Golly gosh darn, it feels good to be writing for this blog again! That only means one thing: we’ve made it to the other side of the Pandemic and we’re on a bike tour!
For two years we’ve been hoping to visit Vermont. With its quiet roads, rural charm, and maple syrup flavored everything, the 14th state in the union seems to be a bicycle touring paradise.
For this trip we created a 350-mile loop that starts and ends in Burlington, the state’s capital. We borrowed heavily from Adventure Cycling’s Green Mountains Loop but strayed when possible to include the rumored smooth dirt roads for an even more peaceful experience.
We planned to take two weeks to ride the loop. That gives us some flex days in case the rain starts flowing or saddle sores start growing. With few long passes to climb, we expect the riding to be pretty easy. Although I’ve read that while short, the climbs can get very steep.
We arrived in Burlington late in the evening, so we dove into a hotel close to the airport. For $165 a night you’d think we’d splurged on some ritzy suite, but oh no you’d be mistaken. What we got was a motel-quality room with a continental breakfast that included doughnuts wrapped in single serve plastic and instant coffee. Our only guess why the hotel was over priced was that they do almost no business in the winter, which lasts half a year, so they have to charge a lot in the summer to survive.
The next day we took a cab into town to the local bike shop The Old Spokes Home to fetch our bikes that we sent to them via UPS. The friendly dudes there let us build the bikes in their basement workshop, a total treat since it was drizzling outside and hauling large bike boxes around in search of a park to build them in would be a pain.
After assembling the bikes, we headed out to find some lunch. Within one minute of leaving the bike shop, Carrie’s bike got a flat tire. Her wheels are set up tubeless, but the sealant was struggling to seal the tear in the tire, so I plugged it with a tire plug, said a prayer to the god of holding air and off we went.
After lunch, we searched for some ice cream. But not just any ice cream. We were searching for the local delicacy: the creamee. We found a shack near Lake Champlain that sold maple creamees. A maple creamee is soft serve ice cream flavored with, you guessed it, maple syrup. It was delish.
The rest of the day included taking a refreshing dip in the lake and then shopping for food. Overall, a nice first day of vacation.