On September 9th, 2015 we began day three of our trip. Today’s goal was to ride the Mad River Valley from Rochester to Waitsfield. There are two different routes one can take from Pittsfield to reach the Sugarbush/Mad Valley Area. You could use the Rochester route or follow the official Vermont Bikepacker route through Moosalamoo. Since we had bikepacked Moosalamoo earlier this year we decided to visit our good friend Doon in Rochester. But either route you choose there’s a bit of gravel road between Rochester and Warren or between Ripton and Sugarbush.
We left our comfortable gypsy campground behind Green Mountain Bikes and hit the road for a first stretch of 25 km on gravel. I was ready to get this part over with and then was blown away by the beauty of the route. It was picture perfect Vermont!
We left the valley floor and Route 100 to climb Quarry road and were very impressed by the serpentine granite quarry at Vermont Verde Antique.
The back roads had breathtaking views and other cool surprises!
Mug shot: David
Mug shot: Ryan
Mug shot: JBP
Mug shot: Matt
We completed the dirt road part of that day at Blueberry Lake and met up with Isa who had scored some major quality brews: Heady, Sip of Sunshine and Super Session #2.
The first singletrack of the day was on the Blueberry network and we were lucky to be some of the first riders to hit the a new downhill trail with permission from our good friend Brooke Scatchard, trail builder extraordinaire and owner of Sinuosity.
Tonight’s crashing place would be in Waitsfield which created a bit of a unbalanced length between days three and four so we took the car up to the Sugarbush ski resort to be able to ride most of the Mad River Valley Rider’s trails that day.
We stopped in at the Warren Store for lunch totally in sync with a huge downpour. We felt overly blessed and a bit cocky about it too. The food was amazing and the general store quite comfortable with the bad weather outside.
At the base of Sugarbush we entered the trail network and rode the slippery roots of Eurich pond, Purgatory, Ridgie, Maple Misty, Enchanted Forest, Cyclone connector to Clinic. And then our weather luck went out with a vengeance. We descended clinic in the biggest downpour possible. It was so ridiculous that it became a very zen experience. We could not hear anything but the heavy sound of the rain as we bombed down Clinic at a ludicrous speed. We were in the zone and were totally comfortable with limited eyesight, very slippery roots and slick rocks and tasting our own watered down sweat. I will always remember that moment.
After climbing back up from Clinic on Busternut or GS (I am not sure) the rain stopped as we rode towards Cyclone.
After riding down Revolution for the first time after cyclone we got to the bottom ecstatic about our ride. As we cracked open our post ride Sip of Sunshine (ironic?) we met up with John Atkinson who helped us plan this route weeks before.
We then rode to the river to clean up a bit before getting more Sip of Sunshine (on tap this time) and great ribs at the Localfolk Smokehouse situated next to Stark Mountain Bike Works and right at the bottom of the Cyclone Trail. Feeling very blurry we left and strapped on our lights to ride to Wilder Farm Inn on a mix on busy road and quiet dirt roads. A good night’s sleep was going to be very welcomed.
Distance Ridden: 50 km/31 miles
Altitude Gain: 890 m/2900 feet
Lawson’s Finest Liquid: Sip of Sushine and Super Session #2
Big ups to John Atkinson and the Mad River Riders, Brooke and his trail crew for letting us cut up their fresh trail, The Localfolk BBQ joint, makers of Bourbon everywhere, the Warren Store, and Isa for shuttling us across the Valley!
FULL DIRECTORY OF POSTS FOR THE TRIP
Day 1 – Killington to Pittsfield
Day 2 – Pittsfield to Rochester
Day 3 – Rochester to the Mad River Valley
Day 4 – MRV to Waterbury
Day 5 – Waterbury to Stowe
Day 6 – Stowe to Hyde Park
Prelude – The Great Green Mountain Single Track Traverse