore of the lake. A light breeze off the lake made it a bit cooler.
Of course whenever a route leaves a lakeside, it means some climbing. The people who created the route found a gradual climb that kept the ride pleasant so it was still possible to look around...
The last rest stop was at mile 85. As I rolled in, some dark clouds gathered and rolled in behind me, almost in conspiracy it seemed. I filled my water bottles fast and gobbled down some food trying to beat the rain.
It didn’t work.
The rain started to patter down as soon as I left the rest stop. About a mile down the road the rain came down in torrents, winds blew the bike all around, and thunder rumbled overhead. It was like riding through globs of water with occasional little bits of air in between. Any sane person would have called for the SAG wagon and hopped a ride to the finish. You already guessed it –
I kept riding.
I couldn’t have been more wet if I’d been hit with two fire hoses. But the heat and humidity had broken and clouds hid the sun, making the ride much easier for me. Even though it was the last 15 miles because it was so much cooler I found I could pick up the pace.
And I crossed the finish line just about the same time the rain stopped…
Here’s the profile for the ride:
(Yeah, it’s a century that’s 105 miles long because I missed a turn during the deluge and had to double back).
I’ve been doing MS rides for some time. This was a smaller ride, and it created a feeling more like being a contributor to a cause instead of a nameless face in a horde. I enjoyed this event, too, because it was well organized, well staffed, with a scenic route on back country roads.
And it had waterfalls…