Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lincoln Gap is open! Kinda.

The weather here has been incredible since last Wednesday - 70's, plenty of sun w/low relative humidity. Last night at dinner Jenn looks me over and says, "hey, you're tan!" since i've been sneaking-out during the day to ride instead of painting the house, i've been trying to hide my non-pasty whiteness. oh well, the non-painted house was a giveaway on my whereabouts anyway!

since my bike broke during the Inferno i couldn't do the planned century ride home to VT last Sunday, so instead have been getting as much time each day as possible w/o blowing-off responsibilities. right now that means 2-3 hours per day at mostly moderate tempos. On Tuesday, decided to hit-up one of my favorite rides up App and Lincoln Gaps. Lincoln is the ass-kicker of the Gaps, 20% grades, heart beating so loudly in your ears for the last pitches it seems that it's gonna blast out of your chest and lay beating on the warm pavement. I digress, once over App, turned onto Lincoln Rd which informed me "ROAD CLOSED TO WARREN." Hmmm... Road closed to cars, not to bikes, right!? Not sure what river runs along Lincoln Rd, but it is a beautiful ride, one of the nicest stretches on the East Coast, too bad it's only 4-5m long... Pass two more signs that tell me ROAD CLOSED TO WARREN and begin to get a bit nervous. my time is tight, i certainly don't have time to go all the way around on App or Middlebury Gap, it's Lincoln or nothing!

I turn onto Lincoln Gap and begin the climb. the dirt and gravel is soft, have to stay seated and avoid the sticks and such that haven't been cleaned-off the road yet... around every turn i look for snow, hoping not to see it... after the agonizing final pitches, i reach the top and as soon as I crest the South face, see the knee-deep snowpack on the North side of the Gap. Oh well, knew there was a reason for the closing. time is tight so i jump-off and begin to run the snow. it's fun at first until i get out of control and totally wipe-out on the steep descent, sliding for 50-100 ft, desperately holding onto the bike so i don't lose it over an embankment. within 5-10mins of scrambling, a ribbon of pavement is open on the side of the road w/a cpl snow patches to blast through. 10mins after that i'm back on Rt 100 in Warren, smiling from the screaming descent and stoked to probably be the first person to ride Lincoln Gap in 2008. but that's hard to say - there are a lot of bike freaks up this way!


At 4/24/2008 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work! Gotta get me some gaps soon.

the dirt ribbons have opened up in the valley and are drying out well. been spending time in motown workin on the skillz. summertime dry and raked out.


At 4/28/2008 9:38 PM, Blogger Thom P. said...

Wicked! Can't wait to ride them gaps.

At 4/29/2008 7:14 AM, Blogger rick is! said...

never rode the gaps when I was in school in vermont but I certainly do remember driving over them to go skiing. could get really sketchy with my rear wheel drive car after a good snow.


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