Friday, June 30, 2023

Weekend Ride Goals - The New Frontier

My husband and I have been making an effort to ride new roads and trails. It starts with creating a list. Ideas revolve around places, mainly: a brewery, a state park, or historical site. This insures that we get out of town to have new experiences.

While my husband was out of town for a month on grand adventures, I tucked my folding bike into our small car and went 30 miles north for - what I call - a triangle ride. I rode a section of the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, intersecting and continuing west on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, then back roads to the car, for a 30 mile route. I delighted in early spring flowers lining the trail portions, plus I visited 14th Star Brewing for a sampler and early dinner before heading home.

After returning from the Erie Canal ride, we explored the unique marine fossils at Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve on Isle Lamotte because Lake Champlain was once part of the inland sea. Many of the old buildings were constructed with the fossilized quarried blocks (above is on the Historical Society's foundation) and residents claim digging in their backyards reveal similar treasures. This is an eye-opening region with significant history. It was a lovely circular route, both inland and along the shoreline - first time I've lapped the island - and briefly stopped at Sainte Anne Shrine to fill water bottles then returned to Alburgh Dunes State Park where we parked our vehicle. We walked around briefly on the beach before deciding to stop for ice cream on the drive home.

A chilly, cloudy, and windy day, but we dressed for the weather to explore the dirt roads west of Waitsfield in central Vermont. Highlights included climbing/walking a steep road to gain the plateau region, smooth dirt, and stopping to investigate the old settlement of Waitsfield Common and it's ancient cemetery. I noticed that some gravestones were slate while others were the more ubiquitous marble markers. The Green Mountain vistas were sublime. We rounded out the afternoon relaxing around an outdoor firepit at Lawsons Finest Liquids, sampling beer.

By far, our most recent ride offered up surprises! Another triangular route, we rode on a newer section of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, then headed for the hills on challenging Dobbs and Duffy Hill dirt roads with sweeping farm scenery. I stopped to buy duck eggs from a roadside cooler and moments later a large black bear bolted across the road ahead of me! It was Father's Day, so thus my husbands route choice. He shouted, "That made my day!" Once back in Enosburg, we stopped at Enosburg Falls for a little exploration, then continued back to the car via another segment of the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Ditching the Mirror

For a while I've ridden without mirrors on any of my four bikes. It wasn't a conscious decision and evolved over time, with switching handlebars, updating controls, etc. I meant to reinstall mirrors but learned I hardly needed the rearview vision with my current style of riding: mostly upright bikes with better awareness, on bike paths, rail trails, and dirt roads. Funny thing is, I used to be an advocate of mirrors, but now I'm happier, avoiding contact with automobiles, thus the accessory became unnecessary. 

What has been your experience?