Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Thursday, May 28, 2015

DROVES 2015 - Day 3

DROVES - Day 3 - 1 Trapped Cat, 1 Vertical Mile and Lots of Tulips

First let me say that if you want an awesome campfire, invite Ted to your event. Ted builds the best fires. He's a pro, coming prepared with his own special fire starting kit, which he conveniently keeps in the trunk of his car at all times for the spontaneous campfire. 

Sadly for the curious cat, Megatron, open trunks must be explored, and while we were enjoying tall tells, strange music and great beer, Megatron was getting cozy inside Ted's car.

But then, without realizing he had a visitor, Ted closed up the car, and once the beer was gone and fire died down, we all headed off to bed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

DROVES 2015 - Day 2

DROVES - Day 2 arrived with bright sunshine and much warmer temperatures. However, most folks seemed cautious and arm warmers and vests were still prominent as we gathered around the picnic table, getting ready for our attempt on Radar Road. It seemed that fresh memories from a very chilly descent to Lake Willoughby just couldn't be shaken. Nevertheless, as we mingled about pumping up tires and checking brakes, there was no denying that it was indeed significantly warmer. Some people even threw caution to the wind and stripped down to just shorts and short sleeve jersey. Still, being sensitive to cold, I traded leg warmers for knee warmers and kept my arm warmers on. I also carried my wind vest, just in case sanity left me and I climbed up to Radar and needed it for the descent.

As a special treat, Dave and Nancy came down from Waitsfield to join us for the day. We'd met them serendipitously at a Luka Bloom concert last year. While awaiting the start of the show, we discovered that we had more than musical taste in common, as Dave runs many of the Vermont brevets, and his sister and brother-in-law run Red Hen Baking Company, a bakery/cafe in Waitsfield that we love. We've kept in touch and when I sent out FB invites to come join us for rides and dinner, they decided to do just that.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

DROVES 2015 - Day 1

For many years now, we have spent Memorial Day weekend ascending and descending the many exquisite dirt roads of Vermont. This year would be no exception.

Megatron, The Barn cat, has to inspect everything.

We've been staying at the Burke Bike Barn since it opened in 2011. The first time we stayed, we fell in love with the place. So much so, that I booked it for Memorial Day and Labor Day for life. I'm not sure that Doug, the owner, thought I was serious at first, but we've been going up for these dirty climb-fest weekends at the beginning and end of summer ever since, and we aren't about to give up our reservation for the future.

The Bike Barn is exactly what it says it is. It's a big old barn that's been converted to comfortable accommodation for cyclists in the center of one of the best biking locations on the planet. We usually have a dozen folks staying at the barn, with frequent drop-ins for rides by folks who live or are staying nearby. At this stage, it all works like clockwork. We have a few routes, covering a variety of distances. Depending on weather, mood and other arbitrary factors, we will decide which route to do. The one thing all the routes have in common is lots of smooth-packed, quiet dirt roads and maximal climbing per mile. These are quality miles, such that even a 30 mile ride will not leave any sane person wanting more.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hanging with Dwan from Co-Motion

Dwan Shepard's title on the Co-Motion Cycles website is co-conspirator. Dwan, along with his fellow co-conspirator, Dan Vrijmoet, founded Co-Motion back in 1988. Dan seems to be the shy one, and we've only seen him once, ducking behind a frame jig, while Dwan was taking us on a tour of the factory. Dwan is more of the public face, representing Co-Motion on various social media sites and at bike shows and such. This is how we've been lucky enough to get to know him.