Monday, May 07, 2007

good one

was given the green light to ride home from a family visit in campton, nh on sunday. a beautiful sunny sunday morning with family interrupted by my gearing-up for a 100m trek across the spines of nh and vt. but, jenn was adamant about me going, gettin' my ride on. having her support is everything.

headed south on rt 3 down towards plymouth, nh. the route was about as direct as possible, always to the north/west, minus a cpl 4-5m southbound stretches, like the first 5m. as i turned to the north outside plymouth, a 20+mph headwind startled me into the realization that this may not be a pleasure romp through the hilly farms of northern new england!

the first 3hrs went uneventfully, legs fresh from a couple days off. the route i'd chosen through NH was on good, wide roads, aka, windy roads. was glad to cruise into Oxford, NH on the border of VT, knew the roads in vt would be narrower, slightly sketchier, but sheltered. Grabbed some water at a small store and was told of a massive fire across the bridge in Fairlee, possibly blocking my route:

a brisk wind had the thick black smoke and fiery soot blowing the opposite direction, turned off the camera to ride through it in concentration. it seemed like the entire town had assembled to watch the greedy blaze, some of them standing in the smoke, oblivious, awestruck, devastated, maybe all. within minutes the fire had doubled in size, forced into it by wind. i rode quickly through smoke thicker than the heaviest fog, 100yr-old beams snapping and cracking like kindling in a woodstove, ash mixing with the smoke, some of it ablaze.

doesn't look like a massive fire from a mile or two away, but i doubt there's much left of that building today:

followed rolling river valleys, crossing from one to the other on seated climbs. i knew the ridges would keep getting larger as i traveled west through vermont. soon enough, the fire was a memory. the legs felt good and i was mostly stoked, but also missing the family, wondering what in the hell i was doing out here, scenic pastures dotting the wooded hills, a strong sun nullifying the cool headwind, ample rivers and streams to keep one company. due to a late start, the fire, inner-doubts, wind, and a broken chain, was feeling behind schedule and didn't stop to take much rest (camera is good excuse to rest), pushed-on, racing a clock that didn't need to be raced, unsure of mileage w/o a bike computer. it wasn't until i saw the ski runs of Sugarbush and Mad River Glen from Route 64, with only the Northfield Range (Roxbury Gap) blocking my way that i relaxed.

nice thing about riding for 6 1/2hrs through the mtns, there's a always a nice spot to take a rest around the next bend, or maybe the next:

while worn-out today, am excited to get-out for a sun drenched hr or two. there's still great earn-your-turn skiing in the valley and all i've done is cycle the past 6-8wks! feeling a hike up mt ellen today after work, can't wait.


Post a Comment

<< Home