A Weekend In Vermont

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Destinations, Food, General Musings, Photos, Travel

I just got home from another awesome weekend of riding. For the past few years my buddy Ashwin and I have been going on a weekend get-a-way or two on the bikes. This year, as time seemed to be slipping away from us, he was able to pull together a trip. I would like to say joining us were his friends Jim, Craig, and Scott, but truthfully, I was joining them as this was a riding group he had been apart of for a while.

We met on Saturday morning, August 18, 2012, at the Chelsea Royal Diner in Brattleboro, VT. Ashwin and Scott were the first to arrive, followed by me and hour later, and Craig and Jim an hour or so after that. I didn’t realize it I arrived, but the Chelsea Royal has a reputation for being one of the best breakfasts in Vermont. And of course, I ordered a cheeseburger.

One of my favorite Far Side comics.

After grabbing a bite to eat, we were on our way. Up RT 9 to RT 100, where we followed it all the way to 17. And yes, it’s the same stretch of 17 from my previous weekend trip with Melisa, Todd, and Kim. We were supposed to stay at the Hyde Away Inn, but when we arrived we learned it was hit with an electrical fire the night before, and therefore was closed. That explained the eerie feeling we all had pulling into a completely empty parking lot. Ater a few phone calls we were able to find a great deal on two rooms at the Mad River Barn. The barn was fairly empty, we had minimal wifi access, and the “lounge” upstairs had a TV, DVD player, and luckily, a copy of Family Guy’s Something, Something, Something Dark Side. Fortunately, we liked it enough to watch it 5 times in the following two days. Betsy Pratt is the 84 year old owner of the Mad River Barn, the former owner of Mad River Glen, and she’s a remarkable woman! (Google her and you will find out, or just click here: New York Times article on Betsy Pratt) We ate dinner at Localfolk Smokehouse… good food, good beer selection!

Saturday proved to be one of the hardest days of riding I have ever done. It wasn’t because of total mileage (we clocked 200 on the day), and it wasn’t because of weather. I was riding with one other Harley, 2 Triumphs, a BMW, and a Hyabusa. And their riders were skilled, two with race track experience. I know, ride at your own pace and don’t try to follow the crowds. And that’s what I did. Although I did use it as an opportunity to push the envelope of my own riding, as well as to practice basic skills like looking through turns, that I otherwise have lost or gotten lazy with over the years. On our way through Rutland there was a large 100 on 100 road race taking place. I didn’t participate, but I was the world’s biggest cheerleader. Riding through the town on my bike, sending air high fives, and cheering people on. I have been on the running end of a grueling, monstrous, extremely long marathon road race – it was a 5K! Anyway, I know the little cheering helps you keep it going, so that’s the encouragement I was trying to provide.

Sunday (August 19, 2012) was an easier day of riding. We didn’t slow up, but I was back to riding smart rather than lazy. We ate lunch at the Pro Pig in Waterbury, and I washed it down with a Hill Farmstead Abner and a Heady Topper from The Alchemist. My riding limit for beers is definitely lower than these two! As for the miles themselves, Routes 12A and 73 were the highlights of the day; and I even conquered 17 again. And again. And then again at night. Around dusk I took off from the barn to take a few pics with my bike. I brought myself to the top of the mountain again where I witnessed an amazing sunset over the Mad RIver Valley. I was also blessed to chat it up with a newly retired couple who relocated to VT to spend their retirement days.

Monday was a relatively easy day… we packed things up, ate some breakfast (“Did you know there’s a salmonella outbreak in Tennessee?” Betsy asked this question after we had a mouthful of the melon!) It was the ride home. We took one more rip up 17 to the top, then back down, snaked 100 into Ludlow, ate lunch at Tacos Tacos, and then I followed 103 to 91S, nearly ran out of gas, and made my way home.

Total length of the weekend trip: 566.2 miles.

Here are some pics of the weekend…

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Ride hard, ride safe, and enjoy every mile.

  1. […] on RT 1) would become the brunt of many jokes that weekend. But fast forward a few weeks. On my weekend trip to Vermont, The Beach Plum came up again in conversation; this time from Jeremy, a resident of the area. He […]

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