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Rutland Vt to Killington Vt - US Rt 4 feedback?

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Rutland Vt to Killington Vt - US Rt 4 feedback?

Old 09-13-19, 08:34 AM
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Rutland Vt to Killington Vt - US Rt 4 feedback?

I know will be steep. Strava heat maps show it is ridden. Google maps and Strava will both route this for cyclists. Satellite view seems to indicate a decent shoulder. Iím trying to convince touring partners this is a reasonable route. We are all experienced. Anyone ridden this that can provide experienced feedback? Working on our final routing. Thanks.
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Old 09-13-19, 10:38 AM
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I live not far from Rutland and I have ridden the stretch. It depends on how good of shape you are in as to how steep it is, first off. You will see traffic, how much depends on time of day and time of year. My main question for you would be what main points are you trying to connect. Rte 103 south of town would have less traffic and the same climbing. If you are trying to make it between Rutland and White River Junction/Lebanon, the area around Woodstock can get quite heavily traveled. They did put rumble strips on that stretch of Rt 4 a few years back after several fatal car accidents. I believe they were center line rumble strips. Like I said a lot of what I would suggest would depend on what your two bigger end points are that you are trying to connect
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Old 09-13-19, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh
I live not far from Rutland and I have ridden the stretch. It depends on how good of shape you are in as to how steep it is, first off. You will see traffic, how much depends on time of day and time of year. My main question for you would be what main points are you trying to connect. Rte 103 south of town would have less traffic and the same climbing. If you are trying to make it between Rutland and White River Junction/Lebanon, the area around Woodstock can get quite heavily traveled. They did put rumble strips on that stretch of Rt 4 a few years back after several fatal car accidents. I believe they were center line rumble strips. Like I said a lot of what I would suggest would depend on what your two bigger end points are that you are trying to connect
We are currently scheduled to ride from Middlebury to W Lebanon 9/24. At 66, I am the youngest of the 4. We have been having concern about that dayís mileage and climbing and therefore considering riding to Killington from W Pawlet instead of to Middlebury and then from Killington into W Lebanon. Cuts some mileage and climbing but really have no particular idea of what the riding conditions are either way except that a relative (not mine) suggested we would be crazy riding Rt 4 (but donít all relatives think we are crazy just getting on a bike?). Any comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 09-13-19, 04:32 PM
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Ouch. You'll have the climbing or you'll have the traffic. At your age neither one is very good unless the 4 of you are well experienced and used to riding in heavy fast moving traffic. Around the Woodstock/Quechee area you will see a lot of traffic with small shoulder and the traffic is moving 50-55 mph. Some will move over for you and some think they own the road. At least that was my experience several years ago when I rode Rt 4. Like I said previously I know they were going to/did install rumble strips I believe on the center line to help both slow down the drivers and make them pay more attention to their driving. At your age I would question how comfortable you are riding in traffic. If you are well experienced and feel comfort in heavy traffic then it probably won't bother you any but otherwise you will find yourself not enjoying it at all.

As to the other side of the equation, Middlebury into W Lebanon, I haven't ridden that stretch but I can tell you from what I hear it has some of the nicest climbs you will find around Rt 100. Every year they have the 6-gap ride punishing the cyclists with riding the 6 gaps around the area. I think, MANY years ago I was in a car over Middlebury Gap, but it has been so darn long ago I cannot even begin to remember how bad the climb was. You will see climbing though getting from Rt 7 over to Lebanon, you can't avoid it. Rt 4 is milder climbing. Their is no real way to avoid the climbing, it all comes down to what do you want for traffic.
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Old 09-13-19, 04:56 PM
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look up the offcial Vermont biking map, it may be of some help. Its a nice map, mine is a bit old now, but let me know if you cant find it and I'll dig out mine.
I did Montreal to Boston maybe 6 years ago, cant recall if I did this stretch, need to look at a map.
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Old 09-13-19, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
look up the offcial Vermont biking map, it may be of some help. Its a nice map, mine is a bit old now, but let me know if you cant find it and I'll dig out mine.
I did Montreal to Boston maybe 6 years ago, cant recall if I did this stretch, need to look at a map.
Thanks, we have looked at that and the section from Rutland to Killington is not a suggested route but east of Killington on Rt 4 is. This is interesting in that eastern section looks worse from the satellite view but I guess thatís like calling balls and strikes from the left field bleachers.
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Old 09-13-19, 05:53 PM
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Rt 4 is likely the busiest route across the Green Mountains in this area of Vermont. It has a shoulder but will have traffic. Likewise Rt 4 from the Rt100 junction east to the Conn. River valley is very busy, with a narrow 2 lane road with shoulder for some of it. I’ve ridden from 100 east to Woodstock and hated riding that stretch.

If you’re going to be in W Pawlett, why go to Middlebury ?, that’s north only to head south to get to Rt4. I’d head east from Pawlett to Rt104, then Rt 103 to Ludlow, than 131 down to Rt 5 or cross to NH and north.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh
Ouch. Their is no real way to avoid the climbing, it all comes down to what do you want for traffic.
Thanks again. I expect we all can manage either way but are engaged in some last minute questioning/balancing between safety and overall enjoyment and Iíve got to figure out which reservation to cancel. Your input is helpful and much appreciated.
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Old 09-13-19, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
Rt 4 is likely the busiest route across the Green Mountains in this area of Vermont. It has a shoulder but will have traffic. Likewise Rt 4 from the Rt100 junction east to the Conn. River valley is very busy, with a narrow 2 lane road with shoulder for some of it. Iíve ridden from 100 east to Woodstock and hated riding that stretch.

If youíre going to be in W Pawlett, why go to Middlebury ?, thatís north only to head south to get to Rt4. Iíd head east from Pawlett to Rt104, then Rt 103 to Ludlow, than 131 down to Rt 5 or cross to NH and north.
Ha, seems I should have been asking questions a lot earlier. We are doing 1 week loop out of Hartford back to Hartford via 5 from Lebanon. Route somewhat random is the best explanation for Middlebury. Iím not seeing 104, do you mean 140? Looks like we could head north to Lebanon on 106 for variety assuming I can find the lodgings (motel to motel) at this late date. 106 is designated as bike route on the Vermont map. Iíve opened a can of worms! Thanks for your input.
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Old 09-13-19, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by L134
Thanks, we have looked at that and the section from Rutland to Killington is not a suggested route but east of Killington on Rt 4 is. This is interesting in that eastern section looks worse from the satellite view but I guess thatís like calling balls and strikes from the left field bleachers.
I see that you are perhaps changing route ideas, but looking at Google maps, I know we followed route 100 down from up east of Burlington, and I'm pretty certain we did that east part of 4 past Killington and then continued on the 100.
No recollection of it being bad at all. But I'm pretty used to traffic and stuff, but my memories are that all of this Vermont riding was fine.

Lots of really nice riding roads and scenery, although if you are doing this soon, obviously be aware of car leaf gawkers, so perhaps be a bit more alert for stuff.

Good luck for weather.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:31 PM
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Yes, typo, meant Rt 140

Maybe don’t open the can. Pretty much anywhere you go in VT. is going to be good. Middlebury is a really nice town so worth a stop, college town with restaurants, etc. So maybe just stick with what you’ve got planned. Note though that Rt 125 up Middlebury Gap is a steep SOB of a road, so the Rt 4 option is going to be easier.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
Yes, typo, meant Rt 140

Maybe donít open the can. Pretty much anywhere you go in VT. is going to be good. Middlebury is a really nice town so worth a stop, college town with restaurants, etc. So maybe just stick with what youíve got planned. Note though that Rt 125 up Middlebury Gap is a steep SOB of a road, so the Rt 4 option is going to be easier.
Re that route 125 being steep. I purposely didn't take route down from Burlington cuz I heard it would be busier, being the main drag, plus i knew the climbs east would be steep.
Went east from Burlington to Waterbury (a nice ride, went this way on my very first bike trip in 89 so fun to retrace) and then headed south on the 100.

A mention, Vermont drivers are generally very patient and polite with cyclists as a rule.
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Old 09-13-19, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by djb

Lots of really nice riding roads and scenery, although if you are doing this soon, obviously be aware of car leaf gawkers, so perhaps be a bit more alert for stuff.

Good luck for weather.
yes, yes, we planned to go a little early to avoid peak leaf peeping. Weather forecasts are looking pretty good. We shall see!
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Old 09-13-19, 08:59 PM
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Thanks to everyone! Encouraging the others to read thru all comments so we can make a more informed decision. I’m quite confident we will have a good time. Our bikes are trickling in to the bike shop for assembly. At least two of us have triples. I’m feeling for the other two on doubles.
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Old 09-13-19, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by L134
Thanks to everyone! Encouraging the others to read thru all comments so we can make a more informed decision. Iím quite confident we will have a good time. Our bikes are trickling in to the bike shop for assembly. At least two of us have triples. Iím feeling for the other two on doubles.
Carrying clothes, layers, rain gear, tools etc does add weight.
Yup, good ol triples, no matter what folks say, they work great and we gotta take care of our old geezer knees....
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Old 09-14-19, 09:36 AM
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Since I was being stupid and didn't look at the map, even when you was suggesting W Pawlett, I would have to agree on the Rt 140 to 103 to 131, just east of Ludlow, to NH-12 or is it 12A that goes north up to Lebanon from the west side of Claremont, heck I live 20 miles from there I should know better but when you add in letter designations to road names it always makes it hard to keep track of which is which. I say the NH side of the river because of better pavement. Rt 5 is an old carriage road which was widen to make is wide enough for cars so the road falls apart about where the passenger car tires normally roll on the pavement. The climb should be about the same as Rt 4, maybe a bit easier and you would definitely have less traffic to deal with. The two lane stretch between Rt 100 and Woodstock/Quechee can be unnerving if you don't like traffic on roads with narrow shoulders.
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Old 09-14-19, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh
Since I was being stupid and didn't look at the map, even when you was suggesting W Pawlett, I would have to agree on the Rt 140 to 103 to 131, just east of Ludlow, to NH-12 or is it 12A that goes north up to Lebanon from the west side of Claremont, heck I live 20 miles from there I should know better but when you add in letter designations to road names it always makes it hard to keep track of which is which. I say the NH side of the river because of better pavement. Rt 5 is an old carriage road which was widen to make is wide enough for cars so the road falls apart about where the passenger car tires normally roll on the pavement. The climb should be about the same as Rt 4, maybe a bit easier and you would definitely have less traffic to deal with. The two lane stretch between Rt 100 and Woodstock/Quechee can be unnerving if you don't like traffic on roads with narrow shoulders.
thanks again! Sharing with others to get their thoughts.
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Old 09-15-19, 08:12 AM
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If you look at U.S. 5 there is little to no shoulder in places. E.g., Putney area. And the last time I rode to Brattleboro via VT 30, US. 5 was extremely busy late afternoon on a Thursday. If your plan is to go through Greenfield, MA, don't take U.S. 5, where there is also a shoulderless section.

Take VT 142 from Brattleboro, which becomes MA 142 at the border. Right at the T onto MA 10 then the first left onto Turners Falls Rd., which becomes W. Gill Rd. Right at the T onto Main. Cross the bridge onto Avenue A and stay on that to Montague City Rd. That will take you to U.S. 5 at the Deerfield River. Make sure you detour off U.S. 5 and ride down Main/Old Main St. through Old Deerfield. There are historic house and a classic brick church. I attended Deerfield Academy in the 80s. Last summer I incorporated my 35th reunion into my tour from St. Albans, VT, to Philadelphia.

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Old 09-15-19, 03:17 PM
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my recollection of Battleboro is that riding from the center ish, arriving following a river I think, getting to the inexpensive motel, one of those motel 6 or something, there seemed to be quite a rough edge to the town. Just seemed that poverty and hardship wasnt that far away, at least in that part of town (which I realize every town and city has).
I might be wrong on my take on it, but thats my memory of Battleboro, probably formed by the heavily tattoed folks and such that I rode past that day.
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Old 09-16-19, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
my recollection of Battleboro is that riding from the center ish, arriving following a river I think, getting to the inexpensive motel, one of those motel 6 or something, there seemed to be quite a rough edge to the town. Just seemed that poverty and hardship wasnt that far away, at least in that part of town (which I realize every town and city has).
I might be wrong on my take on it, but thats my memory of Battleboro, probably formed by the heavily tattoed folks and such that I rode past that day.
Probably the Travel Lodge on Canal St./U.S. 5. There is a lot of drug addiction in the town. Saw it both times I rode through there. Greenfield, MA, which I mentioned above, supposedly has the highest rate of opioid addiction in the state. Saw evidence of that while I was up that way last year. And to think that just down the road is my old high school, which just built a new indoor hockey rink/athletic center for an estimated $82 million. Most of that money ($74 million, IIRC) came from one anonymous donor.
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Old 09-16-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Probably the Travel Lodge on Canal St./U.S. 5. There is a lot of drug addiction in the town. Saw it both times I rode through there. Greenfield, MA, which I mentioned above, supposedly has the highest rate of opioid addiction in the state. Saw evidence of that while I was up that way last year. And to think that just down the road is my old high school, which just built a new indoor hockey rink/athletic center for an estimated $82 million. Most of that money ($74 million, IIRC) came from one anonymous donor.
Yup, the Econolodge on Canal st, I remember because it was so handy that there was the large supermarket right behind it.
The whole opioid thing is a real drag, and Ive seen some other small towns in Vermont where there are always lots of young people looking kinda rough hanging around, and always makes me wonder how life must be in these small towns with very little work, and most likely lots of drug use.
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Old 09-16-19, 05:53 PM
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Based upon the various feedback here, we have come to an agreement to head from W Pawlet to Ludlow and then Ludlow up to Lebanon. Southbound we seem to be routed east of Deerfield but I will study the comments about 5 etc more carefully. They are much appreciated. It does seem there are at least on the fly options available that seemed somewhat lacking in our earlier plans. We start this Saturday! Thanks much to all.
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Old 09-16-19, 07:09 PM
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Safe travels.
When done, pop in and give your views of the roads you end up taking.
The weather here in Montreal is looking fairly nice and even warm on weekend, hope it stays reasonably nice for your time over here.
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Old 09-17-19, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
Yup, the Econolodge on Canal st, I remember because it was so handy that there was the large supermarket right behind it.
The whole opioid thing is a real drag, and Ive seen some other small towns in Vermont where there are always lots of young people looking kinda rough hanging around, and always makes me wonder how life must be in these small towns with very little work, and most likely lots of drug use.
I was just at that store again last year. Chose to camp at Fort Dummer State Park just outside of town. Not worth the stupid steep climb. And once you get to the park office and register there is another steep climb to get to the camping area.

A 2014 article focussed on the drug problem in Bennington, VT:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/u...n-scourge.html

When I camped in Burlington last year I had to keep my eye on a character prowling around camp and looking into vehicles. I kept my headlamp trained on him. That seemed to scare him off. The municipal campground abuts the Island Line Trail and is easily accessible by the public.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:17 PM
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Thanks indy for the article reference. I sure as heck don't have an answer, but man, so many lives are ruined by addiction, and the prolific availability of such incredibly potent drugs has surely played a part.
Economic downturns and social stuff are all tied in, but again,I sure as heck don't have an answer, just an awareness of the cost to society of so many messed up lives.
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