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Brattleboro, VT / Hinsdale, NH river loop?

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Brattleboro, VT / Hinsdale, NH river loop?

Old 02-21-21, 11:22 AM
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UniChris
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Brattleboro, VT / Hinsdale, NH river loop?

Anyone ridden through Brattleboro, VT and Hinsdale, NH along the Connecticut river?

I found a route recommendation that does so to make a satisfying loop, but then got to wondering about what my comfort level with the road width and traffic would be, especially the New Hampshire parts on 119 and 63, which looked to have some sections with confining guardrails.



I do a lot of road riding now vs doing all but none a few years back, but comfort is such a situational thing - some roads are fine with little traffic, others have shoulder width to feel decent with cars zipping right by. Was on something the other day that in my memory was fine, but was a bit alarmed in a few instances when cars would pull way out to pass on blind curves rather than waiting 50 yards until there was a sight line - more obviously a danger to them than to me, though people on sidewalks have been hit by the aftermath of vehicle collisions.

Basically just curious if anyone's ridden a loop of the VT and NH sides, and if the conclusion was "great" or "mixed" though wouldn't actually be trying it until things warm up and the travel situation moderates some.

Last edited by UniChris; 02-21-21 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 02-21-21, 01:28 PM
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I was a Police Officer in Hinsdale for a few years. 63 had little to no shoulder and light traffic. 119 from Hinsdale to Brattleboro will be busy, but it has a full shoulder once you are out of town.

I would take the ride, very scenic.
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Old 02-21-21, 01:37 PM
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For many years the West Hill Shop in Putney ran The Tour of the Valleys road race. We raced south from Putney into Brattleboro, around the common then slung out Northwest along 30. Finish was in Putney on a 1km steep climb.

Search for Putney Tour of the Valleys and I am sure you'll find route maps, etc.
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Old 02-21-21, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Hit Factor View Post
I was a Police Officer in Hinsdale for a few years. 63 had little to no shoulder and light traffic. 119 from Hinsdale to Brattleboro will be busy, but it has a full shoulder once you are out of town..
Thanks!

Looking again at 119 where I was worried, I'm not seeing a fog line to mark a shoulder, but when I really look at it, especially when there's a car posed on it, it seems like maybe the width is there. Kind of wonder if maybe google's streetview car went through between re-paving and finishing all the painting - the yellow line is there, but little else.
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Old 02-22-21, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Thanks!

Looking again at 119 where I was worried, I'm not seeing a fog line to mark a shoulder, but when I really look at it, especially when there's a car posed on it, it seems like maybe the width is there. Kind of wonder if maybe google's streetview car went through between re-paving and finishing all the painting - the yellow line is there, but little else.
I just looked at google maps (not streetview) to refresh my memory. From Town to Thicket Hill doesn't have much shoulder on 119. It looked like there was a fog line all the way to Brattleboro. I think the busiest portion of road will be between Walmart and Brattleboro, and that's where there is a full shoulder.
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Old 02-22-21, 05:52 AM
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Iíve ridden 142 from Brattleboro to MA 10 twice. The last time (2018) was definitely on a weekday morning (Friday). I think the first time was also on a weekday morning. What little traffic there was was heading towards Brattleboro. Just donít expect constant views of the river.

Brattleboro itself was choked with traffic when I arrived late afternoon in 2018. (Rode all the way from Dorset that day.) The Econo Lodge in town is a good value and close to food sources, but itís up a steep hill from the center of town. (Stayed there in 2016.) Wouldnít bother camping at the state park unless you will have a car. Itís a stupid steep climb to the office and then more climbing to get to the camping area, which is nothing special.

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Old 02-22-21, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The Econo Lodge in town is a good value and close to food sources but it’s up a steep hill from the center of town. (Stayed there in 2016.)
Almost sounds like how my legs payed for the "I'll go for the cheaper option" in Easton, PA which ended up being not only way uphill, but into car-centric territory. Bet this is nicer though. Looks like routing via South Main Street would have most of the climb condensed to one short stretch early on, which makes hiking the hill then riding the rest of the way an option at the end of a long day.

Though I'd actually been thinking of it more as a dawn to dusk day trip, passing directly through - hoping to take advantage of some coming warmer weather for an abbreviated version back through Greenfield/Turners Falls of the sort I haven't done since November, and then would probably do one more via Rt 10 in in Northfield before going for the full loop. Almost tempted to drive to Northfield and try just the northern part, but that feels like cheating.

An alternate approach I've considered might have it part of a five day series of 50 mile credit card days through New England - three days south, doubling back through home then two north: I can do an imperial in one day with recovery, have done back to back metrics, not sure if I can keep up 50 for a week but interested to find out.

Or maybe I'll do both. More fluffy white stuff today, but temperatures are warming so if the roads are clear riding is starting to work again.

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Old 02-23-21, 05:06 AM
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If youíre in Greenfield and have never been to Old Deerfield itís worth the visit. Spent my high school years there. My 2018 tour started in St. Albans, VT and incorporated a weekend stop at my 35th reunion before I continued on home to Philly.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
If youíre in Greenfield and have never been to Old Deerfield itís worth the visit.
Within range of, not in. I've ridden larger loops around the center of Deerfield but never passed through; the VT/NH ride route I stated with went in and back out the same way for a supply stop in its organized version but I pruned that to simplify, maybe should try it on one of the buildup rides. I do note the "Historic Deerfield" attraction is currently marked "temporarily closed".
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Old 02-24-21, 08:34 PM
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Took advantage of the warm weather to get in a warmup ride through Greenfield today, or about half of what this one would total; going to be a process of building back up of course. Nice and warm but still snow on the ground almost everywhere except the road surface.

Very stiff headwind riding south again along the Connecticut river; going to have to keep the possibility of that in mind. Also the meadows through Montague could be really brutal in the full sun; have to remember that at least the lower portion of this makes sense as a spring or fall route, not a summer one.
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Old 03-03-21, 06:42 PM
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I guess it had to happen sooner or later; today it did: the phone call of shame.

Set out much later than planned once finally sure there'd be no more need of indoor plumbing. Rolled up through Greenfield as before and pressed on despite the hour. Came to terms with the idea the VT line wasn't in the cards, and gave up in the southern reaches of Bernardston just short of the route 10 horizontal to cut west... only to discover that the "shortest route home" was bit of unintended D2DR action. At least the dirt road didn't have snow and I got back on pavement before long, but once accepting that I was going to have to call decided it would be polite to do it earlier rather than later. A bit of miss-coordination as I continued rolling to stay warm, but finally linked up at the train station in Greenfield.

Not sure what's next... despite looking fairly flat, that's a rear-kicking course in practice. Thinking maybe I need to come up with a hybrid route, up to Greenfiend/Turners then round out the distance with a broad loop south of home. But it's cold until mid next week, so time to think.
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Old 03-04-21, 06:15 AM
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No shame in calling for a ride. I applaud your zealous spirit.

The cold weather has limited my rides to 8-20 miles. Next week the forecast hits the 50s. But I'm not sure there is enough light left after work.
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Old 03-04-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Hit Factor View Post
Next week the forecast hits the 50s. But I'm not sure there is enough light left after work.
You're reminding me how lucky I've been to have the flexibility to take time when the weather is nice.

Conversely though, I didn't really want to ride (at least not far) yesterday, it was just somewhat compelled by being the one decent day in a week that was turning out a few degree colder than originally predicted. And since it would be the only ride of the week, I wanted it to have new progress in getting back into shape for good riding weather.

Will have to think about maybe doing a couple more moderate rides next week rather than a long one.

It's no so much the shame of the phone call, as in not wanting to make a habit of depending on it.
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