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Old 08-01-13, 08:09 AM   #1
valygrl
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Visiting VT Burlington, Montpelier - road ride suggestions?

Anyone have any suggestions for road riding in either the Burlington or Montpellier areas? I'll be there for a week in mid-September, visiting the in-laws. Never ridden there before. Planning to rent a road bike since I don't want to deal with transporting my bike.

30-80 miles, paved or mostly paved, hilly is good, being chased by dogs is bad.

If you have links to maps or have a group ride I could join, that would be awesome.

Thanks!
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Old 08-01-13, 10:24 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Anyone have any suggestions for road riding in either the Burlington or Montpellier areas? I'll be there for a week in mid-September, visiting the in-laws. Never ridden there before. Planning to rent a road bike since I don't want to deal with transporting my bike.

30-80 miles, paved or mostly paved, hilly is good, being chased by dogs is bad.

If you have links to maps or have a group ride I could join, that would be awesome.

Thanks!
One ride I think is worth it is from Burlington across to the islands of lake Champlain and heading up toward the Canadian border. The hills on the island are small and rolling but the scenery is pretty. My wife and I stayed at the Ransom Bay Inn in Alburgh, VT, just a few miles from the border -- about 40 miles from Burlington. It has a nice restaurant.

I don't know the Montpelier area at all, but there's some nice riding down toward Middlebury. Just avoid Rt. 7.

Also, if you're at all interested in bicycle history, you have to pay a visit to the Old Spokes Home in Burlington (N. Winooski Ave.) -- upstairs they have one of the best collections of old bikes anywhere.
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Old 08-02-13, 11:52 AM   #3
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Out of Burlington, I'd recommend riding up to Colchester along the Lake. Not very far, can probably get a good 30ish mile loop though, but incredibly scenic.

If you're in Montpelier, you should hit some of the gaps. I think you can take Route 12/12A south to pick up Route 100 and go from there. Alternatively, you can just drive down to Warren and start there. Hit Brandon, Middlebury, App Gap, etc. (Lincoln Gap if you're incredibly masochistic). http://www.northeastcycling.com/six_gaps.html
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Old 08-09-13, 09:18 AM   #4
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+1 on the Old Spokes Home, nice shop, nice people. Not a road ride but take a ride on the Island line trail, it goes out onto the lake. You can start in Burlington, and go north. It's an out and back because of a gap where a bridge used to be, but it's worth it once you get to the lake part. Spend some time in the Champlain islands, Grand Isle, North Hero and over to Isle La Mott(check out the old quary, lots of fossils on the surface)(there is a 13% grade to get off of the island, it's a great, but short, intesne climb). And also check out Alburg Dunes State Park. It's a nice beach.
Also go to the Gear Exchange on Church St. It's a general sports shop, but again nice people.
And, I hope this wasn't the norm, prepare to be brushed, a lot. The local drivers in those parts seemed to not be the friendliest to cyclists on the road. YMMV.
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Old 08-10-13, 04:04 PM   #5
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Go to www.localmotion.org, its an organization that advocates for human powered transport in the Burlington area. Navigate to the "find trails" section and you'll find mups, off road trails and road rides as well. They'll also provide links to rentals and maps etc. The Champlain Valley is nice whether you head north through the Islands or south down to Middlebury or so, it is relatively flat. There are buses that leave Burlington on a regular basis going to Montpelier or to Middlebury. They have bike racks, so if you wanted to take the bus the 35 miles or so to start your ride there's that option. Chittenden County Transit is the bus co., I know they have a website. I'm partial to the Middlebury area as I've lived or worked there for 20 years. 5 miles south of Middlebury along Rt. 125 is the entrance to the Green Mountain National Forest and the Middlebury Gap. Its a stunning ride if you don't mind the climb. There are dirt roads off of Rt. 125 that are worth exploring. Montpelier is a wonderful town as well, and some great rides in all directions. Good luck
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Old 08-10-13, 05:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm watching this thread.

The gaps sound like the sort of thing I'm looking for for a bigger day. Islands sound good for a shorter morning ride.

leob1 - brushed? yikes!!!
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Old 08-11-13, 01:45 PM   #7
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http://www.champlainbikeways.org/

They have typically easy and short bike trips around both sides of Lake Champlain as well as a 400ish mile loop around the lake... Might be good to check out..

Jay
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Old 08-22-13, 12:57 PM   #8
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My son and I did a nice 45 miler this summer called the Double-Ferry Ride. Starting in Burlington, we went south on Spear Street then cut over to the Charlotte ferry. 20 minute or so ferry ride over to NY then rode north to the Essex ferry. About a 1.5 hour ferry ride back to Burlington. Good hills on the NY side of the lake. We had to detour a little on the NY side due to road washouts. The route is listed here http://thegmbc.com/touring/Routes%20...rarchive.shtml along with many others.
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Old 08-23-13, 06:31 AM   #9
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If you can, try to ride Rochester Gap west to east. Just don't end up like this guy I saw half way up the climb:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/9577091222/

Then do Middleburry Gap, which will seem relatively easy until the last few miles. The west slope was repaved in 2010, so it might still be in good shape.

Rochester Gap (SR 73) is another nice climb. I went up the west slope crossing the country. It was the one climb on the entire trip I thought I would have to walk a portion of.

Didn't have any dog problems at all in a week of riding in 2010. Did have one nasty dog on Brandon Gap in '99, but he's probably dead by now.

Burlington is a nice town.
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