Well, it was a great camping trip to Vermont with some seriously epic climbing. Brooke and I stayed for five days and cycled on three of them. There really is nothing like cycling through mountains, and although the Green Mountains in Vermont are not as visually stunning as the Rockies, they provide quite a challenging terrain for riding.
On the first day of riding we worked in our legs by doing a 75km ride which is about the length of the Whitevale loop. This was quite a bit more challenging than Whitevale though with Brimeley sized hills commonplace and one 6km mountain pass.
On the second day we drove to Burke Mountain which was a bit too far away to ride. I had read about this climb in Bicycling Magazine and saw that the road to the top of the mountain climbs 1770 feet in 2.5 miles. That was it, we had to go. This climb was like nothing I have ever imagined. It is absolutely the most cruel road I have ridden. Imagine climbing a 15% grade, coming around a bend and seeing the road kick up so much that it makes the part of the road you are on look flat. It not only kicked up but kept going like that for well over a hundred metres. This section is known as 'The Wall' and I felt severely overgeared trying to push a 39/25 up a 20%+ grade. Incidentally, there is a 4.7 mile road race that goes up that climb in September and the whole of last year's race is on You Tube. The guys in the race seem to be using super low gearing and spinning like crazy. Brooke rode like a champ and only had to walk on 'The Wall' section of the climb. She made it up that mountain with energy to spare.
Our last ride of the trip was truly epic. We did 161km or one hundred miles over four mountain passes (actually two but we climbed each from both sides) and ended up with over 13 000 feet of climbing on the day. We were actually surprised at how good we felt at the end of the day but it just goes to show that if you moderate your pace and eat enough you can keep on riding on almost any terrain over almost any (reasonable) distance. In conclusion, the riding was great, the camping was great, and I would recommend the trip to anyone interested in riding on cycling friendly, challenging roads with great sights and vistas all around. Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics and video.