Day 14 of bike ride to Boston. Todays route was from Albany NY to Brattleboro VT. a total of 75 miles. Once again the weather was picture perfect. Clear skies, temperature in the low 70's and favorable wind. Couldn't ask for much more. The unique aspect of this ride is the amount of climbing involved. 5,000 plus feet. For a flatlander like me that is quite a bit. Climbing start virtually the minute I left the hotel. This was followed by hills that were quite doeable.... After mile 34 a 6.3 mile climb ensued. The good news is that the first 2 miles very steep. The bad news was the next 4 miles were STEEPER!!. And if anyone is wondering, I used every gear on my bike and wished I had more. An electric motor would have been nice or even some of Lance Amrstrong's drugs. But I digress. After a short stop at the top I was off again. The terrain was very hilly but nothing like the 6.3. At mile 57 another steep climb was waiting ending at the top of Hogback Mountain. From that point into Brattleboro it was very hilly but not like those we climbed earlies. As for the grade percent, it was as least 10% plus. Not sure exactly because I do not ride with a Garmin; much steeper than I'm used to. Now, about the downhills. In the past, I would have had no problem "deadheading" down the mountain. But being older and wiser, I actually used my brakes coming down. Even with the braking action, I hit 45 mph on one descent. Also, since I last rode this route, the road had deteriorated to the point of being very bumpy. Pot holes and semi's provided excitment on the descent. But all's well that end's well.
When I entered the city, I saw a bike shop and stopped to make some purchases. The clerk asked how I entered the town and I told her route 9. Her eyes bugged out and she stated "no way". That is one of the toughest rides in this area. It services the ski trails in the mountains around Bennington. YIkes!!
The best way to describe the terrain and scenery is though pictures. Mountains in the background and a stream on the right side of the road made this aspect of the ride very enjoyable; almost to the point of ignoring the screaming in my quads but not quite. Tomorrow is the last long ride of the trip from Brattleboro to Burlington MA. 90 miles. Friday I will be in Boston! Horray
Weary biker after a day of riding through the mountains of Vermont