Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Monday, September 10, 2012

Getting Dirty in the Northeast Kingdom

The Burke Bike Barn is quite spacious, so we had a few friends to join us for the weekend. The potluck cookouts on Saturday and Sunday nights were fabulous. Odd took over the grill and did an excellent job with the steaks, chicken and sausages, as well as drinking some beer.

Sunday morning, we scattered in different directions. Dominique and Cristine headed out for a paved road ride. Odd, Sally, Margaret and Phil hit the trails. Erik, Regina, Gabby and Alex did some less technical trails. And John and I headed out for more dirt climbing on the tandem.

We took in a slightly shorter version of our DROVES-Day 1 route. We basically cut out the middle part that took in a store in Wells River and the southern part of the Bayley-Hazen Road. John was a bit disappointed to miss more chances to take his photo in front of signs bearing his name spelled correctly, but he still stopped at plenty of other places to take out the camera. It also seems I only cut out distance, not climbing or views. Cutting out Wells River did mean we wouldn't see a store until about 2/3 of the way thru, Be warned if you do this loop, take some food. The store in Danville is actually a wine shop, but it does also have soft drinks, cheese and snacks. We managed to make a nice lunch of cheese, crackers and packaged prosciutto. The quiet roads and great views make up for lack of services.

Margaret and Sally got creative with their camelbaks to bring home ice cream and wine after their ride around the Burke trails. We had another great potluck barbeque and enjoyed roasting marshmallows by the fire, under the still brilliant moon. 

On Monday, brilliant sunshine and crystal clear blue skies greeted us for a third day, and we were all eager to do some more riding. Odd and John traded bikes, so John could try out some trails using Odd's mountain bike, while Odd and I took in the dirt roads out to Victory and over Kirby Mountain. After a couple of days of tandeming I had to relearn steering and shifting as I got back on the Redline. Odd enjoyed John's Seven, but I believe he missed his suspension on the bumpy descent off Kirby Mountain.

Cristine and Dominique joined Sally and John on the Kingdom trails, while Margaret and Phil sought out paved roads.

It was another great weekend in East Burke. I hated to leave.

We have reserved the bike barn for Memorial Day for DROVES 2013. We will be riding the two 90ish mile dirt road routes from this year, but will also have a few shorter (60ish mile) options for those who want a bit less. And of course there is also mountain biking on the Kingdom trails, as well as Burke Mountain hill-repeats. The barn will fill quickly, so email me soon if you want a spot in the barn. There is lots of other lodging in the area, so don't fret if you can't commit right away.

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