Fall in July - 3rd Annual Spokes-Women
|TRIP PHOTOS||922.0 miles. That was the reading on my odometer upon pulling into my driveway at the end of the 3rd annual Spokes-Women trip to Vermont. Not bad for 4 days of riding.|
This trip grew from a solo trip I had taken to the Killington area four years ago. The following year I thought it might be fun to have a bunch of my friends along for the ride, thus the creation of the Spokes-Women VT Trip. I usually scheduled it for fall, so we could enjoy the stunning fall foliage displayed in Vermont. However, the previous year the last weekend in September was just too cold to do much riding. It was 19 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning. So, for this year, I decided to go during the summer. At the time, I had no idea how appropriate calling it Fall in July would be. The temperature at night dipped into the 40s, but during the day climbed into the mid 70s, making for perfect riding weather.
Thursday - We met at the McDonalds in Booton in the morning. The weather was not great, but promised to improve over the next few days. It was drizzling a bit as Tam and I pulled into the parking lot. We met up with veteran VT-tripper Linda S. at the gas station right before the McDs. We went in for some coffee and a Danish, and soon were joined by veterans Laura S. and Barbara Z., and first time VT-trippers Laura J., Bill, and Kate. First time trippers Roe and Corky indicated that they would meet us up in Vermont later that evening. After everyone had some refreshments, filled their gas tanks, and emptied their bladders (when traveling by motorcycle, never pass up an opportunity to fill up your bikes tank and empty yours!) we were on our way!
We headed up Route 287 and picked up the NY Thruway. From there we took Route 84 to 9W to Route 44. Route 44 is a nice road, not too much traffic, and connects with Route 22, another winding road through the countryside. From there, we picked up Route 79 into Bennington, VT and then Route 100. I love riding on Route 100! It isnt very heavily trafficked, at least not during the week, and has smooth, sweeping turns that can be taken at spirited speeds. My reflective Halo did not blow off this year, but Tams did. As we continued heading north, the skies cleared and remained clear and sunny for the rest of the weekend! We had a most pleasant ride to the Tyrol. We had dinner at the Vermont Inn, within walking distance of the motor inn. Laura S., Barbara Z., and Linda S. were sharing the party room at the Tyrol, the room with 2 bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. They appeared to have fixed the couch that Lardbutt broke last year.
Friday - Another beautiful sunny day for riding! After breakfast, the 10 of us headed up Route 100 north. Destination: Ben and Jerrys ice cream factory in Waterbury! Yum! Five of us wanted to take the scenic, twisty way up at a spirited pace. So, at the junction of Routes 100 and 125, Tam, Laura J., Laura S., Bill, and I turned left, while Barbara, Linda, Kate, Roe, and Corky continued up Route 100. We would meet them at Ben and Jerrys at noon.
Route 125 is a great road! At Laura J.s suggestion we stopped at Texas Falls. Really, really serene. I wouldnt mind going back there sometime and hiking the one mile loop. We continued on Route 125, took a right onto Route 116, and then a right onto Route 17, which is described as the most challenging road in Vermont. There are unmarked, blind, 90 degree turns up the mountain, and then back down. Just before these first gear switchbacks, there are more gentle curves, and Bill and I flew along these. At the bottom we waited for the others , regrouped, and continued on to Ben and Jerrys.
We met up with the rest of the gang for lunch, a tour of the factory, and samples! I had to get a dish of my favorite, Coffee, Coffee, Buzz Buzz Buzz!!!! After the tour, Bill and Kate headed up to Stowe. Linda S., who was also on a search and rescue mission for her son that weekend, headed back to the Tyrol. The rest of us headed up to Stowe and took a gondola ride to the top. The scenery was breathtaking. I found a no whining pin which I purchased in case anyone even thought about doing any whining on this trip. Immediately after purchase, I did need to use it.
Saturday - Our final destination today was Woodstock. We took the scenic way around. Found some more great riding on Route 107 and Route 12. We rode past Woodstock for a quick stop to admire Quechee gorge, the grand canyon of Vermont. Every state that has a deep hole in the ground calls it the grand canyon of their state, it seems. It was beautiful, but in no way comparable to THE GRAND CANYON. A worthwhile stop with a good souvenir shop.
Next we went to the Raptor Center. Laura J., Tam, and I were really into this. After everyone else left to head into the town of Woodstock for lunch and shopping, we stayed behind to see the flight demonstration. A woman had an English barn owl trained to come back to the lure. It was so cool! We then went into town and hooked up with a few of the others for a ride to the Long Trail Brewery. We were joined there by Scott and another couple from his hog group. They just came up for the day. Scott just loves those long dinner runs!! Unfortunately, there were no tours and free samples, but they had some good grub and lots of different kind of beers. Cool T-shirts and sweatshirts for sale, too. Ride to shop, shop to ride. Kinda like that eating thing .
We had dinner at Bentleys, which was recommended to me by an ex-local, and to Laura S. by a current local. The food was ok, but the service was horrible. Scratch that one off the list.
I had a wonderful time!!! Great roads, great eats, great company. Thanks to all of you who joined me. The trip was made exceptional by the people who attended. Whos joining me next year?