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NEW TRAILS DOWNHILL THRILLERS, SMOOTH MTB FLOW, GORGEOUS RAIL TRAILS, A NEW XVT and MORE
Dylan Dipentima, on Killington's new Black Magic.
Be first down the mountain again.
BE YOU AGAIN. THE RIGHT SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN CAN HELP. Our physicians provide comprehensive sports medicine care, no matter how complex the injury. Patients receive a course of treatment that’s ideally suited for them, built around the most advanced options available—whether operative, non-operative or a combination of both. So, if you live in the Burlington area, make an appointment with The University of Vermont Health Network’s sports medicine specialists at The UVM Medical Center. To make an appointment, call (802) 448-5445.
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ON THE COVER: Dylan Dipentima on Killington's Black Magic trail. Photo by Brooks Curran
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5 The Start
There's a public works effort underway in Vermont that you
The latest must-haves for late summer riding and more.
Kit Vreeland's navigation skills help her tackle any terrain that's thrown her way. By Phyl Newbeck
Outfitted For August
probably don't know about.
6 Great Outdoors
With more than a dozen new trails opening, here's the skinny on Vermont's trail-building frenzy
You can now ride for miles and miles with no traffic on these 5 long-distance rail trails. By David Goodman
Energy On The Go
When you need a boost, how do you decide between bars, gels or something else? Nutritionist Jamie Sheahan explains.
A Rail Trail Revival
The Adventure Racer
The Trail Crew
These four pros are responsible for much of the fun you've had on Vermont's mountain biking trails. By Brian Mohr
Race & Event Guide
My Nine Miles
Imagine a nine-mile commute by bike with no traffic. By Jennifer Chittick
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AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 3
A fundraiser to support the Kelly Brush Foundation's mission of sports after paralysis and ski racing safety
4 VTSPORTS.COM | AUGUST 2017
TRAIL BLAZING “He alone who is joined to the horizon can build new roads.”
—Adonis, from Celebrating Childhood There is a massive public works effort underway across Vermont which you have probably not heard about. Miles of paths are being cleared, new trails carved into hillsides, overgrown Class IV roads mapped and old rail beds rehabbed. By the time you finish reading this issue, there will be at least one new section of mountain bike trail built somewhere in the state and, by the end of the month, probably dozens. The Kingdom Trails, Stowe and Millstone have long been the hotbeds of trail building. But new networks are popping up around the state, from Poultney to Ascutney, Rochester to Waterbury. If you took the paved roads and highways off the state map but left just trails, you would see spiderwebs of networks creeping out from village hubs. A number of factors are powering this boom. Trail building is in our blood. Whether it’s cutting a path for a secret ski trail or opening up an old road for mountain biking, Vermonters have been quietly forging private trail networks for years, some legally–others, not so much. Now, organizations such as Kingdom Trails, other chapters of Vermont Mountain Bike Association, the Catamount Trail Association, the Rochester Sports Trails Alliance and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers are working with landowners to gain legal access. They have also helped harness, train and fund weekend trail crews. And some of those volunteers have built their skill sets and have become pros. Three of the top mountain bike trail builders in the East all call Vermont home, and Brian Mohr tells their stories on page 20, The "Trail Crew." Trail building has, in a word, become big business for Vermont. In the last month, new downhill trails have come online at Killington and Okemo Resorts. Stowe Mountain Resort has permits to build a mountain bike network and Suicide Six’s new lift-served downhill trails are already designed and will start coming online next summer. Unlike the road system state and federal governments spend millions to maintain, these pathways are not designed to get anyone from point A to point B faster,
IT’S TIME FOR SUMMER ADVENTURES! Stop by for hooch before you go.
Brewery opens every day at 11:30AM for LUNCH + SUPPER or to carry freight. But they do increase economic development. Kingdom Trails alone brings in $16 million a year to the Burke community. According to a study published last fall by the Vermont Trails & Greenways Council, out-of-state visitors to our major trails (Long Trail, Catamount, VAST, Kingdom Trails) spend about $30.8 million a year. As trail builder Hardy Avery says about one of his projects: "It's located in a very rural area that is seeing an economic and population decline to the point where schools are almost closing and residents are finding it hard to stay in the area. I believe that expanding recreational opportunities can help foster a healthier community." Trails are bringing new blood and new money to these towns. They have become destinations and place makers unto themselves. Each trail is a route that begs to be discovered. And, on knobby tires, to be ripped, shredded and sent. This month, Olivia Pintair, a high school junior from Williston and a friend announced they were going to run across Vermont in an effort to raise $5,000 for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants of Vermont. The path the young runners, chose? The Cross Vermont Trail, a work in progress, that includes sections of the old Montpelier Wells Rail Trail. That trail—as well as the anticipated Lamoille Valley Rail Trail and the developing XVT mountain bike trail—may soon join Vermont’s other legendary traills (the Long Trail and the Catamount Trail) as rites of passage, trails that beckon and challenge us to always look at the horizon. —Lisa Lynn, Editor
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 5
THERE’S A TRAIL BUILDING FRENZY IN VERMONT. IF YOU WANT TO SAMPLE SOME OF THE STATE’S NEWEST TRAILS, OR FIND OUT WHAT’S BEING BUILT, HERE’S THE SKINNY. REPORTING BY SHANNON KING
6 VTSPORTS.COM | AUGUST 2017
here’s a lot of fresh dirt in Vermont. In July, it seemed that every other week a ribbon was cut on another new mountain bike trail. There was a ceremony at Waterbury’s Perry Hill, dedicating a new series of switchbacks (see photo, p. 15) that spill into the parking area, in memory of Andy Langlois. Okemo Mountain Resort did a ribbon cutting at its summit to celebrate its new 3.2 mile, 2,000 vertical foot downhill trail (there’s a contest to name it) and the expansion of its Evolution bike park. Perhaps the most exciting: the Rochester Area Sports Trails Alliance announced that it earned a $1,500 grant from the Vermont Huts Association toward creating a connector trail that will link the Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield to the Rochester area trails. Best yet, Vermont Huts Association will be building a new year-round hut at the trail’s start at the Chittenden Brook Campground. “Historically, mountain bike trail networks in Vermont look like sphaghetti,” said RASTA president Angus McCusker. “We’re excited to be part of an effort to work towards linking our local communities with an inter-chapter connector from Killington to Stowe. The end result will align nicely with Vermont Huts’ vision of a year-round hut-to-hut trail experience.” RASTA also announced a new 4-mile flow trail behind the ranger station in Rochester. The first half, a 2-mile lower loop, should be completed this fall. Around the state, north to south, there are plenty of new trails ready to ride this summer. Last fall, Waterbury's Little River State Park opened a 4.5 mile flow trail. This month, Kingdom Trails expands into a new area between Burke Hollow and Darling Hill roads with a 2.3 mile bermed switchback, Ware’s Davis. The Jay Community Recreation Center has two new trails, Big Boss Man, a directional flow trail, and a beginner dual direction trail, Minglewood. In Sterling Valley, the Stowe Mountain Bike Club is completing Callagy’s Trail, named in memory of local snowboarder Callagy Ross. In Addison County, Moosalamoo National Recreation Area gets a new flow trail and pump track near the Moosalamoo campground that should be completed this fall. Millstone Trails has been working with Sinuosity to finish a new machinebuilt intermediate trail, to be named and opened later this month. At Killington Resort, last August’s debut of Black Magic (pictured at left) and other new trails were just the start. This summer’s projects include a new Blue Magic (a 2.46 mile freestyle jump trail) and Krusty (a hybrid flow trail) as well as shorter connectors – all rideable by fall. The resort now boasts 27 miles of trails, served by 3 lifts. Last summer, the town of Killington got a grant of $50,000 to build out its trails and is at work connecting the new trails near Kent Pond to the resort, and ultimately, to the Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield. Rutland’s Pine Hill Park is adding Jigsaw, an intermediate trail with some rock ride-overs (or ride-arounds.) And in Woodstock, Suicide Six is also working with Sinuosity on developing six miles of a lift-served downhill trail network it hopes to have online by next summer. One of the newest chapters in the Vermont Mountain Biking Association, Slate Valley Trails, has been working with Hardy Avery and Sinuosity to craft trails in the Poultney/Lake St. Catherine area, including a new one which will be completed in the next few weeks. Last, this summer Grafton Outdoor Center rebranded as Grafton Trails and Outdoor Center and opened its network to mountain biking. Let's face it: mountain biking could be the new skiing for Vermont. Dylan Dipentima uses centrifugal forces to his advantage on Killington's Black Magic. Photo by Brooks Curran
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 7
gsi_2017_Dualist_VTSportsMag_8.2017_r.1.pdf 1 6/16/2017 2:37:27 PM
ENERGY ON THE GO
IT SEEMS THERE’S ANOTHER ENERGY BAR, GEL OR WAFFLE COMING OUT EVERY DAY. SO WHAT SHOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHAT SHOULD YOU AVOID? BY JAMIE SHEAHAN, M.S. R.D.
here’s nothing new about needing a portable bit of fuel if you’re out on the trail or doing an endurance race. Our ancestors may have used meat jerkies; our parents might have packed trail mix, or stuffed a PB&J or banana in their jerseys. That all changed when PowerBar came on the market in 1986, and the concept of energy bars was born. Now, energy bars and gels are standard fare for most endurance athletes. And with everchanging subcategories touting added protein, electrolytes, superfoods, caffeine and more, it’s no wonder that many people are confused about what type of bar or gel is best and when they should be used. Let’s break down exactly what these products offer so you can understand how to use them best.
FUEL UP FOR THE LONG HAUL When we exercise, the majority of our energy comes from carbohydrates. Our bodies have the ability to store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in our muscles and liver. Unfortunately, these stores are limited, and can only power us for about two hours of moderately intense activity. Once our glycogen stores are tapped out, so are we, causing us to hit the proverbial wall unless we are able to take in additional fuel. That’s where energy bars and gels come into play. If you can provide your body with an influx of sugar, you are less reliant on glycogen, and can thus continue to exercise well beyond that two-hour mark. That is by no means justification for eating a king-size Snickers bar on your next five-mile bike ride. If you are planning on embarking on a hike, ride or run lasting longer than 75 minutes, you will need to take in about 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour in order to keep muscles fueled and spare that precious glycogen. Athletes participating in ultraendurance events need even more, with studies suggesting an ideal intake of 60 to 90 grams of carbohydrate per hour.
BAR VS. GEL VS. ?? What you choose, bar or gel or other food, should be based on both your sport of choice as well as the sensitivity of your stomach. Both bars and gels are made for portability and convenience and should provide ample carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars. However, they tend to differ greatly in fiber, protein and even fat content. Because bars are typically higher in these other
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
You wouldn't use a 6V battery to power a TV remote, just like you wouldn't eat a steak during a marathon. Find the right on-the-go energy source by experimenting while you're training. nutrients, they are ideal for longer efforts (yay for no growling stomach!) and sports that don’t jostle the stomach. They also work well for activities that allow for rest breaks where you have time for proper digestion. Gels, on the other hand, will rarely contain fiber or fat and only negligible amounts of protein. This means gels are easier to digest, which makes them ideal for high impact activities like running. Due to their quick-to-digest nature, they are less filling and therefore may not be ideal if you are tackling a full day hike.
Of course, this is all great in theory, but in the end it truly comes down to how well your stomach tolerates various products. Some runners would have no problem downing a pint of ice cream midrun (congrats to this year’s Brain Freeze 5K winner) while others may experience cramps from even a bit of solid food on a leisurely hike. Training with various products is the best way to learn what works best for you during your activity. You will also have to consider how much you will need to consume in order to stay fueled.
Once you’ve determined if a bar or gel is more to your liking, the next thing to consider are the ingredients. Select a product that provides you with multiple fuel sources. Those that contain both glucose and fructose allow our bodies to absorb more fuel per hour and thus deliver energy more readily to our working muscles. If you don’t see the words “glucose” and “fructose” on the ingredients list, look for ingredients like maltodextrin (glucose), honey and tapioca syrup (which contain both glucose and fructose), to ensure you are getting the fastest absorption rate possible. Bars may even tout slower-to-digest sources of carbohydrates like oats or whole wheat flour. These sources of carbohydrates are more difficult on the stomach, so consider what activity you're using it for. Another ingredient you will see popping up in bars and gels alike is branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs consist of three essential amino acids: leucine, valine and isoleucine. They are becoming an increasingly popular additive due to research that shows they can prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue during exercise. In one such study, trained runners
HOW DO THEY STACK UP?
Serving Size 1 Packet
Gu Energy Gel
BCAA, C, GF, K, V
Gu Roctane Ultra Endurance Gel
BCAA, C, GF, K, V
BCAA, C, GF, K, V
Honey Stinger Energy Gel
Compare With: Untapped Pure Maple Syrup
Non-GMO, GF, DF
Vega Sports Energy Bar
Compare With: Snickers Bar
Honey Stinger Organic Honey Waffle
Untapped Maple Waffle
Compare With: Fig Newton
Special Features Key: BCAA = The presence of leucine, valine and isoleucine; C = the presence of caffeine; GF = gluten-free; K = Kosher; V = vegan-certified; VT = made in Vermont
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 9
performed a 25k run during which they consumed a placebo or a solution containing BCAAs and a small amount of carbohydrate. Runners who received the BCAA solution had lower levels of lactate dehydrogenase, a marker of muscle damage. Caffeine is commonly found in both bars and gels, thanks to numerous studies that have shown that caffeine boosts athletic performance. Most caffeinated bars and gels contain 20 to 50 mg per serving, but buyer beware; more is not necessarily better. Too much caffeine can produce negative side effects, so stick to no more than 50 mg per hour during exercise. Electrolytes are the main thing that sets sports nutrition products apart from alternatives like candy and dried fruit. Electrolytes include sodium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium and play an important role in hydration. If your bar or gel does not contain any electrolytes, then you may need to consider an electrolyte replacement (such as a sports drink) during activities in higher temperatures, particularly if you tend to sweat a lot.
AND WHAT TO WATCH FOR
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As benign as an energy bar or gel might seem, it’s important to check for ingredients that may impair your performance, too. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, malitol and xylitol are used to sweeten products without adding a lot of calories, but they may cause diarrhea and have landed many an unsuspecting athlete in a Port-O-Let. Athletes should also be wary of any
DIY ENERGY BAR: BLUEBERRY COCONUT STICKY BITES
It can take just 15 minutes to make your own energy snacks. Photo courtesy VeloPress
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10 VTSPORTS.COM | AUGUST 2017
Most athletes are used to eating gels or energy blocks. This quick (15-minute!) Sticky Bite recipe from The Feed Zone Cookbook uses everyday ingredients to deliver that sweet kick in a more palatable way. The moisture in the carbs (rice, pasta, bread, or oats) allows the body to more quickly digest the nutrients. You can sprinkle salt to get an added sodium kick. Makes 12.
ingredients like artificial colors and flavors. The effect these ingredients have on our overall health as well as our performance has been hotly debated, but many products don’t include any artificial ingredients. For those who would rather go the whole food route, there are certainly alternatives to packaged bars and gels. Skratch Labs, a small company founded by two professional cyclists, produced The Feed Zone Cookbook, with recipes for portable foods for endurance athletes (see box below). In addition, dried fruit and candy are popular fuel options for athletes looking to keep things more natural. It is important, however, to keep in mind that energy bars and gels are specifically formulated to optimize performance, and many of our natural options may fall short in areas like electrolytes or the proper blend of sugars. The last thing to take into account is perhaps the most important: taste matters. The best sports nutrition product is worthless if you can’t get it down. Fortunately, there are a seemingly endless variety of flavors and consistencies from chocolate peanut butter (my personal fav) to cucumber melon, so experiment until you find the fuel that works for you. You will notice the difference. As the Director of Nutrition at The Edge in Burlington, Jamie Sheahan works with athletes to develop customized fueling plans to optimize health and performance. An avid runner, she has completed 20 marathons.
INGREDIENTS (12 SERVINGS) 4 ounces uncooked rice, orzo or other small pasta 2 tablespoons cream cheese 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut 1½ teaspoons raw sugar ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup blueberries and/or chocolate chips Cook the rice or pasta and let cool to the touch. In a small food processor, combine the rice or pasta and the sticky and wet ingredients. Pulse until you have a coarse, sticky mixture. Transfer to a medium bowl. Fold in chocolate chips or blueberries. Sprinkle with toppings such as raw sugar or coarse salt. Press into an airtight container or wrap up in individual shapes with plastic wrap and twist the ends as you would on salt water taffy or a hard candy. NUTRITION DATA PER SERVING: Calories: 54; Fat 1 g; Sodium 18 mg; Carbs 8g; Fiber 0 g, Protein 2 g Recipe from The Feed Zone Cookbook by chef Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim, republished with permission of VeloPress. Info: feedzonecookbook. com or skratchlabs.com.
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 11
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Marathon Trail Run & MTB Challenge • Oct. 14, 2017 Ride it: 26 or 52-mile trail circuit
East Burke –Victory, Vermont
Run it: 26 mile trail circuit
Winner of Vermont Sports Black Diamond Award for 3 years running, the challenging 26.2 mile CircumBurke course circles Burke and Umpire mountains on the famed Kingdom Trails network and the remote singletrack of the Victory Hill Sector. With over 3,000 feet of climbing and descending each lap, CircumBurke challenges runners and mountain bikers to push their limits, while enjoying the sweet Vermont singletrack in a fun, laid back atmosphere. For more information go to www.circumburke.org.
Bikers register at; https://www.bikereg.com/33111
Runners register at https://www.runreg.com/6841
OUTFITTED FOR AUGUST
GEAR & BEER
HERE'S WHAT'S ON OUR WISH LIST FOR THE LAST MONTH OF SUMMER.
Pedro's ICM Multitool
Hydaway Collapsible Bottle & Carrier
Kitsbow Short A/M Jersey
Garneau's Derby Short
TRAIL TO TIKI BAR After two mountain biking festivals (first the New England Mountain Biking Festival at Kingdom Trails then the Vermont Mountain Biking Festival at Sugarbush), we decided it was time to update our kit. That grunge baggy look works well for some, and flash race garb for others. But when we came across Kitsbow’s understated jerseys and shorts, it was a “finally, an MTB kit I can love” moment. Kitsbow makes a line that seems to flow seamlessly from trail-to-tiki bar. It’s not the most rugged of wear but we like the pared down styling, the super-light, stretchy (and wicking!) Nylon-Lycra fabric that go into the Kitsbow Short A/M Jersey (women’s version, $165) and Origin (men’s $150) short sleeved jerseys. Stretchy side panels connect a rib-knit fabric that stays in place without clinging and back pockets are plenty ample for stashing everything you need for a day’s ride. The only thing we might question is the zipper up the front, which is not the most comfortable. But that means you can unzip to cool down or easily change at the trailhead.
TOUGH GUY SHORTS Also wow-ing us on the style spectrum is Louis Garneau’s Derby short ($119) for men. Named for Derby, Vt., where Garneau has its U.S. headquarters it’s tough, stylish and sort of what you might expect if a pair of Carhartts and dress pants got together and made a mountain biking baby. The fabric
feels almost like a heavy denim, providing plenty of protection from branches and rocks, but it’s remarkably soft and stretchy. It’s a long short but with no seams on the inside of the leg, it doesn’t ride up or chafe. The waist is cut low in front and the wide waist band cinches together with a draw string. There are also interior fasteners so you can adjust the fit. The Derby comes with detachable Drytex inner shorts with a comfy (but not overly padded) double-density foam Chamois cushion and is compatible with other Garneau inner shorts. Best, we love the front zip side pockets, the large cargo pocket on the leg and a third rear pocket—great for carrying pretty much everything you need for a ride or for a night out after.
A POCKET TOOLBOX
WATER, ON THE GO
Though it’s a little big to actually fit into your pocket, Pedro’s ICM Multi Tool ($30) is like carrying around a complete tool box in a compact package. Think of it as essential equipment to keep with your car or to bring on a longer (or multi-day) ride or camping trip. The ICM Includes 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex wrenches, 3.2mm, 3.5mm, and Mavic M7 spoke wrenches, a chain tool, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, two tire levers, a T25 Torx and, of course, a bottle opener. It’s steel, so sturdy, and weighs in at 235 grams. But for $30 you get way more tools than you could buy individually for that price and the best part, they all snap together so you are less likely to lose one.
We love hydration packs (we hike with them and even bring them on airplanes) and we love water bottles (we bike with them and bring them to work) but there are times when you really don’t want to be sucking on a hydration hose or lugging an empty water bottle around. That’s where the Hydaway 12 oz. collapsible water bottle ($15) and carrying case come in. The bottle, made of BPA-free plastic, collapses into a 1¼-inch disc that can fit into a pocket or a carrying case. There’s a snap-down spigot that folds closed to make it completely watertight (you can squeeze it) and a handle so you can snap it onto a backpack or a seatpost. The bottle also comes in a 21 oz. version ($20).
IT'S SUMMER (CIDER) TIME There are two good reasons to head to Woodchuck Cider's Middlebury tasting room this month. The first is Ciderstock. In just a couple of years it has grown to be one of the biggest parties in the state with more than 10,000 people packing the Cidery's backyard and a great line-up of bands. This year it takes place August 19 and the line-up includes The Roots, Tribal Seeds, The Welterweights and Pepper. The other? The cider of course. You can try a wide variety of ciders on tap in the big barnlike structure, including Local Nectar (made with all-Vermont fruits) and seasonal releases like Summer Time. What's so special about Summer Time? For one, it's a a slightly sweet pear ginger cider (not to be confused with last year's "Summer Time" which was made with blueberries or with Woodchuck's regular pear cider). Summer Time has a light carbonation which makes it an easy, almost fruit-juice easy, thirst quencher. But it has an ABV of 5 percent and is plenty sweet so don't down too many of them. All in all, it's the type of drink we might take to a post-ride potluck or a preconcert picnic with a chunk of sharp cheddar.
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 13
1O Best Days of Summer!
Vermont State ParkS Elevate your game.
More Info at www.champlainvalleyfair.org
COME RECONNECT WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBORS AND VERMONT’S AGRICULTURAL HISTORY. ALL AT THE STATE’S GREATEST FAIR. SAVE UP TO 25% ON ADVANCED DISCOUNT ADMISSION TICKETS & UNLIMITED RIDE BRACELETS AT PRICE CHOPPER STORES AUGUST 6TH! BUT MAKE SURE TO GET THEM BEFORE THE FAIR, THEY’RE ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL THE 24TH
O r t h O pa e d i c s
Keeping you in the seat and on the trails. Welcome to the 21st century community hospital. Welcome to Copley. don’t let chronic knee, hip, shoulder, or wrist pain keep you from riding the trails you love. the experts at Mansfield Orthopaedics can help with state-of-the-art treatments designed specifically for you. Match that with the warm, personalized care copley is known for. top medical care to help you get back to the activities you love. Our physicians: Nick Antell, MD; Brian Aros, MD; Bryan Huber, MD; John Macy, MD; Joseph McLaughlin, MD and Saul Trevino, MD.
to make an appointment with a Mansfield Orthopaedic specialist at copley hospital, call 802.888.8405 OrthOpedics | cardiOlOGY | eMerGencY serVices General sUrGerY | OncOlOGY | rehaBilitatiOn serVices OBstetrics & GYnecOlOGY | diaGnOstic iMaGinG
528 Washington highway, Morrisville, Vt 6 north Main street, Waterbury, Vt eXceptiOnal care. cOMMUnitY fOcUsed.
A quiet morning on the Johnson-Morrisville section of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. When it is completed, the route will cross the state, from St. Johnsbury to St. Albans. Photo by Jennifer Chittick
A RAIL TRAIL REVIVAL
RAIL TRAILS ARE BOOMING WITH EVEN MORE MILES OF RAIL TRAIL COMING ON LINE. GRAB YOUR BIKE AND PREPARE TO RIDE FOR MILES OF QUIET, COUNTRY RIDING. BY DAVID GOODMAN
have a lifelong romance with the rails. While in college, I freight-hopped across the country, experiencing America from the open door of empty train cars. Later, my wife Sue and I took a two-day train journey from Zimbabwe into South Africa. It felt like time was suspended as we crossed the African desert, mesmerized by the rhythmic pulse of rolling steel.
In the 1980s, after Congress deregulated the railroad industry, unprofitable routes closed around the country and 4,000 to 8,000 miles of rail lines were abandoned each year. Congress then passed a regulation to allow for the preservation of abandoned rail corridors and enable their conversion into multi-use trails, a process known as railbanking.
got a huge boost in 2005 when then-Rep. Bernie Sanders secured a $5.2 million earmark for VAST to transform an underutilized resource into a bike and snowmobile trail.” Now, Vermont is on the cusp of a golden age of rail trails. In the past few months, Burlington’s bike path, a feeder to the Island Line Rail Trail, has been redeveloped and rerouted and should be completed by this December.
It had been a while since I reveled in a slow ride on a long, flat, straight path through a magnificent landscape. But recently, I revived that old love affair with rail travel by exploring Vermont’s growing network of rail trails, by bike. In the past few years, miles of rusting steel ribbon that once crossed Vermont have been removed to make way for paths of crushed gravel and cinders, perfect for the rubber soles of running shoes or two tires. Rail routes, once the foundation of how we traveled, still criss-cross Vermont’s valleys, carving through farmland and bordering the major rivers. Best, most have easy stopovers en route at brew pubs and B&Bs, farm stands and old opera houses. The national rails-to-trails movement dates to the mid1960s, when the first rail trails opened in the Midwest.
A number of Vermont’s small rail lines closed in the 1980s and 1990s, including the Delaware & Hudson line (now the D&H Rail Trail from Castleton to Rupert), a portion of the Central Vermont Railway (closed in 1985, now the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail), and the St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad line (closed in 1995, now the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail). Under Gov. Howard Dean, the State of Vermont moved to railbank the corridors. Sue Minter, my wife and cycling partner, authored Vermont’s first bicycle and pedestrian plan in 1996, and later served on the House Transportation Committee and was Deputy Secretary and Secretary of Transportation. She explains, “What we are seeing now is a coming to fruition of efforts begun by Gov. Dean, who championed rail trails in the 1990s. The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is now at 33 miles and growing, with a goal of crossing the entire northern tier of the state, east to west, a total of 93-miles, traffic-free. Last year, New York State awarded a $22,500 grant to help complete the missing New York link between the two western Vermont sections of the Delaware & Hudson Rail Trail. The 19.8-mile Vermont trail crosses western Rutland and Bennington counties in two sections–one between Castleton and Poultney, the other between West Pawlet and Rupert. When it’s done, you should be able to ride nearly 34 miles from Castleton to West Pawlet, off-road, and then on to New York’s East Salem village. Bicycling on rail trails has several key benefits: there are no cars, they are flat and they travel through beautiful countryside. Since they go in a straight line, you won’t get
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Sue Minter rides the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail , which runs for 26 miles across Franklin County's open farmland. Photo by David Goodman
lost. The view is completely different in each direction, making out-and-back rides interesting and worthwhile. In winter, the trails are used by fat bikes, skiers and snowmobiles. I recently rode parts of three Vermont rail trails. All three rail trails are meticulously graded and have surfaces of fine packed gravel (except the paved Burlington Bike Path), making them suitable for all types of bikes. (We used road bikes with standard 700 x 28cm road tires. ) In addition to great riding, we couldn’t pass up another attraction on or near each of these rail trails: Vermont craft breweries. We ended each ride by raising a glass. My romance with the rails has been rekindled.
have long since been replaced by dairy sheds that shelter an equivalent number of cows. In 1984, a train derailment damaged a bridge here and that marked the end of the rail service on this line. The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (see below) will eventually connect to the MVRT at mile 9, opening possibilities for extended and even multiday tours across the state. We continued riding through farm fields with views of the northern Green Mountains. At mile 16 we came to the town of Enosburg Falls, where cyclists can refuel at diners and convenience stores. We stopped to eat lunch in front of the beautifully restored Enosburg Opera House, built in 1892, where a summer theater camp was in full swing and a community theater was rehearsing on the main stage. We pedaled on for several more miles north of Enosburg to take in views over the Missisquoi River rapids, which flows parallel the trail. This section of river is part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, a water trail that runs from New York to Maine. This scenic high point was where we turned around for a fast ride back to St. Albans. More info: champlainbikeways.org
What better pitstop than a brewery? You can ride right up to Lost Nation on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. Photo by David Goodman
MISSISQUOI VALLEY RAIL TRAIL Length: 26.4 miles, St. Albans to Richford Pit Stop: 14th Star Brewing Company, St. Albans What was once the route of a milk train that serviced the farms of Franklin County is now the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail (MVRT). In the early 1990s, the State of Vermont and local citizens began converting the former Central Vermont Railway into a multiuse trail that follows the Missisquoi River through the rolling farmland of Franklin County with views east to the Greens. We started in the Rail City, St. Albans, whose downtown has undergone a renaissance in recent years. The trailhead was easy to find: a large brown MRVT sign and a bicycle mounted high on a post
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LAMOILLE VALLEY RAIL TRAIL signaled our arrival. A trailhead kiosk and parking lot has free color maps and a guide to the entire trail. As we rolled out of St. Albans on the well-maintained rail trail, we passed walkers, cyclists and runners in the first few miles. The population on the trail and in the
countryside thinned quickly as we rolled through open farmland. Views stretched over miles of green corn fields to where Jay Peak rose in the distance. After 7 miles we came to Sheldon, a former summer resort based around the town’s once famous mineral springs. The 100-room hotels
Length: 33 miles completed; 93 miles eventually, from St. Johnsbury to Swanton. Pit Stop: Lost Nation Brewing, Morrisville After two decades of debate, planning, and construction, the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail is now a reality—partly. Two sections of trail are open for riding: St. Johnsbury to
Danville (15.4 miles), and Morristown to Cambridge (17.4 miles). When completed and connected to the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, the route will run 93 miles, making it the longest rail trail in New England, spanning the state from St. Johnsbury to St. Albans. Managed by the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST), the trail is popular with snowmobilers and skiers in the winter. We arrived at the trailhead in downtown Morrisville to find a bustling parking lot of riders. Lamoille Valley Bike Tours was there renting electric bikes. We headed out on the former St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad line, which ceased operation in 1995, and pedaled across a restored railroad bridge. Within a mile, we passed Lost Nation Brewing, a local craft brewery and restaurant and saw it’s bike rack was already packed. We knew immediately where we would end our day. The trail follows the meandering Lamoille River in the first few miles. After passing through Hyde Park, we emerged into open farm fields with expansive views of Mt. Mansfield. Sue and I clicked into a rhythm as we rolled through the pastures at a good clip, taking in the different perspectives on the mountains that we ski in the winter. As we arrived in Johnson after 8 miles of riding, the skies opened up with rain. We took shelter at a LVRT trailhead kiosk at a covered picnic spot at Old Mill Park. Several other riders soon joined us. The sun returned and we rode on to Cambridge, where the old train station has been restored and converted into a community playground with a train theme. We slowly rode through a historic covered bridge and admired the elaborate trusswork. From Cambridge, a mile-long Greenway Trail brought us to Jeffersonville, where we stopped at The Farm Store, which features an espresso bar, home-baked breads and local products. Sue and I spotted posts outside that were topped with replica golden horse heads. We both smiled: this was what remained of Le Cheval D’Or, a small French restaurant where I proposed to Sue 27 years ago. Farm Store owner Jennifer Bishop loved hearing our tale, and ran in back to offer us one of the old black lanterns that once hung in the restaurant. Like the railroad, every building has history here. More info: lvrt.org
ISLAND LINE TRAIL Length: 14 miles (rail trail); 30+ miles, Champlain Islands tour Pit stop: Snow Farm Vineyard, South Hero. One of the most scenic rail trails in Vermont is the Island Line Trail. The remnants of the Rutland Railroad, founded 1901, the rail trail runs from Oak Ledge Park in Burlington, along the paved Burlington Bike Path, and crosses the lake via a three-
It's a short ride and a ferry hop from Burlington to the Island Line Rail Trail, which borders Lake Champlain for much of its route through the islands. Photo by David Goodman
you can stop for wine tastings from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (I suggest you save this for the return leg). Sue and I continued on the Stone Castles bike tour (so named by champlainbikeways.org, which has a great list of bike tours around Lake Champlain), and had fun finding the many miniature castles that Harry Barber built around the South Hero before he died in 1966. As we cycled by the acclaimed Blue Paddle Bistro in South Hero, we couldn’t resist popping in to make a reservation, then dashed back across the lake to catch the last bike ferry and rode back to the car. More info: localmotion.org
WELLS TO MONTPELIER RAIL TRAIL
The Wells to Montpelier Rail Trail, part of the proposed Cross Vermont Trail, crosses Groton State Forest. Photo cby Tristan Von Duntz
mile long, crushed gravel causeway to South Hero, with a short bike ferry ride to span the causeway gap. We set out on our ride through the Champlain Islands by starting at Airport Park in Colchester. After a mile-long ride through the Colchester Bog, the rail trail abruptly launches out into Lake Champlain on a narrow rail bed built atop large marble
boulders. We were surrounded by water and mountains. We spun along, with views of the Adirondacks to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. We soon came to The Cut, a 200-foot gap in the causeway, and boarded a bike ferry that Local Motion operates from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Emerging at South Hero, we continued our ride past Snow Farm Vineyard where
Length: 18 miles, South Ryegate to Marshfield Pit stop: Rainbow Sweets Bakery, Marshfield Just south of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, the Montpelier-Wells Rail Trail makes up the wildest and most scenic part of a route that’s being mapped and developed as the Cross Vermont Trail, traveling more than 90 miles east/west across the state between Wells and Burlington. For many years, the “Granite Train” ran a 45-mile stretch of tracks, connecting the mines of Barre with the main train
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Not far from West Pawlet, the Delaware & Hudson Line Rail Trail skirts Consider Bardwell Farm. Photo courtesy Consider Bardwell Farm
lines that ran down the Connecticut River valley. It’s now made up of three sections, the longest of which runs 18 miles through Groton State Forest, one of the state’s wildest parks. From Ricker Pond, at the southern end of Groton State Forest, nearly all the way to Marshfield, you can ride dirt and cinder trails through largely undeveloped land. Watch out for moose and deer. Stop at Lake Groton or Kettle Pond for a dip. Camp out at Groton State Park’s many camp sites or book a room at the state-owned Seyon Lodge in the middle of the forest. In Groton State Forest the trail can get rough at times, so be prepared for downed trees or muddy spots. But you’ll also be rewarded with plenty of places to stop and parking areas where you can cut the 21-miles short. But if you start or continue on to Marshfield, get there in time to stop at Rainbow Sweets Bakery. In business for 42 years, the bakery has been named the best bakery in Vermont by Buzzfeed and its caramel-coated cream puffs are something you can dream about the entire ride. More info: crossvermont.org
DELAWARE & HUDSON LINE RAIL TRAIL Length: 19.8 miles in two sections, Castleton to West Pawlet Pit stop: Consider Bardwell goat farm Little to no bike or foot traffic, open meadows, a goat farm where with a selfserve cheese stand, and a slate baron’s mansion (now a B&B ) are just a few of the things that make the Delaware & Hudson
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Hungry? Stop off at Consider Bardwell's self-serve farmstand on the D&H Rail Trail for its prized cheeses Photo courtesy Consider Bardwell Farm
Line rail trail one of the most interesting and most beautiful trails in the state. Once named the “The Bridge Line to New England and Canada,” the Delaware and Hudson line once connected New York with Montreal, Quebec and New England. During the 1800s, it transported minerals up and down the East Coast, crossing the western portion of Vermont. “Slate picker” cars stopped in Castleton, Granville and Poultney (a region still known as “slate valley”) and carried roofing slate from Vermont to towns around New England. The railroad went bankrupt in the 1970s and a decade later Vermont state purchased the abandoned tracks and began rehabbing
the route as a rail trail and put in more than 17 wood-deck bridges to span the many streams and rivers. Today, the rail still relies on its cinder and gravel bed and is better suited to wider or knobby tires of a hybrid or mountain bike. Start at the Amtrak station in Castleton or at the parking ahead at the Castleton State College trailhead. From there, the trail runs south to Poultney before crossing into New York. At present, the trail stops for about four miles just over the New York border, becoming densely overgrown, before picking up again in Granville, NY. This is one of two portions that New York State just received a grant to build out, and when that
is completed (town manager Dan Boone expects it to take a couple of years,) you will be able to ride 34 miles south to West Pawlet and then, via another section New York hopes to rehabilitate, on to East Salem. If you start or end in Granville, you can make a weekend of it if you book a room at the Station House B&B (in the old train station) or at the red slate Sheldon Mansion Inn whose 10 acres border the trail. A new brewery, Slate Town Brewery, is hoping to open this December in Granville, too. South of Granville, you’ll ride through dense forest before the landscape opens to farmland. As the trail crosses the 300-acre Consider Bardwell goat farm, look for a small sign for the serve-yourself farmstand with the creamery’s cheeses and other products. From there you can continue south to West Pawlet. As one reviewer writes on Traillink. com, “When riding this trail you’re almost always alone with your thoughts - you DO see others but it’s not the highway that other trails can be. It’s a country trail bisecting fields, paralleling a stream for a good portion of the ride, cow pastures, some old ‘urban’ decay near West Pawlet and Granville, but it’s completely scenic, quiet, and easily ridden.” More info: vtstateparks.com
David Goodman is the best-selling author of 10 books, including Democracy Now! See VTsports.com for his upcoming story on riding Quebec's famous Petit Train du Nord trail.
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IF YOU’VE RIDDEN OR SKIED ANY OF THE STATE’S MOST POPULAR MOUNTAIN BIKE AND BACKCOUNTRY TRAILS, YOU HAVE A LOT OF VOLUNTEERS TO THANK—AND PROBABLY ONE OF THESE FOUR PROS, TOO. BY BRIAN MOHR
Built by Sinuosity's Brooke Scatchard and Mariah Keagy , this new trail at the entrance to Perry Hill is dedicated to Andy Langlois, who lost his life mountain biking near here a year ago. Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
hey didn’t set out to be professional trail builders. Building and improving trails was simply part of the fun. Over the years, scores of anonymous volunteers have carved trails out of the hills and forests of Vermont, each riffing off what someone else had done before. In some places, such as Pittsfield’s Green Mountain Trails, you can point
to a handful of locals and folks such as Matt Baatz, who play a big role in the trail network. But no network in Vermont got to where it is today without the passion and generosity of volunteers or a local trail club coming together. Volunteer trail building is how Knight Ide, Hardy Avery, Brooke Scatchard and Mariah Keagy all got started. All passionate
riders and trail users themselves, they brought building skills and knowledge from other trades into their trail work. Now, all four are professional trail builders/ designers. They have an artillery of tools like McClouds and Pulaskis. They have an armada of excavators and other small machines, and they often work closely with teams of volunteers.
And team work is key. At Kingdom Trails, CJ Scott directs a crew of 10 dedicated individuals seasonally, May through October. They are all mountain bikers, many in high school or college, some with recreation-based college degrees. “Our summer build season is roughly 26 weeks long, and we spend approximately $135,000 to $150,000 just in wages to
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maintain the system,” says Scott. “And that’s not counting materials (such as gravel or lumber for bridges), machinery (ATV/ UTV’s), chainsaws, pole saws, brush saws, tillers, soil compactors, work trucks and a wide variety of hand tools and excavators. Roughly we spend around $25,000 to $35,000 to cover those additional trail expenses.” Yes, trail building has become a serious business. But here’s why three of the state’s top pros love it.
KNIGHT IDE: MASON AND MOUNTAIN BIKER Having grown up in the shadow of Burke Mountain, with an affinity for gravity and speed, it’s fitting that Knight Ide launched his trail building career by helping to create a bike park on his home turf, the Kingdom Trails. The Burke Bike Park continues to be a staple in Ide’s life. If he’s not up on the mountain coaching his IdeRide Youth Race Team or riding with friends, he’s probably tuning a few features with a tool in hand. And he does so with such passion it’s as if he is making up for lost time. Which he is. Ide didn’t even hop on a mountain bike until he was in his late twenties. He grew up on an organic sheep farm where his parents also made candles and restored post and beam buildings. Ide soon went to work with his father, restoring barns, churches and bridges before getting into masonry and setting up shop, Olde World Masonry, with another master mason, Dylan Eustace. The pair of stone artists now build everything from trails to bridges, fireplaces to buildings and try to keep a light touch on the land, using biodiesel to run their excavators. Officially, the famous banked-turn Kitchel Trail at Kingdom Trails was Ide’s first paid gig as a trail builder, but he shrugs that off since he easily dedicated even more volunteer time to creating the trail. During the last few winter seasons, Ide has been contributing to a growing trail network in Knoxville, Tennessee, which draws riders from all over the country. “But what really gets me going is when I’m building a trail somewhere I’ll be spending a lot of time…like close to home in the Kingdom,” says Ide. As if the Kingdom hasn’t already made a name for itself with its world class riding, Ide is dreaming big. From hut-tohut mountain bike touring, to connecting trail networks on the Burke area’s Victory Hill, Umpire and East Haven Mountains, Ide is more excited than ever to focus his energy in Vermont. Today, he works closely with his wife, Jenn, who does the books for their business, IdeRide, and runs Vermont Mountain Bike Tours with Knight’s sister, Lilias. Knight and Jenn live in Newark with their teenage son, Daymien. Ide builds trails with both hand tools
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Knight Ide, at left, and his crew at work on the new trails at Little River State Park in Waterbury. Photo by Brian Morh
and machines, and he often works with a crew, which this summer consists of three others he has known and worked with for years: Ethan Mosedale of Barnet, Ryan McEvoy of East Burke, and Josh Gee of Andover, NH.
Do you have any advice for aspiring trail builders in Vermont? There is a lot of criticism out there. Don’t let it get you down. Listen to it. Learn from it.
HARDY AVERY: THE TRAIL GARDENER
What inspires you most about your trail building work? Just being in the woods is a big part of it. But trail building also allows me to be incredibly creative. Visualizing, building and then watching trails come to fruition is really energizing. I love seeing where the water’s going to go, reading the contours. I love the quiet, the birds, the trees, the smells, the solitude and the light of the forest. What are the biggest challenges you face? Water’s the biggest challenge, for sure. Predicting where it is—and where it wants to be—as you are designing a trail is a real challenge. What publicly accessible projects are you working on now in Vermont? We’re just finishing another 1.5 miles of trail in Little River [State Park], which adds to the trails we built last season*. I’m also working on some new trails in the Victory Hill sector, just south of Burke Mountain. And then on East Haven mountain, where we hope to have a 2-mile descent built by the end of this season. For now, it will be a stand alone system on East Haven, but eventually we hope to connect from Moose Alley. We have a master plan that’s pretty ambitious. It’s evolving. (*While IdeRide is building the new mountain bike trails in Little River State Park, the trails were
Ide didn't hop on a mountain bike until he was in his twenties. Since then, he's made up for lost time. Photo by Brian Mohr designed by Brooke Scatchard and Mariah Keagy of Sinuosity, in partnership with the Waterbury Area Trails Alliance (WATA). Funding was been made available by the VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.) How do you see the future of trails playing out in Vermont? The possibility of connecting the many trail networks around the state really excites me, especially the potential for hut to hut and point to point riding. We have so many really good networks that enable you to go all day, but connecting them is the next step.
Hardy Avery not only designs and builds mountain bike trails for a living, but also creates backcountry ski trails and glades. When I ran into him at work one day recently he was leading a volunteer trail crew on a northeast-facing mountainside in the Brandon Gap area, and crafting a ski line that flows and drops more than 1,000 vertical feet to the stream valley below. “This is going to be a really fun section," said Avery, pointing to a visually pleasing swath of terrain below, sheltered by the canopy of hardwood trees overhead. Avery’s career choice isn’t surprising considering he has spent much of his life exploring the woods, meadows and mountains of Vermont. He grew up in Morrisville where his family created one of Vermont’s most acclaimed perennial gardens and nurseries, Cady Falls Nursery. Avery’s approach to trail building is rooted in countless mornings as a child spent shaping soil and working with hand tools at the nursery, a deep respect for the landscape, and dinner table conversations about landuse laws and access issues that impacted his family, their land and their business. After dropping out of high school, Avery went to work for, and became a part owner of the Irie (now Iride) bike shop in Stowe and helped to build many of the early trails
come from a family of self-employed people so it never really occurred to me that I would have a normal job and boss when I grew up, I just did what I wanted to do. To a lot of people, self-employment can be scary or foreign, but if you are passionate about what you do, commit to doing good work, and there is a market for what you do, it can be a great thing. How does someone get your job as a trail designer and builder? There are certainly college courses focused on business, outdoor rec, forestry etc. that would prepare someone for a job like trail building. I spent a lot of time as a trail volunteer and a lot of time doing the activities that I build for. This is something that my clients see, and it allows them to trust my recommendations. Whats the best part of your job? I enjoy working with clients to bring their vision to reality. Most of all, I just enjoy being in the woods laying out trails, digging in the dirt and dreaming of the fun I will have once the line is completed.
Sam Von Trapp tests out some of Hardy Avery's handiwork on the Trapp Family Lodge trails in Stowe. Photo by Brian Mohr
well as more businesses staying open year around. We have completed a couple of public pump tracks recently, and it is amazing to see the kids swarm as soon as we open the gate. Kids on strider bikes, kids on fancy bikes, kids in bare feet, kids with no bikes just running around. Just kids sweating, breathing hard, learning to interact with each other and doing cool outdoor stuff. I just love to see these positive changes happening.
in the area that are now managed by the Stowe Mountain Bike Club, including the original development of trails on Cady Hill, the Trapp Family Lodge land and on Perry Hill in Waterbury. For the past 10 years, he’s been building trail professionally. What is a typical day like for you? I tend to get on the job by 7:00 or 8:00 a.m and pound out 8-10 hours of work each day to maximize my time. Since my services cover designing trails as well as building them, I have many days where I am out in the woods alone walking the land, documenting terrain features, hanging flags and collecting GIS data. This can take a lot of strength, both physical and mental to do well. In the case of ski trails, I will climb and descend a hillside many times a day to get just the right trail alignment. Sometimes I just don’t want to go back up but I know I need to hang a few more flags so the client can find the route or maybe I still need to walk it one more time and get a GPS track record. Often, I will cover more than ten miles per day in rough trail-less backcountry terrain. Once this work is completed, I head home and work with my partner to create a map and a written report documenting what I laid out. On the building end of things, on bike trails I will be running the excavator and the crew will be dong hand work or I will be doing the chainsaw work while the crew clears brush. How does your job impact others? I am very proud of the work I do and feel good that so many people are able to get outdoors and enjoy the forest on the trails I
Avery, armed and dangerous—if you are a downed tree across his trail. Photo by Brian Mohr
build. I have built trails in regions that were lacking any real organized trail network and upon completion the trails were overrun with ecstatic trail users. As an example, I have been working with the town of Carrabassett, Maine and the Carrabassett chapter of New England Mountain Bike Association (CRNEMBA) for the past six years, designing a large mountain bike network throughout town. When I first started visiting in 2010 there were a few old trails here and there, now there is a townwide network that is becoming a destination for riders through the Northeast. I am seeing more and more cyclists each time I visit as
What are your favorite trail projects? One of my favorite projects recently involved developing backcountry skiing terrain in the Green Mountain National Forest. I worked closely with some very dedicated groups including the US Forest Service, Rochester/ Randolph Area Sports Trails Alliance (RASTA) and the Vermont Backcountry Alliance (VTBC), which is a part of Vermont’s Catamount Trail Association (CTA). This project, like many others I have been involved in, is located in a very rural area that is seeing an economic and population decline to the point where schools are almost closing and residents are finding it hard to stay in the area. I believe that expanding recreational opportunities can help foster a healthier community in some of our rural areas that are facing challenges. What was your first job in the outdoor industry?” I started working in bike and ski shops as a young teen and then in my early twenties (1998) I opened my own bike shop, Irie in Stowe, with a buddy. During the nine-year run as a shop owner, I started getting into trail advocacy, maintenance and building. I
BROOKE SCATCHARD & MARIAH KEAGY: INVENTOR AND TRAIL PRO The duo behind Sinuosity, the trail development crew that’s worked on everything from private trails in North Carolina to the new town pump track at Hard’ack in St. Albans, Brooke Scatchard, and Mariah Keagy have been working on trails for nearly 20 years. Scatchard earned a degree in geography from University of Vermont and founded Sinuosity in 2006. A former Nordic ski racer, he’d already begun work developing a “ski bike” (a fat bike with a front ski attachment) and was spending much of his time either riding or working on the trails near his home in Shelburne. Keagy, who grew up in Dorset, started working on trails in Vermont and in the Adironcacks while still a teenager. She went on to earn a M.S in Environmental Science from Antioch New England. She’s worked on trail crews all over the United States and has served as the trails supervisor for the Appalachian Mountain Club. The two began working together in 2013 and since then have designed and/or built many of the trails at Norwich University’s former downhill ski area, including an advanced flow trail, the Connector trail at Stowe’s Cady Hill, some of Warren's Blueberry Lake trails and the 20-switchback Warman trail in Pittsfield. This summer, the duo are working on a number of new trails around the state (see Fresh Dirt, p. 6). We caught up with them to learn more about the new trails—and Brooke's side project, the Fat Bike Ski.
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How do the two of you work together and what projects have you worked on? BS: Mariah does a lot of the design and I have two other employees. We started out at Norwich University, building a full network we designed on an abandoned ski area with about 6 miles of trails, including a flow trail. We’ve built a pump track in Putney, the new Connector trail at Stowe’s Cady Hill and last summer we built Evolution, a two-mile up and down trail in the Mad River Valley. MK: I've done a lot of design work and worked a lot on hiking trails. I really like to work on rock. Brooke is great at operating heavy machinery so he focuses on that. What trails are you working on now? BS: This summer we’ve been working on new trails near Kent Pond in the town of Killington and an entrance build near Perry Hill in Waterbury. We’re also building a flow trail at Grafton Ponds and a downhill trail network for Suicide Six. What does it cost to build a mountain bike trail? BS: With machines, it’s about $30,000 per mile of trail. Most people do a mile or two per year. Hand-built is a little more. How did you come up with the idea for the fat bike ski? BS: I started racing mountain bikes when I was 14, skied on the high school Nordic ski team and was really into metal work, so this sort of combined all three passions. I came up with the first design as my senior project at Champlain Valley Union high school. I made a prototype in shop class and applied for a patent. I even rode the prototype from
Summertime finds Brooke Scatchard of Sinuosity busy building and designing trails. But over the winter, he builds and rides the Fat Bike Ski, his own invention. Photo by Brian Morh
Shelburne to Bolton. Interestingly enough, when I was researching the patent I found a design for a British “ice-velocipede” from the 1890s, so it’s not really a new idea.
Mariah Keagy Photo by Aly Kibbee
DIGITAL TRAIL FINDERS
Trails evolve. So how do you find them, keep track of trail conditions and find out what’s new? These three digital resources will help you discover new trails here in Vermont and beyond. TRAILHUB: CONDITIONS ON YOUR PHONE Imagine you could get up-to-the-date conditions on all your favorite mountain bike trails, maps and local area info (such as the nearest brew pub or bike shop) all on your phone? That’s what Vermonter Shannon King had in mind when he created TrailHub in 2014. “I remember driving 40 minutes to a trailhead only to find a rope across it — trail closed,” King recalls. That spurred him to build the TrailHUB app which launched in November, 2016. The free app now lists more than 3,000 trails in 22 states and three Canadian provinces. Even more cool, it has 300 organizations updating trail conditions ,including nearly all the chapters of the Vermont Mountain Biking Association, Vermont ski resorts and
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How does the fat bike ski work? BS: It’s a much flowier, smoother ride than a regular fat bike. The ski is on a double articulated attachment so you can both turn it and it can go up on edge and carve like a regular ski. I started out using snow blades but now have a short, wide ski custom built for this. The beauty of it is the attachment can fit onto most regular fat bike forks and it’s pretty easy to swap out a front tire. The only difference: there are no front brakes.
other trail organizers. Once you download the app, you can sign up for alerts for your favorite networks and get real time updates from the organizers. “Our mantra is to give the trail builders a way to reach their community,” says King. Trailhub.com
Have you had a lot of orders? BS: There’s a waiting list now, and we’re gearing up our website and production. It’s about $875 for one now but I hope to get that cost down and am looking to work with a Vermont ski builder. You still have time to build trails? BS: Yeah, the only time I don’t ride is when trails are muddy—and I hope others don’t either because it ruins my trails. Brian Mohr is an outdoor photographer, adventurer and writer who lives with his family in the Mad River Valley.
TRAILINK: RAIL TRAILS ACROSS THE U.S. In 1986 there were only about 250 miles of mapped rail trails in the U.S. Now, thanks to the work of the Rails to Trails Conservancy and others, that number has exploded. In Vermont alone, Trailink, the website and app the Conservancy runs, lists more than 33 rail trails, hiking trails and rec paths, TRAILFINDER: FIND YOUR VT/NH TRAILS ranging from the 0.5-mile Hoot Toot & So you are traveling and find yourself in, Whistle Trail in Wilmington’s west end to say Norwich, Vt., and want to find a local the 87.5-mile Cross Vermont Trail. The site mountain bike or hiking trail. Where do and app list distances, descriptions of what you go? The state of Vermont teamed up the trail is best for (with a focus on biking, with officials in New Hampshire to build hiking and running.) The search function is Trailfinder.info. On the site you can search a bit clunky (a search for cross country ski by activity (there’s everything from biking— TrailHUB sends live-time trail trails in Vermont came up empty) but its road and mountain—to snowmobiling, to condition alerts to your phone. forte is really the rail trail networks. From canoeing or even ice skating). You can also the reviews that users post on it, a number search by location or by adventure (say, ‘Summit Hikes’ of people use Traillink.com to make a bucket list of rail or “Lookouts and Fire Towers.”) Trails are overlaid on trails they plan to tick off in each state. Not a bad idea, satellite maps and have full descriptions, whether or not come to think of it. Trailink.com —L. Lynn they are pet friendly and if there are any fees. You’ll also find links to additional resources. Trailfinder.info
Spend Your Days On The Water P.S. We have moved from South Burlington to our NEW location in Richmond!
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93.2 MILES FROM ST. JOHNSBURY TO SWANTON THE LONGEST RAIL TRAIL IN NEW ENGLAND 18 HOST COMMUNITIES ALONG THE WAY FOUR-SEASON USE FOR NON-MOTORIZED ACTIVITIES AND SNOWMOBILING Hikers, cyclists, horseback riders, snowmobilers, skiers, and more— the LVRT offers something for everyone who enjoys being outside in Vermont all year long. When complete, it will be the longest rail trail in New England!
SHELDON to CAMBRIDGE
SWANTON to SHELDON
Planned for Phase 2
EXPERIENCE THE TRAIL TODAY Thirty-three miles of trail are now open, with sections from St. Johnsbury to West Danville and Morristown to Cambridge. Construction from Sheldon to Swanton will begin in Spring 2018.
18.4 Miles LENGTH:
Construction starts Spring 2018 FLETCHER
Planned for Phase 2
YOUR HELP MATTERS To make the entire trail a reality, we will need your help. Donations and sponsorships are needed to complete the conversion of the railroad into a four-season recreation trail.
DONATE TODAY AT LVRT.ORG
MORRISTOWN to GREENSBORO
CAMBRIDGE to MORRISTOWN STATUS:
DANVILLE to ST. JOHNSBURY STATUS:
GREENSBORO to DANVILLE
Planned for Phase 3
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 25
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26 VTSPORTS.COM | AUGUST 2017
VS: I’m curious about a postconcussion workshop you gave.
KV: I’m working on my Education Doctorate and my dissertation focuses on the academic effects on college students after being concussed. We have all this information about returning an athlete to physical activity, but we don’t know how to return someone back to academics. Dark room therapy for five days sets students back and may not help healing. I’ve had patients and students who have sustained concussions. UVM does a really good job and is willing to support them, but we don’t have a uniform policy in place.
ADVENTURE RACER Name: Kit Vreeland Age: 33 Lives in: Winooski Family Ben, fiancée; Cats: Spout and Shakespurr Occupation: Athletic trainer and clinical associate professor Primary sports: Mountain biking, hiking, alpine touring and adventure racing. Kit Vreeland is happiest when she’s out in the woods. Whether it’s hiking, biking, alpine touring or adventure racing with the Green Mountain Adventure Racing Association (GMARA), she thrives on navigating her way through the trees. When she’s not recreating, she’s helping others stay healthy by teaching and working as an athletic trainer at UVM while she finishes her doctorate in education. VS: How often do you do adventure races? KV: I did three adventure races last year, and each time I say that it’s my favorite day of the year. VS: How did you get started? KV: I did just about everything I could growing up, although not always competitively, so I grew up feeling like I was a multi-sport athlete. After college I tried triathlons, but that quickly became duathlons because I’m not a good swimmer. I did my first adventure race in 2007 and I’ve been doing them ever since. When I can, I also help out by volunteering. Mostly I’ve been doing point setting and picking up the points after the race. I’ll ask for a map and find the points and bring them back, so I’m helping out but I also get to be out in the woods. VS: What do you like about adventure races? KV: I like the fact that you do different things. I love the hiking and biking and I’ve been doing more paddling, but the navigation is really key for me. I remember the first time I learned how to use a compass when I was in fifth or sixth grade. I took it out on a hike with my family the next day and the hike took forever because I kept counting how many steps we took and checking our heading. That turned into a love of maps. I don’t have a GPS in my car or a smart phone.
VS: How did you get into mountain biking?
Adventure racing takes Kit Vreeland on pretty much every type of terrain Vermont can throw at you. Photo courtesy Kit Vreeland
VS: Aren’t some of those adventure races pretty long? KV: I’ve always been an endurance person. I ran cross-country and I’m out for multiple hours on my bike so it’s not a problem for me. I did my first 24-hour adventure race last summer. That takes some adapting, but I can’t wait until the next one. The nutrition piece is really important. I have to eat a lot of really dense food. I’m still figuring it out, because I didn’t do very well in that race. I need things that can be eaten easily like oatmeal mixes, peanut butter, Clif bars, goos and shot blocks. One of my racing partners is able to eat pre-cooked meals including potatoes but I can’t do that. VS: Do you prefer summer or winter races? KV: I prefer the summer ones. I did a few winter ones, but I’m not a Nordic skier. In fact, when I did my first winter race I had only Nordic skied once. I enjoyed it because there was still the navigation component and anything physically active is fun but I crashed a lot. VS: Is there one race that is particularly memorable? KV: In 2015, I did a GMARA race at Bolton. We started at Little River and went up the backside of Woodward Mountain. It might have been a bit unfair to teams from outside Vermont because I knew the area and it really spoke to me. My partner and I did really well on that course. The sense of place was really special. VS: What is your best discipline? KV: I think I’m very strong with navigation.
I typically navigate all my races, except that 24-hour one where my partner and I took turns. The endurance piece is also key for me. I always feel like I’ve got more to give. I love the Teddy Roosevelt quote that “the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” VS: I’m really curious why you named your team for last year’s Bitter Pill race “There’s a Cat in My Backpack.” KV: My friends say I have too much love for my two cats. I used to put one in a backpack and walk around the house because I wanted her to be a hiking cat. It didn’t work out, but four years later I thought it would be a good name for a team.
KV: Once I moved to Vermont, mountain biking became a big sport that I started involving myself in, and after college I got even more into it. I’m part of the Fellowship of the Wheel and go to the mountain bike festivals. I love being a part of the community and I would like to help out more with trail work. Last year I did the Race to the Top. Adventure racing is hard, but that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s 4.3 miles of uphill. You’re only thinking about yourself and how hard it is. I’ve thought about doing the double but I don’t think I’d ever make it down in time. Downhill is hard on your knees. VS: Is that why you like alpine touring? KV: You get the fun of going up but you don’t have to kill yourself on the way down. I really like the uphill better. I like the grind and the workout. I like being out in the woods and finding new places; it’s not about fresh tracks.
VS: Tell us about your work at UVM?
VS: But you like hiking, which has both uphill and downhill.
KV: I’m an athletic trainer by profession, but I also teach. My contract is primarily teaching rehabilitation and movement science as part of the athletic training education. Thirty percent of my contract is clinical as a trainer for the rugby and football teams. They compete in intercollegiate competitions but are under the auspices of Student Government, rather than Athletics.
KV: Hiking is all about the journey. I love the different seasons you can hike in. That’s something we’re fortunate to have in New England. Last summer my fiancée and I hiked Mount Olympus in Greece when we visited Eastern Europe with my family. That’s a 10,000-footer that rises right from the sea and it’s a beautiful hike.
VS: Is your work an outgrowth of your background in team sports? KV: I got into athletic training because I wanted to be around athletes. I made that decision in high school. I played basketball, soccer, and ran track and cross-country in high school. In college at Castleton, I played basketball. We need to push for more athletic trainers in high school. I didn’t have one then, but when I got hurt in college we had a trainer and that’s when I knew what I wanted to do.
VS: How hard is it for a newbie to try adventure racing? KV: GMARA races are really good for beginners because most of the races have cut-offs if you don’t get to checkpoints in time. I’ve raced with ten different people over the course of 10 years and most of them were new racers. It’s a neat way to bring people into the sport. You get to have an intimate relationship pretty quickly that way. GMARA does a great job with first timers. –Phyl Newbeck
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 27
RACE & EVENT GUIDE
LISTING YOUR EVENT IN THIS CALENDAR
IS FREE AND EASY. VISIT VTSPORTS.COM/ SUBMIT-AN-EVENT OR E-MAIL EDITOR@ VTSPORTS.COM. ALL AREA CODES ARE
802. ALL LOCATIONS ARE IN VERMONT, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. FEATURED
EVENTS, IN YELLOW, PAY A NOMINAL FEE.
RUNNING & HIKING AUGUST 5 | Fairfax Egg Run, Fairfax Choose from a 5K run, a 5K walk, or a 10K run, plus a 1K kid’s run (13 and under). The fee includes a post-race omelet cooked to order. fairfaxrecreation.com 5 | Moosalamoo Ultra, Goshen Head to the Moosalamoo Ultra for 14- and 36-mile trail races, which run primarily through the Green Mountain National Forest. This race is dog-friendly. moosalamooultra.com
18 | Under Armour Mountain Marathon, Killington Run between Killington’s and Pico’s peaks.on s a 50K, marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 10K or 5K. killington.com 18-19 | Last Mile Ride, Randolph The Gifford Medical Center hosts a 5K run and walk. The event includes an 80-mile motorcycle ride on paved roads with a barbecue for all participants. giffordmed.org 25 | Best Dam Run & Walk,Whitingham This out-and-back half-marathon follows the west side of Harriman Reservoir. Catch amazing views from the 215-foot-high, 1,250-foot-long dam. bestdamwalk.com 26 | Little City Run/Walk, Vergennes Vermont’s “Little City” hosts 10K and 5K races with views of Lake Champlain. addisoncounty.com 26-27 | 4th Annual ADK 80K, Lake Placid, N.Y. Aa 80K/50K trail run and relay on Saturday, plus 80K/40K mountain bike races on Sunday on the 20K loop of the 1980 Olympic Nordic ski trails. adk80K.com 26 | KBC Race to The Summit, Killington Hike or run in this challenging and scenic 5K course
27 | Zoe’s Race, Burlington Howard Center’s “Zoe’s Race” is a 5K through Oakledge Park raising funds for Vermont families who need accessible homes for their children. runvermont.org
SEPTEMBER 2-3 | Jay Peak Trail Running Festival, Jay Head to northern Vermont for a series of trail races around Jay ranging from 5K to 50K. jaypeaktrailrun.com 3 | 49th GMAA Archie Post 5-Miler, Burlington The certified point-to-point course follows the South Burlington Bike Path. gmaa.net 9 | Stride For Pride, Burlington Follow the Burlington waterfront in this 5k, which boasts views of the Adirondacks. Proceeds support the Pride Center of Vermont. pridecentervt.org 9 | Fight For Air Climb, Bennington Race up 412 steps of the historical Bennington Battle Monument in the country's only race of its kind. The event supports lung disease research. action.lung.org
from the Ramshead Base Lodge to the Peak Lodge at the summit. All racers receive a one-way gondola ticket for a scenic descent. killington.com
9 | Maple Leaf Half Marathon, Manchester Make-A-Wish Vermont and the Manchester Lions Club host a fall half marathon, starting and finishing in Manchester Village. manchestervtmapleleaf.com
12 | Kingdom Run, Irasburg Try a half marathon, 10K or 5K on scenic dirt roads. Blueberry sundaes served post race. kingdomrun.org
27 | Race to The Top Of Vermont, Stowe The Catamount Trail Association challenges runners and cyclists to race up Stowe’s historic Toll Road, gaining 2,564 vertical feet over 4.3 miles. catamounttrail.or
9 | Endurance Society’s Sky Run, Waitsfield A series of climbs to the summit of Gen. Stark Mountain. Pick the 5K Sky Run, with (2,000 feet of vertical climbing), or a 10K (3,700 feet of vertical). endurancesociety.org
17 | Berlin Pond 5-Miler, Berlin This certified 5-mile loop runs counter-clockwise around Berlin Pond on dirt roads with a water stop. cvrunners.org
27 | Scholarship 5K Trail Race, South Burlington A 5K trail run through Red Rocks Park. The GMAA scholarship goes to two high school runners. gmaa.net
9 | Covered Bridge Half Marathon, Charlotte Race along mostly dirt and gravel roads, beginning and ending at Shelburne Beach on Lake Champlain. racevermont.com
12 | 100 on 100 Relay, Stowe Teams of runners relay the 100 miles between the Trapp Family Lodge and Okemo on Route 100. 100on100.org
Providing comfort at the end of life.
West Hill Grinder
5K Run & Walk Events
Sunday, Sept 24th High Meadows Farm Putney, Vermont
$25 minimum per participant
$50 per driver/$75 driver and passenger
AT GIFFORD MEDICAL CENTER IN RANDOLPH, VT
An adventure over the dirt roads and through the woods!
Fundraiser for the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association
REGIS BY AU TER FOR A G. 1 F T-SHIR REE T!
Enter to WIN a ‘17 Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster (approximately $8,500 retail value) from Wilkins Harley-Davidson in South Barre, Vt.
To conserve and make accessible lands along the Windmill Hill Ridge
OR Trade toward the bike of your choice OR $5,000 cash
Learn more and register at: www.lastmileride.org OR CALL (802) 728-2726
Tickets: $100 each (only 100 tickets to be sold) Raffle winner is responsible for tax, title, registration and pick-up. Color and model dependent on availability.
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28 VTSPORTS.COM | AUGUST 2017
#1 FOR TODAY’S COUNTRY
10 | Old Stone House Fall Foliage Run, Walk and Bike, Brownington Runners, walkers and bikers compete on dirt roads in the Northeast Kingdom. Runners and walkers choose half marathon or 5K walk/run, bikers ride 12 miles. oldstonehousemuseum.org
24 | 25th Annual Vermont 50, Windsor Ultra-runners and mountain bikers head to Windsor for a 50-mile run, 50K run or 50-mile mountain bike race. Event benefits Vermont Adaptive. vermont50.blogspot.com 29 - 10/1 | Krissy Moehl Running Camp, Richmond Join trail running legend and Julbo Athlete Krissy Moehl for a weekend-long running camp that will include skills, group trail runs for all abilities, classroom presentations and discussions, all at Cochran’s Ski Area. julbo.com
15 | ShoeFly Trail Running Festival, East Burke This festival of trail running welcomes runners and walkers to try 50K, 12-hour, 24-hour solo/team relay, 25K, 10K, 5K or 1-mile races. shoeflytrailrun.org 16 | Common to Common 30K, Essex Junction This certified 30K (18.64 miles) goes through farm country between Essex Center and Westford Common. gmaa.net 17 | TAM Trek, Middlebury The 18-mile-long Trail Around Middlebury hosts a series of races. Runners can choose between 6-mile and 18mile runs, a 2-mile family fun run and a 3-mile hike or a mountain bike. Course includes single and doubletrack trails, pavement and technical sections. maltvt.org 20 | Sodom Pond 4-Miler, Adamant A rolling 4-mile dirt road course loops counter-clockwise around Adamant’s Sodom Pond. runvermont.org
8 | Ripton Ridge Run, Ripton The Ripton Elementary School hosts its annual fundraiser with a 5K run, 10.4K run and a noncompetitive 5K fun walk. All courses start and finish at the Ripton Elementary School. riptonridgerun.addisoncentralsu.org
30 | 19th Annual Stark Mountain Hill Climb/Run, Fayston Run from the Mad River Glen base lodge to the summit of Stark Mountain. This climb is part of Mad River Glen’s Green and Gold Weekend. madriverglen.com
14 | CircumBurke MTB Challenge and Trail Run, East Burke This annual mountain bike and trail running ritual follows an epic and brutal 26-plus miles around Burke and Umpire mountains on Kingdom Trails singletrack. circumburke.org
14 | Trapp Family Lodge Mountain Marathon, Stowe A challenging half and full marathon distance trail run in the heart of the Green Mountains during peak foliage season. trappmountainmarathon.com
7 | Art Tudhope 10K, Charlotte Run on a fast out-and-back course with a mix of dirt and paved roads and pleasant scenery – apple orchards, views along Lake Champlain and a covered bridge. Finishes at Shelburne beach. gmaa.net
24 | Vermont Sun Half Marathon, Lake Dunmore Run along the shores of Lake Dunmore in a 5K, 10K or half marathon. vermontsuntrithlonseries.com
8 | Mad Dash, Waitsfield, Vt. Runners support the Mad River Path with a 10K and 5K race. Community lunch follows. madriverpath.com
30 | Run for The Heart, Morrisville Copley Hospital organizes a 5K run at Oxbow Park, which connects to the Lamoill Valley Rail Trail. Runners will follow the rail trail back to the finish. copleyvt.org
1 | Leaf Peepers Half Marathon, Waterbury CVR’s fundraiser for the Harwood Union Boosters Club is an out-and-back on paved and dirt roads. Part of the CVR ORS Race Series. leafpeepershalfmarathon.org
23–24 | Adirondack Marathon, Schroon, N.Y. This two-day event includes both half marathon and marathon races, a 5K and 10K, a children’s fun run, dinners and award ceremonies. adirondackmarathon.org
8 | Fly to Pie Kingdom Marathon, West Glover Kingdom Games’ 26.2-mile running (and bike) pointto-point race follows dirt roads through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom. 17-, 13.5-, and 6-mile, run, bike or hike options. kingdomgames.co
24 | Island Vines 10K, South Hero Snow Farm Vineyard serves as the starting point for a flat and scenic 10K on South Hero roads. snowfarm.com
TALENT MAKES PLAYS. TEAMWORK MAKES A STATEMENT.
24 | Trapp Cabin Trail Race, Stowe These friendly 5K and 10K trail races are a great opportunity to try trail running, to look for your personal best, or go for the gold. stoweadaptive.org
LIM OF ITED FE R $ SUM
14 | Shelburne Farms 5K, Shelburne Beginning and ending at the Shelburne Farms Coach Barn. Run past Lake Champlain, through the farm trails and fields before making your way past the Inn at Shelburne Farms to the finish line. racevermont.com
A Complete Guide to Alpine Skiing Fitness Chapters on endurance, strength, power, speed and agility, with training plans for the entire year. Includes reference material from over 30 years of research on elite skiers and athletes.
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email@example.com (802) 862-5222 specialolympicsvermont.org AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 29
15 | Run With The Heroes 5K, WillistonSupport Special Olympics Vermont in this 5K, sponsored by the Williston Police and Fire Departments. specialolympicsvermont.org 15 | Green Mountain Marathon, South Hero Run out and back on the west shores of South Hero and Grand Isle, on rolling terrain that passes farms, apple orchards and summer cottages, in this certified marathon and half-marathon. gmaa.net 21 | Muddy’s Buddies 5K Walk/Run, Shelburne A yearly tribute to Muddy, a sweet and gentle chocolate lab who never missed a race or a chance to make someone’s day. A portion of the net proceeds from this run/walk will go to local dog charities. Choose to run/walk with or without a furry friend. Muddy wouldn’t want it any other way. The course is a 4 loop course around the grounds of Vermont Teddy Bear. racevermont.com
BIKING AUGUST 5 | Bike MS: Green Mountain Getaway, Burlington Starting at the University of Vermont, this event includes 30-, 60- and 100-mile rides around the Champlain Valley. nationalmssociety.org 8 | Tour de Farms Bike Ride, Bristol This year’s route will follow 28 miles of rolling hills and backcountry roads through the Champlain Valley. Includes an after-party with dancing and refreshments. acornvt.org
12 | Harpoon Point-To-Point, Windsor Tackle 100, 50 or 25 miles on the road or the 20-mile mountain bike ride at Ascutney. Head to the Harpoon Brewery for BBQ, live music and beer after the race. harpoonpointtopoint.com
27 | Vermont Overland Gran Prix, Pomfret A 51-mile dirt road bicycle race featuring 5,400 feet of climbing, seven sections of unmaintained ancient public roads, a village downtown start/finish and a street party after. vermontoverland.com
12 | 9th Annual Bike N’ Brew Festival, East Burke Burke Mountain welcomes anyone who loves bikes and craft brews to an event with tastings, lift rides, mountain biking and awards for the best beer. skiburke.com
29 | Walk or Pedal for PSC, Woodstock This 100K/55K road bike ride or 15K walk covers beautiful routes in and around Woodstock. The ride benefits PSC Partners Seeking a Cure. greatfreedomadventures.com
14 | Addison County Bike Club Women’s Clinic, Middlebury Learn the basics of mountain biking: climbing, ascending and maneuvering. The second installment on 8/22 moves women to the trails. addisoncountybikeclub.org
17-20 | The Vermont Challenge, Manchester Manchester and Stratton Resort serve as home base for four days of long-distance rides between 26.5 and 105 miles. The Challenge also includes a gran fondo option for Saturday. vtchallenge.com
1-4 Green Mountain Stage Race, Waitsfield The largest pro/amateur road stage race east of the Mississippi returns to Vermont with four days of time trials, criterium races and a gran fondo. gmsr.info 3 | Labor Day 130K, Peru Ride 85 miles through southern Vermont with an elevation gain of 7,500 feet. Ride is unsupported and raises money for Rare Disease Research. rasopathiesnet.org
19-20 | Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, Gorham, N.H. Cyclists race 7.6 miles up the Mount Washington Auto Road to the 6,288-foot summit on an average grade of 12 percent. Extended sections are 18 percent. The last 50 yards are 22 percent. mwarbh.org
4 | Richard Tom Foundation Kids’ Criterium, Burlington A free, noncompetitive event for kids ages 7-11. Ages 7-8 ride for laps and 9- to 11-year olds ride four laps. Honors Richard Tom, who was fatally struck by a speeding driver in 2015. bikereg.com/the-green-mountain-stage-race.
26 | Peak GMT Gnarly Adventure and 6-Hour Challenge, Pittsfield Gnarly Adventure covers all 25 miles of the Green Mountain
8 | Grand Grand Prix, Quebec City; 10 | Montreal The UCI WorldTour comes to Quebec and Montreal with world teams, professional continental teams and national teams going head-to-head in criterium-style races in historic Montreal and Quebec. gpcqm.ca
Trails while the Six-Hour Challenge has riders complete as many laps as possible over a 10-mile loop. peak.com
a le n d a r s!
WIN YOUR PIVOT!
Winner chooses bike model, size and color. $5 bucks a shot, enter as many times as you wish. Drawing on Sept. 1, 2017. Everyone wins because you get more trails, better trails. Get more details at VMBA.ORG
30 VTSPORTS.COM | AUGUST 2017
9 | 12th Annual Kelly Brush Ride, Middlebury With 20-, 50-, 65-, 85- or 100-mile options, this scenic, fully-supported ride through the Champlain Valley draws over 700 cyclists and dozens of handcyclists. Followed by a festive BBQ. kellybrushfoundation.org 10 | Cabot Ride the Ridges, Cabot With routes of 10, 30, 60 and 100K, this ride through Peacham and Cabot has something for everyone. ridetheridges.net 23 | The Moose Redux, East Burke This 103-mile ride runs through Caledonia and Essex Counties on recently repaved roads. The Team Challenge pits teams of 3 to 10 riders based on the cumulative fastest three times of each team. kingdomgames.co 26 | Stone Valley 50 Gravel Grinder, Poultney Gravel grinders can test themselves either a 50-mile race through Poultney, Castleton and Middletown Springs; or a 20-mile noncompetitive tour. stonevalley50.com 30 | Hungry Lion Bike Tour, Whitingham These 35-, 55- and 75-mile road bike rides are fully supported with rest stops, sag wagon, BBQ, music and beer. hungrylionbiketour.com
10-13 | Shale “Hell” Endurance Festival, Benson A festival with 72-, 48-, 24- and 8-hour races for a chance to qualify for the OCR World Championships. shalehilladventure.com 11-12 | The Bitter Pill, Bolton Teams of two or three complete a 12-hour race with several disciplines including mountain biking, paddling, rappelling, running, orienteering and more. gmara.org 12-13 | USBA Rollerski Biathlon National Championships, Jericho Top biathletes sprint race on Saturday, and do a pursuit style race on Sunday, eabiathlon.org 13 | Lake Dunmore Triathlon, Salisbury Vermont Sun’s Olympic distance triathlon includes a .9-mile swim, 28-mile bike ride and a 6.2mile run on the shores of Lake Dunmore. www. vermontsuntriathlonseries.com 13 | Vermont Sun Triathlon, Salisbury Part of Vermont Sun’s annual triathlon series, this triathlon includes a 600-yard swim, a 14-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run on the shores of Lake Dunmore. vermontsuntriathlonseries.com
30 | Allen Clark Hill Climb, Waitsfield Climb 1,600 vertical feet in 6.2 miles from Route 100 to the top of Appalachian Gap. achillclimb.org
19 | Lake Champlain Open Water Swim, Essex, Participants swim 3.76 miles from Essex, N.Y. to the public beach in Charlotte, Vt. in this fully supported swim. lakechamplainopenwaterswim.com
MULTISPORT, WATERSPORTS & OTHER
26 -27 | 24 Hours of Shale Hell, Benson Individuals or teams complete as many laps as they can over a 24 period on a 10K obstacle course with over 65 obstacles. www.shalehilladventure.com
AUGUST 5 | Stand Up for The Lake, Burlington This SUP event includes a $3,500 cash purse. Expect food, clinics, a 3-mile recreational race, a 6-mile elite race, and good times. paddleguru.com 5–6 | Martin 16 Invitational Regatta, Colchester The Northeast Disabled Athletic Association and the Malletts Bay Boat Club host the longest running disabled regatta in New England. disabledathletics.org/regatta/ 12–20 | NEKOWSA Swim Week, Newport Swim 8 lakes over 9 days in the NEK and the Eastern Townships of Quebec: Caspian, Island Pond, Echo, Seymour, Massawippi, Memphremagog, Willoughby and Caspian. Distances range from 1.5-mile to 9-mile swims. Short options on each day. kingdomswim.org
SEPTEMBER 8-10 | 90-Miler Adirondack Canoe Classic, Old Forge, NY This three-day, 90-mile flatwater race follows the original highways of the Adirondacks from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, with a mix of lake and river paddling. macscanoe.com
11 | In Search of Memphre VI, Newport Swimmers take on a 25-mile swim from Newport, Vt. across the border to Magog, Quebec. kingdomgames.co 15 | Disc Golf Pro Tour Championship, Jeffersonville Smugglers’ Notch hosts a point series of five tournaments as part of Smuggler's Notch Fall Fest. The top 48 in the series compete for a prize of $10,000. smuggs.com 16-17 | Spartan Race, Killington Obstacle course racers tackle the Beast of the East in the famously tough Spartan Race. killington.com 17 | 41st Annual Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon, Great Barrington, Ma. Run, bike and canoe/SUP/kayak through five towns in the Berkshires to the finish line at the Tanglewood Music Festival. joshbillings.com
ONGOING Ethan Allen Summer Race Series, Jericho EABC holds a 6-race summer (running) biathlon race series on Thursday nights Aug. 3, 10 and 17, open to all. Categories include sprint, pursuit, individual and relays for 5K to 10K. eabiathlon.org
Ethan Allen Biathlon Club presents the
USBA Rollerski Biathlon National Championships
August 12 & 13, 2017 - 9:00 am start Come watch some of the world’s best biathletes! Want to try it? Novice Race (running & shooting) August 12, 2017. 12:00 noon safety clinic, 1:00 5K race start. No experience needed, club riﬂes provided. Must be 10 or older. Registration info:
JOSH B LLINGS 41ST ANNUAL
HALF MARATHON Branbury State Park on beautiful Lake Dunmore
R U N A G R O U N D T R I AT H L O N
Ethan Allen Biathlon Club 2017 Summer Race Series
DATES July 6, 13, 20, August 3,10, 17 TIMES 5:00 pm - Registration 5:30 to 6:00 pm - Zeroing 6:15 pm - Race Start WHERE Ethan Allen Biathlon Club Ethan Allen Rd., Jericho, VT
NEW: See our website for NEW mandatory
Sunday, September 17 10k, 5k run... September 24 • 10am
Bike • Canoe/Kayak/SUP • Run Triathlon Team & Iron Categories ND
Safety Clinic information Info: www.eabiathlon.org
THROUGH 5 TOWNS IN THE BEAUTIFUL BERKSHIRES
R U N & T R I AT H L O N S E R I E S
Registration open to individuals & teams 388-6888 • vermontsun.com
A NEW IALLY SOC CIOUS! S as sh h ith CON Jo e w Th ered n part
vativ t inno t, mos ays to w easies "The awesome ey for ." mon raise ble causes charita
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 31
6 Burlington 1
1184 Williston Rd. South Burlington, VT 802-862-2714
ALPINE SHOP V
www.AlpineShopVT.com Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10am–6pm; Sun. 10am–5pm (Hours change seasonally) Specializing in mountain, hybrid and commuter bikes from Norco and Felt, Alpine Shop is a full service Bike Shop conveniently located off Exit 14E with ample parking & riding space. Plus 15,000 square feet of stylish clothing for men and women with a full inventory of gear, shoes and apparel for tennis. Vermont’s favorite outdoor gear and apparel store since 1963.
99 Bonnet St. Manchester, VT 802-362-2734 www.battenkillbicycles.com Hours: 9:30am–5:30pm every day Full selection of men and women’s clothing. Rentals available. Great back roads. Road rides Thursdays at 6 pm, Beginner Rides Fridays at 6 pm.
24 Bridge St, Richmond VT 802-434-4876 www.belgencycles.com Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10:30am–6:30pm Closed Sundays Belgen Cycles offers custom and stock bicycles supported by 39 years of hands on experience. Focused on the right bike for you covering the spectrum from road to ‘cross and mountain to fat with selections from Salsa, Xprezo, Moots, Parlee, Litespeed, Lynskey and Soma. Full service maintenance and repair as well as fitting solutions. In business as Village Bicycle in Richmond for 19 years.
32 VTSPORTS.COM | AUGUST 2017
We are a full service bike shop at the base of the Mt. Greylock State reservation. We also border a beautiful 12 mile, paved rail trail. We carry Jamis, Rocky Mtn. and GT. We offer sales, repairs, and hybrid bike rentals for the rail trail.
Manchester Center 2
45 Bridge St. Morrisville, VT 802-888-7642
EAST BURKE SPORTS
439 Route 114 East Burke VT 802-626-3215 www.eastburkesports.com Hours: 9am-6pm every day
www.chucksbikes802.com Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9am–5:30pm Sat. 9am–3pm, closed Sundays Putting smiles on people’s faces for 35ish years. Bikes by Transition, Norco, KHS, Surly, Raleigh, Marin and Diamondback.
RR 8, 169 Grove St. Adams , MA 413-743- 5900
2500 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT 802-864-9197 www.earlsbikes.com Hours: Mon.–Fri. 10am–7pm Sat. 10am–6pm, Sun. 11am–5pm Earl’s has Vermont’s largest selection of mountain, road, hybrid, and kids’ bikes, clothing and accessories, helmets, shoes, and car racks. Plus an extensive women’s department, a full service department with a wide assortment of parts and tools on hand, ample parking, and a test ride trail!
We are the original home to Kingdom Trails. Located in the heart of town, we pride ourselves in expert knowledge while providing friendly customer service. A full service shop awaits you and your repair needs. We have 100 rental bikes with an enormous selection of clothing, parts, and accessories.
FROG HOLLOW BIKES
74 Main Street Middlebury VT 802-388-6666 www.froghollowbikes.com Hours: Fri. 9:30am–6:30pm, Sun. 11am–4pm Take advantage of the most advanced and courteous service in our region, including a quick turn-around in our service shop downstairs. Upstairs in the sales room, we offer the best in new and used road, mountain, lifestyle, and children’s bikes and new gear. We carry brands that offer superior products that balance innovation and performance with reliability and value.
9 GREEN MOUNTAIN BIKES
105 N. Main St. Rochester, VT 800-767-7882 www.greenmountainbikes.com Hours: 7 days a week 10am–6pm Located in the center of Vermont, the heart of the Green Mountains, we are surrounded by terrain that calls to mountain and road bikers alike. Whether you ride twisting trails or back to back gaps, we service, sell, and rent all styles of bicycles, featuring Kona, Jamis, Juliana, Raleigh, Santa Cruz, Transition, and Hinderyckx bikes - hand crafted by our own Rochester boy Zak Hinderyckx. So STOP READING and RIDE YOUR BIKE!
10 HIGH PEAKS CYCLERY 2733 Main St. Lake Placid, NY 518-523-3764
www.highpeakscyclery.com Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9am–6pm, Sun. 9am–5pm Lake Placid’s source for bicycling and outdoor gear since 1983! Sales, Service, Rentals and Tours. Bikes by Yeti, Foundry, Salsa, Surly, Giant and Scott. Your information headquarters for Lake Placid and the Adirondacks for gravel road, mountain biking and road riding adventures. Free maps. ADK80 and Ironman race info and course conditions.
11OMER & BOB’S
13 OUTDOOR GEAR
16 STARK MOUNTAIN
37 Church St. Burlington, VT 802-860-0190
9 RTE 17 Waitsfield VT 05673 802-496-4800
www.gearx.com Hours: Mon.–Thurs. 10am–8pm Fri.–Sat. 10am–9pm, Sun. 10am–6pm OGE offers Burlington riders a premier bike shop with a knowledgeable, friendly, and honest staff. We have commuters and gravel grinders from Marin and KHS, mountain bikes from Pivot, Transition, Rocky Mountain, and Yeti, and a wide consignment selection as well as demo fleet so you can try it before you buy it. Our service department is capable of everything from tuning your vintage road bike to servicing your new mountain bike and offers full Fox shock service. Come on down and see us on Church St!
14 POWER PLAY SPORTS 35 Portland St. Morrisville, VT 802-888-6557 www.powerplaysports.com Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9am–6pm, Sat. 8:30am–5pm Sun. 10am–4pm North Central Vermont’s Trek and Giant Dealer. With over 200 new and used bikes PPS has a bike for everyone. Service and rentals too!
20 Hanover St. Lebanon, NH 603-448-3522
85 Main St. Burlington, VT 802-658-3313
www.omerandbobs.com Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9am–6pm, Sat. 9am–5pm Closed Sundays
www.skirack.com Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10am–7pm, Sun. 11am–5pm
The Upper Valley’s bike shop since 1964. We carry road bikes, mountain bikes and kids bikes from specialty brands including Trek, Specialized and Colnago. Featuring a full service department offering bike fitting, bike rentals and a kids’ tradein, trade-up program.
12 ONION RIVER SPORTS
20 Langdon St. Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409
www.onionriver.com Hours: Mon.–Thurs. 9am–6pm, Fri. 9am–8pm, Sat. 9am–5pm, Sun. 11am–4pm
Locally owned since 1969, Skirack provides gear, clothing, expert fitting and accessories for all cyclists, with full service tuning and repairs...plus complete bike suspension service on most forks and rear shocks. Designated one of America’s Best Bike Shops, Skirack is blocks from Lake Champlain. Open 8am Mon-Sat for bike service, car racks and rentals. Road and mountain bike rentals at rentals. www.skirack.com.
The friendly, expert staff at Onion River Sports will help you find the perfect bike for every adventure, whether it’s a mountain, gravel, hybrid, road, kids, or fat bike — plus cycling accessories, apparel, car racks, and more outdoor gear. We also offer professional, comprehensive bike services, rentals, and bike shipping.
Find us on Facebook Hours: Tues.-Fri. 9am-6pm * Close at 5pm on Thursdays for Shop ride. Sat. 9am-4pm, Sun. 9am-1pm, closed on Mon. Located at the lowest spot in the Mad River Valley so you can coast in when you break your bike on a ride! 20 years of advise, directions and fixing anything that pedals. You know you want a Yeti. Come try one of ours!
17 WATERBURY SPORTS 46 South Main St. Waterbury, VT 802-882-8595 www.waterburysportsvt.com Hours: 7 days a week Mon.–Thurs. 10am–6pm, Fri.–Sat. 9am–7pm Sun. 10am–4pm WBS sells Trek and Giant bikes of every flavor from high end mountain bikes to kids, hybrids and cross bikes. Our service techs are among the best in northern VT. We also rent and Demo from our downtown location right near the Perry Hill Trails.
18 WEST HILL BIKE SHOP 49 Brickyard Ln. Putney, VT 802-387-5718 www.westhillshop.com Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10am–6pm Since 1971, the West Hill Shop has been a low-key, friendly source for bikes ‘n gear, service and rare wisdoms. We are known regionally as the go-to place for problem-solving technicians. Our bike fitters specialize in comfort without sacrificing efficiency. Recently, we’ve focused on stocking gravel road bikes, with awesome dirt road riding right out our door. Join us for our Annual West Hill Grinder Sept. 24. It’s truly a rural adventure with loops on scenic gravel roads or wily trails.
GEAR UP & JOIN THE PACK! ADVERTISE HERE.
Call Christy to get your bike shop listed.
802-388-4944 • firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUST 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 33
MY NINE MILES
IMAGINE A NINE-MILE COMMUTE BY BIKE WITH NO TRAFFIC.
BY JENNIFER CHITTICK
Jennifer Chittick rides a 1971 Schwinn nine miles to work each day, from Johnson to Morrisville, on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. Photos courtesy Jennifer Chittick
34 VTSPORTS.COM | AUGUST 2017
The five speeds seem to be all I need to tackle the slight grades of the trail, and the laidback look and feel of this bike match my attitude as I breathe in the damp morning air, soak in the sounds of the river, and watch
t’s 6:30 a.m. and the sun is barely peeking over the tree line. It’s a bit chilly but I know that as soon as I start moving I’ll warm up, so I dress in layers. I put my coffee in my spill-proof to-go mug, slide it in my water bottle holder, double check that I have my keys, put my work bag over my shoulder and set off to start my day. I’m wearing my Maui North bike shorts under my dress and I have a lightweight wool cardigan, a light guard against the fresh, morning air. This is my favorite morning commute. This is my time. And I treasure every second of it. I bought my home in Johnson last summer, and its proximity to the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail was a huge selling point for me. I had recently changed jobs, survived a divorce and went from commuting 37 miles (one way) to work every day down to nine
the sun rise higher in the sky.
miles. Nine miles!!! Nine miles with a rail trail that will pretty much take me from my front door to my desk. It’s like I’ve won the lottery.
I’ve figured out the logistics, and I dress for the day and take my time while soaking in the freedom the trail gives me. I’m usually the only one on the path that early, but I’ve noticed that with the nicer days that more folks are discovering the energy of the trail during the sweet early morning hours. I recently purchased a 1971 Schwinn Collegiate from a lovely 83-year-old woman who stopped riding it approximately five years ago. After tuning it up and buffing off some rust I’ve retired my road bike and have been using this old gal to travel the miles that separate me from my job in Morrisville. The five speeds seem to be all I need to tackle the slight grades of the trail, and the laidback look and feel of this bike match my attitude as I breathe in the damp morning air, soak in the sounds of the river, and watch the sun rise higher in the sky as I mentally prepare for my day.
It’s always the ride in that I embrace and appreciate the most, because I feel like I’m in on a secret that few know of. There are parts of the ride where I can see and hear the cars on Route 15, and even though the morning commuters are traveling the same way, I am invisible to them, like I’m on the inside looking out. It’s my world versus theirs. Don’t get me wrong—there are plenty of days when I’m an active, participant in their world, and I’m driving to work, picking kids up from practice, planning a trip to the grocery store in the time between work and domestic life. But on the days when I’m able to bike in to work, ah, those are the days when my soul is recharged. Jennifer Chittick is a DULCE Family Specialist and social worker at the Lamoille Family Center. She lives in Johnson.
THE WORLD TOP RIDERS IN ACTION! QUEBEC CITY
FRIDAY SEPT 08
SATURDAY SEPT 09
SUNDAY SEPT 10
START 11:00 am
START 3:30 pm
START 11:00 am
GRAND PRIX CYCLISTE DE QUÉBEC
CRITÉRIUM NATIONAL REGISTRATION: GPCQM.CA
GRAND PRIX CYCLISTE DE MONTRÉAL
Published on Aug 1, 2017