Monday, February 20, 2017

Colchester Streets Challenge - The Beginning

Like two years ago where I completed Burlington's Streets, my challenge in 2017 is to pedal all of neighboring Colchester's public roads. I contemplated cycling South Burlington roads last year, but my heart wasn't in leaving Lake Champlain for trips inland. Most of my weekend rides begin from our family's lakefront camp, so it made sense to add Colchester to the list. Colchester is easily accessed by bike path - a northern continuation of Burlington's waterfront trail - plus Colchester has it's own growing network of trails. Because of it's sprawling land mass (58 square miles, 1/3 water views) I can also set off from home to get to the southern portion of the city.

My husband claims it will be a more daunting challenge without streets in close proximity, but I see the opposite. I see an opportunity to ride to one neighborhood and complete all streets in one trip, whereas Burlington's grid pattern meant I retraced my route numerous times to insure I completed every single street. Whether or not Colchester has more street miles than Burlington is unconfirmed, but I don't have a problem with the miles either way, and neither do I feel the urge to compare the two regions.

Colchester has long suffered from an identity problem. There is no core, but instead there are districts: Mallett's Bay, Airport Park, Porter's Point, Mallet's Bay Avenue, Kellogg/Severance/Blakely Road, Route 2A and 7, and a small northern hamlet that feels more like Milton than Colchester.  In the upper northeast quadrant of the map, there's a segment of Brigham Hill Road I may need to access from my mom's home in Essex to fulfill my quest.

I printed a Colchester street map from the city's website in 8.5 x 11" sections so I can easily read street names, plus I will only need to tote a few sheets at a time on my bike. I'm less inclined to document every street name like I did two years ago. I see this year's challenge as a looser arrangement, perhaps only highlighting each street finished on the map. For me, the framework is more about riding on roads I haven't been on in a long time and discovering new neighborhoods. The task itself should motivate me to see what's around the corner!


  1. What a great challenge. Do you ride the whole length of every road, or is the goal just to ride at least part of each one?

    1. The goal is to ride every mile or the whole length of each road, just as I did in Burlington. It takes some planning, and of course requires doubling back on dead end roads. I will get lots of miles beneath my wheels!

    2. Wow! That's a great challenge.


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.