I had mentioned in an earlier post that I had a bit of a break from cycling earlier this year, so I’m still in the process of ramping back up to my pre-break mileage. Today’s ride was exciting, since it’s my first ride over 30 miles since sometime late last fall. The ride goes north from Brattleboro, and will take me through the towns of Dummerston, Newfane and Brookline. You can see the full route on RidewithGPS. It’s sort of an out and back route, with several little loops embedded as part of the ride. It’s got over 2300 feet of elevation gain, so there’s some pretty good climbs and a couple of fairly exhilarating descents.
After exiting my neighborhood, the ride heads north on Upper Dummerston Rd. I like Upper Dummerston, which is good since I have to ride it every day. Despite the fact that there’s not much shoulder in most places, it’s a popular place for runners and walkers as well as cyclists. The speed limit is 35, and thankfully most of the local traffic keeps to that.
From there, the ride heads north on State Rt 30, running along the West River. Here’s a shot of the river taken from one of the bridges. We’re currently in a drought condition, so the water level is pretty low.
Continuing north, the route heads past the Dummerston Covered bridge. You’ve seen this in an earlier post, so here’s a slightly different view of it, peaking through the trees.
Continuing on north, the ride starts to head uphill, and I pass the now closed Maple Valley Ski Area, which is one of the many small family ski areas that have been driven out of business in Vermont. Maple Valley was open from 1963 to 1999. Competition from the bigger slopes, now mostly owned by big corporations, is often sited as the reason for the closures. Many of these ski areas had no snow making equipment, so the lack of consistency in our winter weather in recent years is another factor. Yet another affect of climate change.
Maple Valley was recently purchased by a new owner, and there are plans to reopen as a ski area, brewery and summer recreation area. Not much has happened as yet though, and I suspect COVID-19 could make it all the more difficult.
Continuing on, the next stop is Newfane. In a previous post, I had shown you some of the oldest buildings in Newfane. Here are two of the newest.
I stopped for a snack break at the picnic tables behind the church, adjacent to the gardens of the Four Columns Inn.
The ride continues north on Rt 30 for another mile or so before jumping on to some back roads that go through the tiny community of Brookline.
After looping through Brookline, the ride heads back south on River Road. There’s many places along the river to stop to cool off. In fact, that gives me a great idea for another post. I’ll have to put together a ride showing all the popular swimming holes in the area.
When I was putting this post together in my head, I was thinking that it wasn’t going to fit into this month’s challenge, but then I looked again at the following picture and realized I had taken one very similar in the past.
From here, the ride continues south on River Rd for a few more miles before finally merging back with Rt 30 for the ride home.
All in all, a nice Friday morning ride. It’s great to finally get out on some longer excursions. Fingers crossed that things will open up enough this summer to actually get out on an overnight.