Saturday, July 30, 2011

Brendan: master of route 5

Once again, I was in Vermont. I rode around, finding exciting woods roads on top of mountain, ancient settler roads (and a nice man named Wayne, who told me about old families and roads) and hidden ponds. I like doing those things.

However, I'm setting off for foreign lands tomorrow and we only brought one car to Vermont. Johanna wanted to stay until the end of her vacation. So, I rode my bike home. The first leg was Glover to Brattleboro and the second leg was Brattleboro to Hartford. It's about 240 miles, but I made a wrong turn in Northampton on the bike path so it was 250. The first leg was 153 miles, which took me about 10 1/2 hours (all told, I started at 8:30 on Thursday and got home at 3:30 on Friday (I took a nice long sleep in between days)). With the exception of VT rt 122 at the beginning, it was spent on rt. 5. I'm sure there are more elaborate and exciting routes, but rt. 5 is actually quite pretty and quiet with the exception of White River Junction and St. Johnsbury.

The river.

The ride on rt. 5 from Brattleboro to Greenfield is surprisingly nice, too. I-91 has really reshaped rt. 5 into a pleasant road for long stretches. Coming into Massachusetts, it was so quiet, I thought I was on the wrong road until I got to a sign in Bernardston. Deeper into Mass, it gets a little busier, I took a couple of sidetracks that I'd learned from D2R2 and then got on bike path in Southwick. I guess the bike path goes north of there, but trying to figure that out is what got me off track in Northampton.

D2R2 land before the big day.

I don't really think big thoughts while I'm riding my bike, so my only takeaway was that rt. 5 is comprised of men pretending to be working on important projects, trucks and lawn mowers-- just miles and miles of those things. There was some cute town centers between St. J's and White River, but mostly the abovementioned three. Also farmer stands need some diversity beyond cucumbers, corn and squash. Well, I ate two very good peaches in Westfield.


Tony C said...

Thanks for the article. I'm considering my own up and back route to the North. Will keep these notes in mind!

Luis said...

Dude, you and I are on the same wavelength. I just rode from City Hall to Tuscan Homes and back to Pope Park. It had to be more than 250 feet. I r0x0rs!!

bunnybee said...

Very impressive!

Karma said...

Did you stealth camp overnight or did you stay at someone's place? I like the minimal kit, what did you bring along?

Brendan said...

I stayed in a cheap Motel 6. I carried food, lights, tools, two tubes, rain jacket, toiletries and a change clothes. The change of clothes were a luxury, but they did weigh much and fit. I don't know much about hammocks, but Tony has a much loved one. If one would fit in my bag, that'd be awesome.

The total weight was fairly low, maybe 10 or 15 lbs.