Unless you frequent Vermont or have studied its’ geography, you may be surprised to find out that VT has islands. These islands are a beautiful getaway and an awesome bike ride with the Champlain bikeway running straight through it.
On Saturday morning after a lovely evening at a work event / fashion show I woke up early enough for a little recovery time before hitting the road. Unfortunately, the beautiful sunny day I had imagined turned out to be 40 degrees with significantly colder wind chill. I loaded up the layers and including arm and leg Warmers and headed to Leddy Park to meet Alicia, a rider on the southern route. We intended to ride up to St Albans for the VT Maple Festivl to meet her parents, enjoy a lovely dinner and then hitch a ride back to Burlington with them.
We took off and cruised through the cold on the bikeway and popped out just as we hit Milton. The signs were unclear so we simply followed the bike signs and off towards the islands we went. We stopped at an unopened park for lunch, hopping the fence to catch the beautiful view of the water before realizing the horrid wind chill and relocating behind a shed. The ride over e causeway froze us nearly to the bones and we spent the next 15 miles searching for hot chocolate before we can across the first gas station… Slash post office… Slash country store… Slash marina.
After a bit of recovery and warmth we headed off without thought to reach our destination. Pavement soon turned into beautiful hard packed dirt and un-paved farm roads lined with animals. I moo-ed at the cows, per usual, and they stared back at me like I was an idiot. At about 40 miles we pulled over for a snack break and took a look at our map to see how far we were.
Turns out we made a wrong turn about 20 miles back and we had two options at this point. You see, there are only two ways to get on and off of the islands in VT… The place where we had miss-turned and 30 miles ahead toward Swanton, where we were headed. We had taken the scenic route, by accident. We looked left. We looked right. We looked left again. Both ways meant another 30+ miles of riding so we took the path less traveled and kept heading North.
For an accidental 70 mile ride, it was an amazing ride and at the end Alicia’s parents fed us like kings. I felt fairly tired when I got home but I pony-ed up and headed out with friends that night and danced the night away. The good news is, I think I’m ready. I wasn’t extremely sore, and it wasn’t extremely painful. I could have done it again the next day if I wanted to, of course I slept until 12 iinstead.