Sunday, May 24, 2009

70+ miles, tour de nostalgia in VT

So what was supposed to be a sunny wonderful day turned out to be a gray drizzly day, with some detours and ended with a flattened tire - but in the grand scheme of things - it was a wonderful ride.

Left my mom's house a little before 8 AM, and headed out winding my way from Rutland VT towards Castleton. Due to construction, went up and over the Hubbardton Battlefield Rd. Hubbardton Battlefiled marks the location where a Revolutionary war battle took place in 1777 - in fact, the only Revolutionary War battle that took place entirely in VT. As opposed to those that spanned the borders? Sorry - apparently not quite up on my VT history here? Although I suppose with Ticonderoga (VT/ NY border) and the historical forts there....there were some that did span the borders - that and the Grren Mountain Boys - I suspect there were some that di in fact cross borders.

Needless to say - this battle took place near the top of quite a hill....which I got to ride up and then back down again. The back down part was interesting, given the rain and less than ideal road conditions. Harsh winters, hell, moderate winters in VT take their toll on roads. I was dodging potholes, creases, frost heaves, etc....while I was torturing my rear brakes....which will now - without question - need to be replaced before Tahoe.

25 miles in - I stop and call Sheila - text her where I am and how it's going....bumpy and wet.

The on to Hubbardton Rd, for about 10 miles....past the house I lived in with my family from 6 until after college....past the roads I used to run on - cause limited amounts of trouble 22A - a state highway known for truck traffic(i.e tractor trailers). Stop at the "Beaver Store"...a general store at the intersection of Route 144 and 22A - Called the Beaver store, due to a giant wooden silouhette of a Beaver....out front. Clean the tires off a bit, reload with some fuel (clif bar and gel) and hit the 9 miles down 22A.

It wasn't all that bad...besides the mess all over me from the wet roads and the spray from the trucks blowing me all over the shoulder.

Get to FairHaven - the town I went to HS in - and swung by the HS, past my old football coach's house....and back out onto the road....

Swung by Andrea's house to see if they were there...but apparently the parade the kids were in - went off despite the rain....So I coninued on in hopes of finding them at the parade.

Went past Castleton State College, where Laurie and Andrea went to college, past the house they lived in...then turned around to try and catch up with them where the ceremony was supposed to finish....So I swing up to the cemetary where it was wrapping up....the FHUHS band played some indiscernible song....I was a bit confused...but it was not quite up to par...having been in band for years, I do have some knowledge about music...oh well...

I got to catch up with Andrea, Nicholas and Andrew and Mallory afterwards...50 miles in at this point.

Jump back on the messy, dirty, grubby bike - rider was a bit grubby at that point round out the ride.

Headed back towards my mom's house in Rutland - but of course, I forgot exactly where my route was suposed to take I made it up from that point on. Up the hill past the country club - until I got to the point where, you know - time to figure out where I need to go to get a quick right , another right and back towards Rutland.

Make it back with about a mile to go - and I notice my front tire seems a bit I lean forward and press down on the hooks....front tire goes almost flat....ooops - looks like I picked something up that has flattened my tire - it still has air in it - so I press on carefully.

I make it back - front tire just about done for...I'm soaked, dirty, tired, but psyched. 72 miles by myself....over a course that when growing up seemed like a long drive in a car...I survived, and just need to change and replace one tube and one tire.

Good day - got to travel from my mom's home, to the home we spent a dozen+ years in - and flew by my elementary school, high school ....saw my niece and nephews (Andrea's kids) post parade....and consumed a ton of calories...and felt great the entire way.

Sunday - got up and got a 5 mile run in, 1 with Maggie - because she was looking for a run and some exercise....

I got to spend some really good time with my family - we missed Sheila - but she was having an awesome time in South Africa. I look forward to wrapping up this tour tomorrow, driving 9 + hours from Scranton PA to HOME>>>>

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