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New England’s Outdoor Magazine | | JUNE 2016


Beautiful Road Rides THE (BAD) NEWS ON



Our Guide to PlusSized Models* * We mean bikes, of course

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 UVM Medical Center. To make an appointment, call (888) 974-9783.



NEW ENGLAND’S OUTDOOR MAGAZINE ON THE COVER: Ross Scatchard rolls through Morrisville's farmland. Photo by Metzi Anderson


Angelo Lynn -


Lisa Lynn -


Evan Johnson -


Shawn Braley -


Sue Halpern & Bill McKibben


Dr. Nathan Endres, Dr. David Lisle, Dr. James Slauterbeck —University of Vermont College of Medicine; Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation



Christy Lynn -


Ben Hall | (603) 717-5496 Greg Meulemans | (802) 366-0689

Team Vermont Sports looking strong at the 2016 Dandelion Run in Derby in late May, one of Kingdom Games' don't-miss events. Photo by Phil White


Lyme disease. And for scientists researching it.

Lisa Razo -

Vermont's backroads are calling.


7 don't miss


Dave Honeywell | (802) 583-4653


Vermont Sports | 58 Maple Street Middlebury, Vt. 05753 | 802-388-4944

Vermont Sports is independently owned and operated by Addison Press Inc., 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753. It is published 9 times per year. Established in 1990. Vermont Sports subscriptions in the U.S.: one year $25. Canada: US funds, please add $5 per year postage.



Go Explore

Wheel Art

New exhibits celebrate bikes.


great outdoors

5 Most Beautiful Rides

adventure town

Northern Exposure.

Newport is alive with roads to ride and lakes to swim.



Fat, Fatter, Fattest

A cycling club mapmaker's five favorite rides. Plus: Hop a train, bring your bike and Burke's action film camp.

Our guide to the dizzying new array of bikes, wheel and tire sizes. Plus, what's right for you.

13 health

The Trails Less Traveled

Ticked Off

Vermont is a top three state for



Inspired by the Cross Vermont Trail, cyclists map their own way-off-the-beaten-track loop.


reader athletes



Meet Steve Barner, the man behind the 100/200 bike ride and a marathoner John Lent

Stay Thirsty, My Friends

There all sorts of new ways and gear to keep you hydrated. Our picks for the best.





Summer's Best Events In Memorium

A tribute to riders who passed.

ADVERTISERS! The deadline for the July issue of Vermont Sports is June 15. Contact today to reserve your space!





The new Manta AG™ / Mira AG™ Series featuring Osprey’s award winning Anti-Gravity™ suspension redefines pack comfort. With incredible organization for diehard gear-junkies and the new Osprey Hydraulics™ Reservoir by Hydrapak® for hassle-free hydration, your day hike might extend well past sunset.







hil White can be very persuasive. The instigator behind the Kingdom Games events, he worked on each of our family one by one: “You gotta do the Dandy Run,” he wheedled with my stepdaughter Christy, our advertising manager. “When are you coming to the Northeast Kingdom?” he asked our publisher (and my husband) Angelo Lynn. And so, by mid-May, we realized that all five of our family had signed up to do the Dandelion Run, a halfmarathon, 10K and walk/ride event in Derby. White didn’t disappoint. The run had fiddlers at practically every mile, wide open fields of dandelions and even a tiny calf greeting runners at Mile 5. Our trip north was also a chance to get up and explore Newport (see our story on page 16) and the Kingdom, fish the Clyde, and ride the legendary Kingdom Trails. No matter how shaken the

region was by the EB-5 investigation that put a temporary halt to Burke's and Jay Peak's expansion, this part of Vermont is bouncing back. The new Burke hotel is now scheduled to open on September 1. With views to the north all the way to Lake Willoughby, it’s going to be worth a visit. Newport is bustling. And the Kingdom Trails were so packed with Canadians we were pretty sure someone must have moved the border south 40 miles. What the Northeast Kingdom also offers is miles of relatively carfree roads. After last summer’s series of fatal bike/car accidents, that’s

something we all should consider. It’s been a year since we lost four cyclists—Middlebury’s Kelly Boe, Hinesburg’s Richard Tom, Charlotte’s Dr. Kenneth Najarian and Granville, NY’s Dr. Robert Andrew Agne. The causes varied: drunk driving, negligence, falling asleep at the wheel or excessive speed. For Lincoln’s long-time race organizer and cycling writer Peter Oliver, there was a fifth biking fatality last year: his sister was killed by a vehicle in Louisiana. As Oliver poignantly writes in “Endgame,” “Always a careful rider, I have become more careful. I have also moved closer to Lisi’s cycling ethos; I seek joy, refreshment, and peace in riding, as my speed and competitive urgency have diminished with age.” In this issue, our annual biking issue, we highlight some of Vermont’s most beautiful rides, and a few of the less traveled routes. Get out there, explore, enjoy them. And ride safe.

Ben Hall wins this issue’s Most Valued Player status for doing double duty as the newest member of our sales team, writing about his bout with Lyme disease and helping sort out the myriad of wheel and tire sizes on the 2016 class of mountain bikes in “Fat, Fatter, and Fattest.” BEST (OTHER) JOBS: Backcountry guide, community outreach manager for Eastern Mountain Sports, bike mechanic. FAVORITE TRAILS: Riding the Kingdom Trails' Troll Road or the Orange Trail at Norwich U. HOME TOWN: Hopkinton, NH (yeah, we’re working on that one). TRAINING FOR: Keeping up with his Triple A-threat, his kids, Aidan, Anika and August.


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Two exhibits open this month that showcase the bicycle in its oldest, and newest forms.


If you have ever spent time at the Old Spokes Home bike shop in Burlington, you might have noticed some old bikes in the shop. Some very old bikes. Over the last few decades, former shop owner Glenn Eames has collected more than 60 vintage bikes. These range from the 1884 “Expert” Penny-farthing model (shown here) with a 52-inch wheel and

butcher hub cyclometer built in (this bike, by the way, has 12,000 miles on it), up to racing bikes of the 1930s on up to bicycles that have set the course for what we ride today. This month, for the first time, Eames and the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury have curated items from the collection in a show that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first bicycle patent. “Pedaling Through History: 150 Years of the Bicycle” traces the evolution of the bicycle from its inception until today, spotlighting the golden era at end of the 19th century, a time Eames calls “the most exciting time in bike design.” The exhibit opens on June 21 and runs through October 16, 2016. Eames will be at the opening reception on June 23 and then on September 25 will lead a parade of high-wheelers and historic

bikes through Middlebury. The exhibit will be open Tuesday through Saturday and costs $5 for adults, $3 for kids under 18. Watch for more on Glenn Eames and his collection in our next issue.

or rideable, but should be designed and



The new owners of Glenn Eames’ Old Spokes Home have been recycling bikes through Bike Recyle for 10 years and putting them in the hands of people who need them for transportation. But there are plenty of other uses for old bikes. This past spring Kingdom Trails and Catamount Arts Center in St. Johnsbury announced a $1,000 top prize and put out a call for an unusual type of art: “3D environmentallyfriendly sculpture created with upcycled bike parts, any size, interactive, kinetic

crafted with Vermont weather in mind.” For inspiration, the Center points to the work Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Ai Weiwei and Burning Man participants have done with old bike

“Upcycled art not only reveals the

human spirit, but also makes known other ways bicycles can decrease our carbon footprint by limiting what is sent to the landfill,” the Center writes in a release.

The deadline for entries was June

3 and the winning bike art will be announced and displayed at the New England Mountain Biking Festival in East Burke, June 17-19 and on display through October 15.



Ross Scatchard reaps the rewards of a little gravel grinding: big farmland, big views, big grin. Photo by Metzi Anderson




he best way to see Vermont is, without question, by bike. Pick any century ride, from the grueling Vermont Gran Fondo (which winds over four gaps) to the gourmet Farm to Fork fondo (that passes some of Central Vermont’s finest farms) and you’ll see parts of the state you never might by car. The Long Trail Century Ride loops around the prettiest roads between Killington and Woodstock. The Moose takes you on practically car-free routes in the Northeast Kingdom. The Vermont Challenge is a great way to see Southern Vermont. But there are times when you just want to head out on your own and find new routes. So we asked Steve Barner, the founder of the 100/200 (200 miles riding on Route 100) and the map maker for the Green Mountain Cycling Club, what his five favorite rides in the state are. See his story on page 33, and here are his picks. —Phyl Newbeck


Start: Manchester (or Arlington); 50 mi., 4660’ elevation gain Intermediate, 11 mi of dirt; This beautiful loop takes in the historic Kelly Stand Road, a dirt road that winds through the forest as it follows the South Fork of the Roaring Branch to its source.


GREAT OUTDOORS (Continued from previous page)

There is no development along much of this road between Arlington and Stratton, so it’s hard to imagine a crowd of 15,000 people gathering here in 1840 to hear Daniel Webster speak in support of William Harrison’s presidential candidacy, yet there is a monument at the spot where this oratory took place. The climb up to Kelly Stand is long, gradual and not difficult. The road was completely rebuilt after Hurricane Irene wiped it off the map. For the truly intrepid gravel grinders, the road that winds around the west side of Stratton and is about as rustic as it can get without being and old logging road. The descent down Route 30 back into Manchester is fun on just about any bike but t would would be a real scream on a tandem. The route crosses the Chiselville Covered Bridge.


Start: Woodstock; 57 miles, 2550’ elevation gain; Intermediate https:// Long climbs are rewarded on this pretty loop that passes the Calvin Coolidge birthplace, with its preserved buildings in Plymouth Notch. The route follows the winding Black River through Cavendish Gorge and is a real treat. There are multiple covered bridges and lots of opportunities to tack on additional mileage.


Start: Brattleboro; 57 mi, 3100’ elevation gain. Intermediate; https:// This ride includes some long, gradual climbs, and rewards with equally long descents. It is especially fun on a tandem. This version starts in Brattleboro and contains a number of little jogs to get off Route 30, which

is the only section on which we’ve encountered any significant traffic. If you don’t mind the cars, you can stay on Route 30, which has wide shoulders. Grafton is a jewel, an iconic New England town. Putney is home to the West Hill Shop, one of Vermont’s most storied bike shops and definitely worth a visit.

continuing through Stowe to the Stowe Hollow Road and following dirt roads to Waterbury Center, but expect hills! For additional lightly-trafficked dirt roads, cross the river in Waterbury and pick up the River Rd to Jonesville. Its shade will be especially welcome on a hot day. You can also start at the Richmond Park & Ride.



Start: Jericho Ctr. (or Richmond), 63 mi., 4525’ , elevation gain Intermediate to difficult; paved; https:// This ride is easiest if ridden clockwise, as the switchbacks near the top of Smugglers’ Notch are quite steep. Pleasant Valley Road is one of the most accurately named roads in Vermont. It’s just beautiful. The Notch road cuts between impressive cliffs and winds around huge boulders at the top. Route 100 from Stowe to Waterbury tends to be fairly busy with motor vehicle traffic. You can avoid some of this by

Start: Milton; 56 mi., 1800’ elevation gain; Easy; routes/673229 Known to locals as Dorothy’s Metric Century, this is a beautiful and easy ride that hugs the Maquam Shore along Lake Champlain. This version has one short dirt section, which is usually hard-packed and easily ridden on road tires. One of the favorite routes of the 2014 Eastern Tandem Rally, it features lots of lake views. A short detour into Swanton returns to the route over a renovated Railroad bridge that is now part of the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail.


Starting May 1, you may have started to see people clad in bike shorts, carrying backpacks and water bottles on the Amtrak Vermonter, which runs between St. Albans and Washington, D.C. This spring, Amtrak partnered with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Department of Tourism, Adventure Cycling Association, and other bicycle and passenger rail groups to launch bike carry-on service on the Vermonter. “It’s the second project for the Amtrak Bicycle Task Force,” said Virginia Sullivan, a task force member and director of Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit that encourages people to travel by bicycle. The Vermonter operates daily between Washington, D.C., and St. Albans, Vt., with service to Philadelphia, New York City, Hartford, Conn., and Springfield, Mass. , along the way. For cyclists, this means you can take your bike to New York. Or, just ride the train to another stop in Vermont to ride new trails or roads. For instance, from the train station in downtown Brattleboro, you can access the gravel double-track West River Trail as it follows a former rail line along the West River for 16 miles. • At Randolph, you can make a starting point for day trips on quiet dirt and paved roads. • At the Windsor stop, you’re a short ride (5 miles or so) away from the Ascutney Trails, a network of about 30 miles of running, biking and hiking trails. • Waterbury’s train station is just minutes away from the roughly eight miles of singletrack mountain bike trails at Perry Hill. • In Essex Junction, the smooth and flowing singletrack trails of Saxon Hill are just six miles from the train station. Riders have to reserve a ticket for their bikes; the fee is $10 for rides between St. Albans and New Haven., and $20 between New Haven and Washington, D.C.


“It’s an exciting offering for the people traveling to Vermont to ride,” says Bob “Woody” Woodworth, owner of Burrows Specialized Sports in downtown Brattleboro. The shop, which has stood on Main Street for 80 years, is just a short walk from the train station. “I suspect we’ll start to see more people coming up from the station with bikes and bags starting this summer.”


This may be the coolest new summer camp for kids we’ve heard of: stay at Burke Mountain Academy, ride and get coached on mountain biking the Kingdom Trails in the morning, and then learn to make action films in the afternoon. That’s Jamie Yerke’s plan for this summer’s new SOCAPA Mountain Camp. After 15 years of running urban photography and filmmaking camps from a winter base in the Northeast Kingdom, the School of Creative and Performing Arts’ (SOCAPA) new summer Mountain Camp combines the best of its film and photography classes with riding the berms and switchbacks of Kingdom Trails. The camp is the brainchild of Burke native turned award-winning director, Jamie Yerkes. “SOCAPA has been doing film making camps in Burlington with Champlain College for several years,” says Yerkes, “But this is our first real action film camp.” The camp is for kids 11-13 and 14-17 and will be July 13-17. Tuition is $625 plus room and board.

[ C u s to m i z e d tota l K n e e R e p l a C e m e n t s ]

30 days after my knee surgery, I was doing a century bike ride! suzanne szeRmeR, WaRRen

Welcome to the 21st century community hospital. Welcome to Copley. suzanne does 8-10 century bike rides a year, and she swims and hikes. When her knee pain became unbearable, she called mansfield orthopaedics. two weeks after undergoing custom total knee replacement, suzanne was walking 4 miles a day. thirty days post-surgery, she did a seacoast Century Bike Ride. “the surgery changed my life. the total joint class before surgery really prepared me for what to expect, dr. Huber was wonderful, and my care at Copley was excellent.” Our orthopaedic specialists: 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 oBstetRiCs & GYneColoGY | emeRGenCY seRViCes GeneRal suRGeRY | oRtHopediCs | CaRdioloGY | onColoGY uRoloGY | ReHaBilitation seRViCes | diaGnostiC imaGinG

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ildlife biologist Alan Giese has spent much of his time studying peregrine falcons, bald eagles and even California condors. But as the days warmed up this past spring, the Lyndon State College professor and his biology students were bashing through the fields and forests of Vermont doing what most of the rest of us try to avoid doing: collecting ticks. Giese has set up 12 monitoring stations around the state where he can collect ticks and then dissect them to determine if they carry the Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Since 2013, he’s captured and tested more than 800 ticks. In the last two years, he’s been sending them on to the University of Vermont’s Dr. Ralph Budd, Director of the Vermont Center for Immunology & Infectious Diseases. In an effort to determine what strains of Lyme disease ticks are carrying and how it is spreading, Dr. Budd and his team have become the first to sequence the DNA in the gut of ticks. What both Dr. Giese and Dr. Budd, and, in fact scientists around the Northeast, are trying to figure

out is why Vermont has become the second most prevalent place in the country for incidence of Lyme disease, per capita, after Maine.

“When I moved to Vermont 20 years ago, about 10 percent of the ticks in the state were infected with Lyme disease,” says Dr. Budd. “Today, it’s about 50 percent.” The rise in the numbers of humans who have contracted Lyme disease has increased accordingly. In 2005, only 54 cases were reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control. By 2013, that number had risen to 674, before dropping to 442 in 2014 (the last year on record). “What we are seeing is that the tick population is moving north,” says Dr. Budd. “Right now, the highest incidence is in southern Vermont.” Lyme disease was first reported in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. At the time, it was mistaken for arthritis. Early symptoms are often just like the flu: fever, aches and muscle soreness but can progress to include weakness in the legs and arms, facial paralysis and problems with short term memory. It wasn’t until 1988 that it was reported in Vermont. One of the things Dr. Budd has been on the lookout for how Lyme disease travels. Though the


HEALTH deer tick, or black-legged tick as it is also called, is the primary carrier of Lyme disease Dr. Budd point out that it’s field mice are the most frequent tranporters. “Dogs, cats and even cows can get Lyme disease too,” he warns. For that reason, the highest incidences of infected ticks are found in fields and around farms. “There’s no doubt that as we see climate change continue to happen, that Lyme disease will continue to move north,” he says. “And as much as Borellia migrates, it will mutate, just like the flu mutates.” Already two other tick-borne diseases are showing up in Vermont, babesiosis and anaplasmosis, both with similar, but more severe symptoms. More than 115 cases of anaplasmosis have been confirmed around the state, but primarily near Rutland and Bennington counties and a third of those required hospitalization. Unlike Lyme disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis don’t show up with a bullseye. But, as Dr. Budd notes, Lyme disease doesn’t always either. “It’s not always an easy bug to diagnose— only one in three people ever get the tell-tale ‘bull’s-eye’ rash that’s associated with an infected tick bite,” admits Dr. Budd. “But the good news is, it is treatable.” For most, a course of two weeks of antibiotics two times a day will knock out the disease. “The problem we are seeing,” says Dr. Budd, “is after the bug has been killed our bodies are still worn down. People continue to have symptoms but when they get tested, they are told they no longer have the disease. No one is denying that the symptoms aren’t real but using more long-term antibiotics is like throwing water on a house that’s already burned to the ground— it’s not going to fix the house.” Instead, Dr. Budd looks to arthritis medications. “Your immune system is so used to fighting the disease that it doesn’t stop and that’s what causes the inflammation and arthritis. Most of the time using medicines that treat arthritis will work on these lingering symptoms.” The best approach is to avoid getting bitten in the first place by wearing long pants and sleeves. May, June and July are the worst seasons and ticks often congregate in high grass areas and where there’s lots of leafy debris. Once home, shower as soon as you can and wash your clothes in hot water and dry them at high heat, to kill any ticks. If you do find a tick on you, get it off with fine tipped tweezers. It can take a tick up to 36 hours to transmit the disease so the sooner you can get it off the better. If you do have Lyme disease, it may take up to two weeks for symptoms to show.



Under the leadership of state epidemiologists Patty Kelso and Bradley Tompkins, the state of Vermont has been playing an important role in tracking the spread of ticks and Lyme disease. In September 2013, the state launched the Tick Tracker website, (http://healthvermont. gov/ticktracker/index.aspx). It has also worked with the Centers for Disease Control and UVM to set up Lyme Corps, to train medical students and raise awareness of the disease, prevention and treatments. For more information visit the Vermont Department of Health website and download “Get Tick Smart” at





s I leaned into one corner after another, tearing down the trail, I found myself giggling uncontrollably. I could envision how I might look to an unsuspecting passerby, the mad man on a bike. I was in what mountain bikers refer to as “flow state” that place where trail, bike and rider all seem to mesh into one fluid unit, I couldn’t help but be overjoyed. Yes, the riding was fun. Even more because just a few months earlier, I didn’t know if I would be able to even ride my bike again. This past winter while everyone was getting more and more concerned about the lack of snow, I was sitting on the couch taking over 6,000 milligrams of amoxicillin and over 12,000 milligrams of supplements, every day. My concerns were being able to climb my staircase without feeling like I had ridden a century and being able to hold my 20-pound newborn son for longer than five minutes before my arm gave out. I was suffering from advanced Lyme disease. It was Memorial Day of 2015 when I first suspected that something was not right. I had taken my oldest son to Perry Hill in Waterbury to mountain bike for the afternoon, and after climbing a bit, I knew something was off. We ended up only doing a small loop that day and I clearly remember how blasted I felt. A few weeks later, I met up with a riding buddy in Ascutney to ride the STAB trails, and I just could not ignore my body screaming out at me… SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. I felt strong in the saddle, but I couldn’t recover. We’d get to the top of a climb, and my heart rate and breathing wouldn’t settle down into a normal rhythm, it was like I was maxing out non-stop. After a few disappointing minutes of riding, feeling like I was

sprinting non-stop, I reluctantly turned back for the car. After a few months and many trips to doctors and different specialists, being tested for everything (fibromyalgia, lupus, myopathy) and being told that I might be showing the early signs of MS, I had had it. To make matters worse, my primary care doctor looked at me and said flatly that there was nothing medically wrong. She suggested I should just try to go about life as I normally do. Yeah, right. I was not going to accept that my new normal was being winded after climbing a flight of steps. At that point in the season I should have had a few centuries under my belt and the scrapes, bruises and bumps from weeks of mountain biking. After a close friend and yoga instructor suggested for the umpteenth time that I see a naturopathic doctor, I decided to do just that. I did some research and found Dr. Featherstone, a goddess of health and well-being. After two hours of listening to my story she shared her “hypothesis.” After paying for additional lab work and a $500 test at a lab in Palo Alto Calif. I found out her hypothesis was in fact correct: I was suffering from advanced Lyme disease. Not just that, I had two different strains in my system, one from earlier in the year and one from about 8 years ago that had being lying dormant. Lyme disease is nasty. Sure we all know that. We know someone who has been plagued with the chronic pain and fatigue. You may even know someone who has suffered mental issues as the disease can affect the cognitive abilities. With advanced Lyme disease, I went from 0 to 60 in less than three months. While it baffled my own

After a season of fighting Lyme disease and wondering if he would ever ride again, Ben Hall is back at it.

doctors, my new naturopathic doctor was able to determine from my lifestyle and symptoms that Lyme disease was the most likely culprit. But here is the problem. Sure, I found a tick on me, but it couldn’t have been embedded for more than 12 hours, and I never had a bullseye develop. As many who have suffered from Lyme disease know, it doesn’t take long for the bug to go from the tick into your blood stream. And one out of three people don’t get a bullseye, so there goes that foolproof way of knowing. Fast forward back to earlier this spring. After taking both the antibiotics and, later, fish oil supplements to help fight the inflammation, I began feeling better than I had in months. I looked

2500 Williston Road South Burlington

at my wife and proclaimed that it was time to take my life back. I grabbed my helmet and shoes, threw my bike in the back of my truck and headed to the trailhead. My goal, get outdoors! I didn’t care if I pedaled for a few minutes, a few miles, or for the whole morning. I needed my therapy.

I had spent all of October through

January laid up, suffering from the worst pain and fatigue I had ever known and sleeping more than 14 hours a day. But that day after a beautiful 8.5 miles of singletrack, I reclaimed my life.

As I leaned harder into each

corner, floating over rocks and roots, pedaling over the next rise, the giggling got louder and louder. Benny was back. This was the best ride ever.

(802) 864-9197 JUNE 2016 | VTSPORTS.COM 15




Vermont's other city by the lake is a great starting point to explore the Northeast Kingdom by land (try the rail trail that runs through downtown) or by water (rent a sailboat and cruise the lake.)


here’s a city in Vermont on a huge lake, with great sailing and paddling, views of mountains in the distance and a rail trail that runs along the water. There’s a July jazz festival and no shortage of extreme events here, ranging from polar bear swims to century rides to an old-fashioned soap box derby. There are tasting rooms that feature the local foods and distillers, a great natural products market and an eclectic mix of ethnic restaurants. No, we’re not talking about Burlington, but Newport, Vt. Just a few miles from the border, Newport has always been a secret getaway for Canadians. It’s been poised for growth for years, with hopes for revitalization fueled by the influx of EB-5 money to the Bill Stenger and Ari Quiros’ Jay Peak, Q Burke and AnC-Bio projects. The recent SEC investigation of those projects may have left Newport with a giant hole in the ground where


the Renaissance Project envisioned a hotel. But the other EB-5 funded project, a gorgeous new hotel at Burke Mountain will open Sept. 1. And there is hope new investors will continue the vision for downtown revitalization in Newport. In the meantime, though, there’s more than plenty to do here.


If you want a taste of just about every sport you can do in the Newport area (and the Northeast Kingdom, in general), join a Kingdom Games event. The king behind Kingdom Games, Phil White is, without question, one of the best event organizers in the state. For the past nine years Kingdom Games has been adding races that are as fun as they are competitive—which means that costumes, gag gifts and great parties are often the norm. The Kingdom Games season starts in February with pond hockey and skating festivals. In March, huge

Derby's dirt roads and open farmland just east of Newport welcome runners in the Dandelion Run.

chunks of ice are cut out of Lake Memphremagog to make way for a swimming pool, a perfect place to host a Winter Swim Festival—why not?

Come May, the Dandelion Run puts nearly a dozen fiddlers and musicians along a 13-mile gorgeous route of high hills and open meadows.

In June, the Tour de Kingdom comprises five days of supported rides, including The Moose, a 108-mile loop from Burke up to the Canadian border where White swears you will see a moose somewhere along the way. Throughout the summer, the Games hosts a swim of varying distance on a different lake, from Willoughby to Island Pond to Caspian. These all lead up to the big event: the 25-mile In Search of Memphre international swim to Canada, on July 30. And if you want to start with something shorter, the June 25 Newport Sprint Triathlon is a manageable ½ mile swim, 13 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run.

Mount Pisgah for a view of one of the state’s most dramatic lakes, Lake Willoughby, kayaking or fishing for trout on the Clyde River (call Clyde River Outfitters) or jumping into the near perfect swimming hole at Troy’s Four Corners (on the intersection of Routes 101 and 242). While you are in Troy, head up to Big Falls State Park for a view of some of the state’s most impressive waterfalls or over to Jay Peak for indoor surfing in the water park. Just northeast of town, in Derby, Eagle Point Wildlife Management Area on Lake Memphremagog comprises 420 acres of wetlands and grasslands and is one of the prime birding areas in the state.



If you’re not ready to swim across the 25-mile Lake Memphremagog, at least head out by boat. You can rent a canoe or sailboat at Prouty Beach, the picnic area and campground just north of town. Or let someone else do the driving: the Northern Star hosts dinner cruises (and day cruises) on the lake through the fall.


Bike along the shores of Lake Memphremagog from downtown Newport along the Beebe-Newport bike path, about 4 miles to the border. The views to the north are beautiful and the lake is clear and cold. If you are up for an adventure, bring your passport. From Beebe, you can ride a rail trail for 16 kilometers into the town of Ayer’s Cliff on the shores of Lake Massawippi. The Canadians call their portion of the trail the Tomifobia (no, that’s not Quebecois for “fear of Tom,” it’s named for the Tomifobia River which it runs along.)

Cider ferments in barrels at Eden Ice Cider's downtown cider house.

the Block loop that will take you from Orleans to Hardwick. From West Charleston, you can head south on the 69-mile Glacial Lakes Loop down to Lyndonville. The 67-mile Mostly Moose loop heads north from Island Pond and hugs the Canadian border as

it passes Lake Averill before heading south along the Connecticut River and returning to Island Pond.


Within a half hour drive of downtown you can be climbing the trails on



While there are great road riding loops around the state, there are few that are as scenery-rich, car-poor and well-mapped as those in the Northeast Kingdom. It’s no wonder that Canadian cycling and apparel company Louis Garneau has its U.S. outpost (and outlet shop!) just outside Newport on Route 5 in Derby. The Northeast Vermont Development Association has mapped out the best in a brochure you can download at nvda. net. These can range from the 22.5mile Black Roads to Big Falls loop just east of Newport to the 58-mile Around

Apples from all over the state make their way to Eden Ice Cider’s press in downtown Newport. Downstairs, vats and barrels of cider sit fermenting. Upstairs is The Tasting Room (also owned by Eden). For $3 you can sample a flight of Vermont ciders or $5, Vermont spirits from around the state and get a great lecture on their backgrounds. The giant room also houses every single Vermont specialty food product you might imagine, Jocelyn’s Bakery, the Cider House café serving (of course) local foods and, new in late June, a coffee bar will inhabit the space as well. Next door, Dusit Thai gets the highest rating of all restaurants in town from both locals and from visitors on TripAdvisor. Also next door, the Newport Natural Market and Cafe and coop also serves up sandwiches and brews. For a meal on the water and sunset drinks, head to East Side’s deck and for fancier fare, Le Belvedere or Lago.

Downtown Neport is gradually being revitalized. A half-dozen great cafes and restaurants now line the main street, just a block from the lakefront.

Newport, Vt.’s Jazz Festival (July 8-10) might not quite rival the more famous Newport, R.I. event but it does host some local favorites, including Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band, Madaila and Stanley Jordan. There’s also a Bread & Puppet Jazz Parade and an 18-piece swing band to dance to. And one thing not to miss: the 37th annual Soap Box Derby on June 19 behind the North Country High School. The last soap box derby in Vermont, it’s a serious affair with the winning kid (it’s kids only) going on the Nationals in Akron, Ohio. —Lisa Lynn




WITH THE NEW PLUS-SIZE MODELS THERE’S A WHEEL REVOLUTION IN MOUNTAIN BIKES. WHAT’S THE RIGHT BIKE, WHEEL AND TIRE COMBO FOR YOU? BY BEN HALL Using a 26" wheel, the Kona Process gets put through its paces on a downhill run. Photo courtesy Kona

distinctly remember throwing my leg over the first 29’er that I ever rode. It was ten years ago, and it was revolutionary. Just like the first time I had suspension or disc brakes, it changed mountain biking for me, permanently. The bike was a Raleigh XXIX, a steel, fully-rigid, single speed. Like everyone else in the early 2000’s, I rekindled my love for my old hardtail by retrofitting it to be a single speed cross-country rig. But, the Raleigh was different: the joy of the big wheels, the playfulness and that roll-over-everything feel were intoxicating. I found myself running out to purchase my own. I also remember the first time I rode a mountain bike with a 650b, or 27.5-inch diameter wheel. I had known about 650b for the longest time, having spent years working in the cycling industry and fitting numerous women to smaller-framed road and touring bikes. Due to geometry limitations, these often use 650b sized wheels as opposed to the more commonly spec’ed 700c wheels. Also, I always loved Rivendell Touring Bikes, which used the 650b platform for a more stable on and off road ride. This time though, it was a Jamis Nemesis that I was able to test ride. I found that the benefit of marrying the better angle of attack of the 29’er with the agility of the smaller 26’er made sense. Plus, you can build much smaller framed bikes using the 27.5” wheel than you can with a 29’er, making it more practical for smaller riders. For those reasons, I decided to pick up a Jamis Nemesis for my son, who was, at that time, 10 years old. However, I’m now finding myself at a new crossroads with the advent of the “plus” size rims and tires:  big fat 3-inch wide tires resting upon 40- to 50-mm rims, in either the 29’er or 27.5’ flavor. [Note, there are also a few 26” plus-size wheeled bikes out in the market now too.] This effectively gives mountain bikers many different combinations of wheel diameter and tire size that range from the long standing 26” wheel with 2” tires to 27.5” and 29” wheels with plus size (3” inch) tires and to true fat or “snow” bikes with 4-inch tires. I was quick to adopt the mindset of the 29’er, and slightly less, but still rather quick to love the 27.5”/650b wheel. I also love having a fat bike (especially in a winter like this past one), but I can’t help myself and ask “Why?” Why do we need another size, or sizes of bike wheel/tire combinations?  So that’s the question I’ve been asking bike retailers around Vermont. Here’s our guide to the pros and cons of the fat-, fatter- and fattest bikes and, of course, plus-sized models.


Since the advent of the mountain bike, the 26” wheel with a tire ranging between 2” and 2.5” in diameter has been the prominent combination. Those of us who started mountain biking back the ’80 and ‘90’s started on bikes with 26” wheels and 2” tires. (We also had no suspension or cantilever brakes, but we’re not bitter about it.) However, over the past few years bike designers discovered that if they increased the wheel diameters


With plus size 2.8" tires that grab any terrain and a 27.5" wheel, the Scott Genius 720 moves to the head of the trail class. Photo courtesy Scott.


“Fat bikes are like powder skis, and the plus size tires, specifically, are like going from the old 75 mm wide, 210 cm alpine skis, to our modern allmountain mid-fat skis.” With a carbon frame, big travel and 26.5" wheels, the Salsa Pony Rustler ($4,449) is worth rustling, cowboys. Photo by Salsa

by a few inches, it would improve roll-over capabilities. And so the 29er was born. The first 29ers were met with very mixed reviews. Riders were quick to either love them or hate them due to their distinct pros and cons. Effectively, adding 3” of wheel and tire onto the bike made for very different riding characteristics, depending on the design of the bike. However, after companies started to dial in the geometries and more parts became available, the 29er found its place in the cycling world and changed it for the better. The taller, 29” platform provides a substantial amount of roll-over capability: technical trails seem to become easier as the wheels want to roll over things rather than get trapped by them. Add in the factor of inertia and once the wheel is moving, it’s harder for it to get bogged down by softer conditions or more difficult terrain. But due to the larger wheel, the 29er is more challenging to maneuver on tight singletrack trails. Combine that with the additional rolling weight of the bigger wheel and the 29er has its limitations. Enter into the game the 650b, or 27.5” wheel. This wheel literally splits the difference between the 26” and 29” wheel in both the physical size, but also in the characteristics of the bike. With the benefit of the smaller diameter, the 27.5” is more agile than its 29” big brother. But since it is taller than the classic 26” bike, it rolls over a rock or root more easily than the old standard. The additional benefit to the 27.5” platform is that manufacturers can build a wider variety of

bikes to meet the demands of different disciplines: Small-framed cross country rigs, trail bikes, allmountain quiver killers, and long-travel enduro bikes are now spec’d with 27.5” wheels on them.


Just as wheels started to get bigger, so did tires. First came the fat bike, spawned in Alaska by riders attempting the Iditabike ride (which follows sections of the world-famous Iditarod dog sled race). The fat bike has really big tires—4” to 5”, which provide ample traction and flotation, making it ideal for snow and sand. Over the past few years the fat bike has seen a major increase in both popularity and design as more and more people found that the wide tires, just like the early fat powder skis, made everything a lot easier. Starting off in much the same fashion as the 29er, the fat bike was limited by the amount of frames and parts offered on the market. Now, one can find fat bikes ranging from fully-rigid to front suspension and even full suspension models, all with wide, 4” to 5” tires. With the winters being the way they have been, fat bikes have also given outdoor adventurers a way to ride year-round, regardless of the snow. Pop on some studded tires, and ice becomes manageable too. As people began to see how much easier it was to ride over rough terrain on these fat or snow bikes, the question arose: why not put bigger tires on other types of bikes? And lo, the plus-size model was born. Rich Thomas, owner at Paradise Sports in

Windsor, equates the changes in wheel size in mountain biking to the technological changes and advancements over the past couple of decades seen in alpine skis. “Fat bikes are like powder skis, and the plus size tires specifically, are like going from the old 75mm wide, 210 cm long alpine skis, to our modern all-mountain mid-fat skis. “If you think about it” Thomas points out, “We use these now to head into the backcountry to ski powder or to carve turns on groomers. In the same way, a plus-size bike excels at almost all terrain and obstacles.” The new plus-size tire is just that: the happy place in the middle that allows a rider to cover almost any terrain on almost style ride, from entry-level bikes for everyday, to all-day cross country machines, to full suspension enduro race bikes. And why not? The big fat tires offer a plush ride due to the lower pressure and high volume of air in the tire. This looser, softer tire absorbs the terrain like a sponge and provides more grip. David Robb, shop manager at West Hill Bike Shop in Putney, notes that “due to the larger tire, you gain more traction making it easier to get over rocks and roots. This will make mountain biking more accessible for more people.” Diny Sweitzer who is co-owner of West Hill with her husband Jim, loves the new plus size bikes. “We are finding that many women want a plus-size tire bike because the wider tire immediately feels more stable and reliable for them. They want to ride trail with their husband or friends and the plus-size bike has allowed them to do so with confidence.”


Cannondale Beast of the East 3

Jamis Dakota Pro


ne of the greatest features on both fat bikes and plus-sized tire bikes is that you can easily swap out wheels and accommodate different tire sizes. A fat bike has the space to place a 29’er, skinny, or plus size wheel and tire combination into it. And many standard 29’ers can handle a plus-size 27.5” wheel. This can really open the door up to modifications. For folks who can only afford to own one bike, you can purchase a fat bike or plus-size bike and a second wheel set up and maximize your options. But be careful, bikes geometries are different and bikes are designed to be ridden as they are spec’d. Some combinations just won’t work, so talk to your local, trusted bike shop beforehand.


Specialized Stumpjumper

As Luke Bayus from SkiRack in Burlington puts it, “You can no longer just walk into a bike shop and say you want to get a mountain bike.” And that’s probably a good thing, he notes. “There are now so many different options. Consumers can now find the absolutely perfect bike that will give them the confidence, comfort, and excitement every rider deserves. ” So here is our breakdown of what wheel and tire combo you should start off looking for in both hardtail or full-suspension:


Scott Genius Lt 720

Salsa Pony Rustler

Kona Process


FULL-SUSPENSION: Want just one bike? If your budget has you locked into one bike and you want that to take you everywhere, try out the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 6Fattie. This is a great trail bike with 6 inches of travel—but at $3500 it’s an investment. “If I could buy any bike, that’s the one,” says Ian Browning, a sales rep at Onion River. “It’s a go-anywhere, ride-anything bike but it’s also super nimble going uphill.” The Stumpjumper could be your new best friend.

Want just one bike? If you’re spending your days riding around the shire, looking for that one bike to rule them all, look no further than the Cannondale Beast of the East 3. This is a complete remake of Cannondale’s classic hardtail with 27.5-inch diameter wheels and 2.8-inch to 3-inch tires. The new Beast is a slightly more relaxed design that shifts the rider’s weight over the back wheel, allowing you to plow over all kinds of trail obstacles. Best part? The entry model for this line retails at $1,620.

For the all-mountain trail rider: With their patented TwinLoc remote that gives the rider the ability to change the amount of travel from a full 6” to 4” to lockout, the Scott Genius LT 720 Plus is the perfect bike for riders looking to tackle any terrain, all day long. Add to that the plus size 2.8” Schwalbe tires on 40 mm Syncros rims and you’ve got a ton of confidence-inspiring traction and control on the up, and more importantly on the down. This $4,200 whip will set you back a bit, but the hours of fun in the saddle will surely make up for it.

For the all-mountain trail rider: Trek presents the Stache line featuring a plus-size 29er wheel platform with 2.8” to 3” tires.This versatile hardtail comes in a variety of models ranging from $1680 to $3,699 depending on components. With a laid back, relaxed geometry, similar to that of the Beast of the East, the Stache places the rider’s weight further over the rear wheel allowing the bike to float over obstacles more easily.

One could also go with the Salsa Pony Rustler, which West Hill Bike Shop in Putney has in stock. A carbon-framed, 5” travel, full-suspension all-mountain bike, the Pony Rustler is meant to be an all day machine that will eat up trails no mater what they throw at the rider. And with 27.5” plus size tires, it is as confident going up hill as it is coming back down. However, the middle of the line model comes in at, gulp, $4,499

Cross Country Racer: If you like to ride or race cross country and want to have a lighter bike, skip the plus-size wheels (more drag, less maneuverability) and look for a standard 29er or 27.5 inch bike. The Jamis Dakota Pro makes for a great option for those who want their bike to take them to the podium or are looking to KOM or QOM that Strava climb. With it’s 29’er wheel platform, carbon fiber frame, and competitive parts spec, the $2,999 Dakota Pro is a great option.

Trying your luck with Newton’s Law: If you are headed off to the local ski area and will be taking the lift up and the jumps, berms, bridges and drops back down, we suggest the Kona Process 167. This gravity bike is more at home letting it all hang out than it is pedaling up and with it’s standard 26” wheel and almost 7” of travel, it is designed for the fun of plunging down the hill—hooting and hollering the whole way. Head over to Burke, Sugarbush, Killington or Mount Snow this summer and rip it up on this bad boy.

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Rent a Specialized Stumpjumper Comp 6Fattie, a new Plus Size Tire bike at SkiRack and hit the local trails. JUNE 2016 | VTSPORTS.COM 23

By linking old dirt roads in Central Vermont, you can do a nearly-car-free 50 mile ride.


e Trails

Less Traveled




he trail had been an enigma: I wasn’t sure what it was or where it was, until I discovered it by accident. I was riding with friends on gravel roads near Groton State Forest in Marshfield, and there it was: a sign for the Cross Vermont Trail. We followed the route to the next sign and the next one, past stunning scenery: a waterfall, beaver dams and the dramatic cliffs of Marshfield Mountain and Marshfield Pond below. Back home that evening, I knew I wanted to explore more. I spent some time looking at maps on the Cross Vermont Trail Association website ( The 90-mile route travels all the way from Lake Champlain, near Burlington to Wells River, linking a patchwork of local recreation paths, paved and gravel roads, trails, and rail trails (repurposed railroad beds). Then I pulled out the Vermont Gazeteer: if the Cross Vermont Trail could link together patches of road and trail, so could we. Sitting down with some friends we planned a 53mile loop through Central Vermont that would take us on a variety of dirt roads and trails from my home in Marshfield into Cabot and, conveniently past the Cabot cheese factory, through Danville and Peacham and back around to Groton. From Groton we would hop onto the Cross Vermont Trail

for about 20 miles, where it follows an old rail bed for much of the way (with never more than a three percent grad), for an easy pedal back into Plainfield. The goal was to stay all on dirt and Class IV roads, save for the short paved sections that would lead us to cheese samples and dinner at Positive Pie. I could already taste my favorite Hill Farmstead brew. I woke up on the morning of our ride to a low fog hanging in the valleys. The sun was shining bright behind it and thin wisps of fog blew overhead breaking up momentarily to reveal a magnificent blue sky just waiting to break through. It was lifting and today was going to be good. With the coffee brewing, I looked at the maps in my Vermont Gazetteer one more time. The route was new to me, and I wasn’t sure about some of the roads, in particular the Class IV roads showing as dashed lines on the map. Would they be passable? Would we be hiking our bikes for miles? The unknown was all part of the adventure. Just then a gleam of sun cut through the fog and through my kitchen window, sending a stripe of sunshine across the map. I took it as a good sign and ripped the pages out of the mapbook, folded them into a Ziploc bag, and stuffed it in my back jersey pocket. Around 10am, Tristan, my partner, and our good friend Mike and I hopped on our cyclocross bikes and started on the


The Cross Vermont Trail in Groton State Forest passes multiple ponds with views toward Marshfield Mountain.

familiar roads of Marshfield from Hollister Hill to East Hill. As we rode down Ducharme Rd., we passed Birdman, a sculpture studio out in the middle of nowhere where Edmond Menard carves intricate birds from cedar. Outside, Birdman’s colorful sculptures decorated the roadside and we slowed down to take it all in. From there, we were cruising downhill on more dirt roads past quintessential dairy farms into downtown Cabot. A short stretch of paved Route 215 brought us to the Cabot Cheese, and we took our turns around the samples. We bought maple syrup nippers and tucked them in our jerseys in case a desperate moment later on called for a quick sugary boost. Onward, we were headed into the biggest climb of the day: four miles and 3,000 feet up Danville Hill. Our rewards were stunning mountain views from Killington to Jay Peak, and a sore knee for me. We pedaled along more miles along Macks Mountain Road through Danville and towards Peacham, passing more dairy farms and a ceramic studio with


"I wasn’t sure about some of the roads, in particular the Class IV roads showing as dashed lines on the map. Would they be passable? Would we be hiking our bikes for miles? The unknown was all part of the adventure. beautiful earth-toned pieces for sale by the side of the road. The village of Peacham is like going back in time with a classic village green, white-steepled churches and homes from the 18th century. The farmers’ market was going and a local store had put

out cookies and cider for free. We helped ourselves to the treats and took a break for lunch, scoring a few fresh things at the farmers market and snacking on the salami and cheese we had packed. This was where things were headed deep into the unknown. A Class IV road, called County Road, was to take us from here to Groton, where we would finally pick up the Cross Vermont Trail, which would be mostly car-free. The road started as a beautiful one-laner past some farms and working forests, but soon became a steep, cobble-stone route that was more streambed than road with several sections of hike-a-bike. At the top of what I hoped would be our last steep hike, I could see the upcoming intersection, meaning this stretch was coming to an end. From there, we pedaled down a dirt road and onto Route 232 and then we were at the Groton trailhead for the Cross Vermont Trail with a friendly kiosk and maps, and plenty of parking for the walkers, cyclists, and explorers traveling this section of trail. From here it was 20 miles of smooth double track pedaling with nary a climb (the grade is never

more than 3 percent). It was a chance to ride sideby-side and chat and spin out our legs after a day of tough riding. What I hadn’t expected along the rail trail was the scenery: We pedaled past Ricker Pond and its state park lodges. Families were swimming and lounging, and the smell of campfires hung in the air. We pedaled through long stretches of uninterrupted forest, chatting the whole way, and then past more campgrounds (there are five beautiful state park campgrounds in Groton State Forest that are all accessible from the Cross Vermont Trail), and past more lakes and ponds. We came to the stretch of trail I had ridden before, and there I was, again pedaling along with the backdrops of beaver ponds and dams, Marshfield Mountain’s dramatic face, Marshfield Pond, and Bailey Pond. In Marshfield, at the intersection with Lower Depot Road the Cross Vermont Trail heads back down to Route 2, but we opted to skip the busy section of paved road and stay high on the ridge old logging roads that we knew from previous rides, and then rejoin with the Cross Vermont Trail just a few miles beyond this point. Back on the Cross Vermont Trail, we pedaled through more long stretches of forest, and reveled in every blissful car-free minute. Then the trail led over a stream and into a grassy field, and we were at a familiar neighborhood swimming spot on the Nasmith Brook. We crossed the river high on a trestle and could see people swimming below. Then we pedaled on, eventually passing the trails leading

Then, slowly, we gathered ourselves together, locked our bikes to a sign post, and headed inside for beer. We toasted to lives well lived, and ordered up our favorite treats, fried Brussels sprouts and pizza. Then, tired, full and ready for bed, we pedaled the last two miles back home.


A step back in time, Peacham stands at the dirt crossroads.

to Twinfield school and then a park, a small nature preserve, and into downtown Plainfield. We stopped on the green lawn in front of a church across the street from Positive Pie, just in time for an early dinner. Our legs could go no further and we laid on the grass for a few minutes to stretch.

mapping your own trail

he route Sarah Galbraith took covers a portion of the Cross Vermont trail but most of it was gleaned using the Vermont Gazeteer. The Cross Vermont Trail maps, descriptions, and cue sheets are available at One of the goals of the organization is to move sections of the trail off high-traffic roads, such as those that run along Routes 100B and 2, and onto quieter carfree paths. CVTA’s Capital Campaign Project also aims to raise the funds to construct a massive bridge across the Winooski River in East Montpelier that would allow the trail to run car-free from downtown Montpelier to Plainfield. To help support CVTA, ride the Central Vermont Cycling Tour on June 26. Sarah Galbraith is a mountain biker, gravel rider and writer living in Marshfield, Vt.



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under an hour to get in and an hour and ten minutes to get home by bike.


VS: But you still ride in the snow and the cold? SB: Typically, I don’t like to go out when it’s less than ten degrees, but I have. I have decent equipment but my feet will get so cold that they’ll be numb and painful as they thaw out. The biggest thing is loose fitting shoes and multiple layers.

THE ROUTE FINDER Name: Steve Barner Age: 6o Lives in: Bolton Family: Wife, Jeanne Occupation: Teacher Primary sport: Cycling


n 1984, Steve Barner and his fellow bike mechanics at the Ski Rack in Burlington came up with the idea for the 100/200 ride. Billed as “one road, one state, one day,” the ride, which is entirely on Route 100, actually covers 212 miles with an elevation gain of roughly 15,000 feet. Bicycling Magazine once named it one of the 10 toughest rides in the country.

VS: How did you come up with idea for the 100/200? SB: It came up as part of a bigger initiative. Many years ago when John Wheeler owned the Ski Rack, he pointed out something that was an epiphany for me. We were having some issues with our employees badmouthing another local cycling shop which sold lowerend bikes. John said, “They’re not our competition. Our competition is everything else that people could be doing besides riding bikes.” We realized that if people didn’t have a good experience cycling they wouldn’t want to bike; they’d go windsurfing instead or whatever was popular at the time. We had more in common with the folks at other bike shops than differences, so we started a series of get-togethers to get to know one another. We started meeting roughly once a month and conceived of a number of events. In 1984 we decided to ride the length of the state on Route 100. The first year there were only six of us and we were all from the Ski Rack. After saying we’d never do it again, the next year we did it again and 30 people showed up. VS: How big did the ride get? SB: The most we ever had was 60, but that was really too big for us. Riders had their own support crews and at one point we tried to collect money from people to pool our resources but we


Steve Barner on his daily mode of transport. Photo by Phyl Newbeck

realized that when you charge people, they expect services. Then in 1990, the weather was so bad we had to cancel the ride. After that we stopped having the ride for several years. But the year of my 50th birthday, in 2006, I started sending out invitations again. It quickly grew back to the size it had been before. We generally have 30 to 50 people. VS: Did you ever not finish? SB: One year I bonked just outside Brattleboro and had run out of food, water and money. Jeanne, my support car, was 50 miles away. I got off the bike and laid down in the sun in a pullout by the side of the road. An SUV pulled over and a woman asked if I was okay and I said yes. She started driving and then stopped. Two little girls came running out and said “This is mommy’s sandwich. She thinks you need it more than she does.” That saved my bacon and I was able to finish the ride. VS: You say that anyone can do the ride. Can you explain that? SB: I hate the term “serious cyclist,” but people who have been riding for a long time and have done a number of centuries can typically finish. We had a tiny woman with two kidney transplants who rode it twice. It’s all

about pacing yourself. If you ride fast and aren’t in shape, you’ll blow up, but if you’re used to long miles, you can do it. There are people you look at and think they’ll never finish but they do and others who look like they’re in great shape but throw in the towel at Ludlow. Route 100 is an incredible road, most of which is really nice for cycling. It’s hit and miss for the pavement but there isn’t that much traffic and there are all these strategically placed town greens. Doing it north to south there is a rhythm to it, although it’s a bit like a hammer going down on you. VS: You also commute about 25 miles a day by bike, from Bolton to Burlington, don’t you? SB: It started because when I was a kid that’s how I got around. We were a onecar family. People thought differently back then. My first jobs were in bike shops and that’s how I got to work and those jobs didn’t pay enough to get a car. In my 30s when I first began teaching my biking dropped off dramatically, but I never gave it up. As I got more comfortable with teaching I started realizing that my body type wants to be overweight and if I stop exercising, that’s what happens. It takes me half an hour to drive to work in South Burlington. On a good day, it’s a little

VS: How did you become the Green Mountain Bicycle Club mapmaker? SB: When I started riding with the club there was a real mismatch of maps being handed out. People would take their Gazetteers and make photocopies and then use magic markers to trace the route. There were some cue sheets that were written by hand. People were wellmeaning but some of those maps were pretty illegible. I taught graphic design for decades so I volunteered to help. When there is a new route I go online and look at maps until I find a magnification level I can capture. I think about how it will fit on a page and then do a series of screen shots and piece those together in Photoshop which becomes the base layer. Then I trace out the routes using different colors for the different route lengths. Then I create a cue sheet with the distances for each road segment, the various turns and the distance to the finish. I think it’s a great service because it’s on the website so people can check out the route including the distance and elevation gain before the start of the ride. We also have an online library with all our routes which is something I don’t see for other clubs. VS: You don’t consider your cycling ability extraordinary but I’m sure others do. SB: I really don’t. I consider myself unusual only because other people are unenlightened. The bicycle should be much more a part of our life as a culture and it’s not. I think that’s a bad thing. I think the bicycle can solve a lot more of life’s problems. It requires us to take action which is good. When we get off our butts and start doing things, we get healthier and friendlier and it’s all good. Cars are great things, but we don’t limit our use of them as much as we should. — Phyl Newbeck

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Over 100 miles of mountain biking trails for all ability levels in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

East Burke, Vermont JUNE 2016 | VTSPORTS.COM 29

that I ran five years in a row. I like the races where I get to know everyone on a first name basis by the finish line.


VS: What’s the secret to running as much as you have? JL: I defy a lot of the normal stuff. Maybe the key to my longevity in running is I’ve always been a lowmileage runner. I probably run 20 to 25 miles a week and three or four days a week. In the past 30 years, I’ve run five to ten marathons every year so I’m never that out of marathon shape. I’m not as serious as some and perhaps that’s the trick to longevity.

RUNNING AROUND THE WORLD Name: John Lent Age: 62 Hometown: Waltham, Vt Occupation: Self-employed, owner of a home-improvement business Primary sport: Marathon running


or John Lent, the important thing isn’t that he’s run a marathon in every state—twice —or that he’s just finished his 168th marathon. The important thing is that of the 168 marathons he’s started, he’s finished every last one of them. “Quitting has never been an option,” he says. John ran his first marathon with a friend in 1986. On April 17, Lent was one of 11,000 runners at the start in the Nagano Marathon in Japan. He finished in 4:01.05. This also marked final piece of a 30-year project; running a marathon on every continent. VS: Tell us about your most recent race in Japan. JL: This was one of the larger races I’ve done in decades. There were about 11,000 runners. Japan is probably one of the most polite places in the world. It’s like all of the things that we’ve gotten away from here. They dress up, are formal and greet you sincerely. Everybody does what they’re supposed to. It was not so unusual that we had staggered starts in the order of previous times, but there was no pushing or shoving. I felt great, but the running conditions and weather included everything. The start of the race was warm, the finish was really warm and in-between we had cloudy, pouring rain and then light, puffy clouds towards the end. We also had 65 mile-per-hour wind gusts to deal with. VS: After 30 years of these races, what’s it feel like to look back? JL: Life is a journey. It’s an adventure. In the beginning, I didn’t set out for this goal, it unfolded over the years. I like going to new places and I try to figure out if I can do a marathon at the


VS: Are you doing anything else in terms of diet to help? JL: My wife, Mary Ann, is a very good cook and we grow a lot of our vegetables. I’m not saying I’m fussy, but I don’t eat junk food or fast food. But then again, I’m not picky either. I try to eat healthy, real foods. VS: If you’re not running, what other sports are you doing? JL: Before I got into marathoning I lived in Colorado for ten years and my love was climbing 14,000-foot mountains. That’s gotten watered down, but I like anything that’s foot travel, be it running, hiking or crosscountry skiing. John Lent after his 168th marathon in Nagano, Japan this past April. And he doesn't even look tired.

same time. In 2009, I went to Mount Kilimanjaro and ran a marathon there. In 2007, I went to Australia and did a marathon in Melburne. As the years go on, it gets easier. VS: Why marathons? What’s it about this distance race that attracts you? JL: If it were easy, more people would be doing it. With some, you get to the finish line in reasonably good shape, and you’re happy things came together. Others aren’t so pretty and for whatever reason you’re beat. I like the idea of challenging myself. Should I train a little bit more often or harder or differently? Perhaps, but the worst that can ever happen is you have to walk a while and I’m OK with that. VS: Is this something that you would submit for a world record? JL: I’d like to. I have a couple of friends who are in the Guinness

Book Of World Records for similar running accomplishments. I’ve heard unofficially that there are some 88 people who have run a marathon in each continent but I’d like to verify that. The limits keep getting pushed. and through running these marathons I keep meeting people who are crazier than I am. VS: Looking back over your 30 years, what have been your favorite races? JV: Since running Boston and New York, my love is for the locations that few people see. I always say the ones that are in the most extreme or remote locations are my favorites, like Antarctica. I ran that in February 2014 so it was going into their summer, but the conditions were pretty wild. Temperatures were in the 20s and there was still some deep snow. There was one up in the Arctic on Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut

VS: You’ve run marathons in every state and continent? Do you have another goal in mind? JL: I finished all the states for the second time in 2013 and I’ve been working since then to complete all 13 provinces of Canada for the second time. I’ve already done eight provinces, twice. It may take me three or four years, but that’s my current goal. VS: Any words of wisdom for aspiring distance runners? JL: Don’t overtrain. Too many people stick to schedules and hurt themselves trying to run strictly to their plan. Think about your total distance goal for the week and then do your best to stretch it out throughout the week. Listen to your body and be willing to bend if your body needs rest. There are days when I go out wanting to run a distance, but wind up walking a mile and then calling it a day— but that’s OK with me. — Evan Johnson

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SteriPen Classic 3

Osprey Synchro 10 hydration pack

Vapur Microfilter

Hydrapak Stash

Avex FreeFlow water bottle


ow simple it used to be—all you needed was to find a stream, lean over, and drink your fill. But then came giardia, and about the same time we got so serious about running or biking that stopping by the stream seemed to take too long. So now hydration is a serious business, and one of the oldest human acts produces a steady, um, stream of innovations. ` Consider the Avex FreeFlow AutoSeal water bottle ($14.99$36.99 depending on size or if you want plastic or stainless steel). At first glance it is as minimalist as they come. It has no mouthpiece to break off, and no straw to disengage, lose or clean. What makes it the most likely item to get tossed in our pack is its one simple but profoundly useful feature: it doesn’t leak. The FreeFlow seals between sips. That’s it. Lay it in your pack sideways,

put in upside down, and not a single drop of its 25 ounces trickles out. Magic! The bottles come with lifetime guarantees, probably because they are basically indestructible. You, on the other hand, are not. All those creeks and streams that run fast at this time of the year look inviting and are—to you and multitudes of bacteria and protozoa. Iodine tablets are an easy way to purify water, but iodine not only takes out all those critters, it knocks the fresh out of refreshment. We prefer sterilizing stream water with ultraviolent light, and the easiest way to do this is with a SteriPEN Classic 3 ($69.95), a small, lightweight, handheld device that looks like a cross between a medicine dropper and a flashlight. Remove the cap, turn it on, submerge it in your water bottle, stir it

around, and 90 seconds later, once the LED light flashes green, you’ve got a liter of potable water. The one caveat: it only works with clear water so stay away from silty ponds. The SteriPEN can run on four AA batteries, which will get you about 50 liters until you need a new set, or lithion ion rechargeables, which will get you 150 liters. The UV bulb, meanwhile, is supposed to be good for 8000 liters, which means we have 7575 liters to go before we can tell you if that’s true. The weight-conscious hiker or traveler will appreciate the Vapur Microfilter ($49.99) water bag, a 2.7 ounce soft carrier that rolls up to next to nothing when it’s not being used, and holds a liter when it is. The Vapur has a micro-filter straw that serves as a protective barrier between you and the bad guys who would like to colonize

your gut. You’ll get around 500 liters of clean water before the filter is no longer functional. Along the same lines, the Hydrapak Stash ($22.99) is a leakproof 1 liter bottle that twists and folds down to nearly the size of its cap. It's BPA-free and weighs in at 3.1 oz. For long rides, we love the Osprey Synchro 10 ($110) hydration pack. Built with a mesh suspension system so it rides high off the back, it’s got just enough room for keys, phone, a snack or two, a light jacket, and 2.5 liters of readily accessible water. We’ve found the Synchro 10 to be especially valuable on long mountain bike rides when we want to stay ahead of our thirst, and when it rains. Not only do we have a jacket near to hand, our pack does, too: the Synchro 10 has an integrated rain fly. It works just fine for hiking, too.




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RUNNING June 3 Montpelier Mile, Montpelier, Vt Onion River Sports hosts a flat and fast one-mile road race through downtown Montpelier. 4 West River Trail Run, Londonderry, Vt An 11-mile run on dirt roads from Londonderry Depot to Jamaica State park to benefit The Collaborative’s mission to provide fun healthy educational programs for youth in the Northshire and Mountain communities of Southern Vermont. 4 Colchester Causeway 5K/15K, Colchester, Vt. Choose either a 5K or 15K and enjoy the scenic Colchester Causeway. The race will begin at Airport Park and follow a gravel trail out onto the historic Causeway where runners will make their way to designated turn-around points before returning to the finish. 5 Race to the Top of Bradford, Bradford, Vt. The Bradford Conservation Commission holds a 3.5-mile run to the top of Wright’s Mountain on trails of Bradford’s town forest. 6 Covered Bridges Half Marathon, Pomfret, Vt. Though it’s sold out for this year, come watch one of the state’s most popular races as it covers a beautiful pointto-point course through the Woodstock region. www. 11 Fight for Air Climb: Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington, Vt. Runners take to the stairs up the battlefield monument while raising funds for research, education, and patient programs helping people affected by lung disease. www. 11 39th Annual Capital City Stampede 10K, Montpelier, Vt. Runners race a fast out-and-back course on half-paved, half dirt roads. Course is USATF-certified. Top three winners receive gift certificates. 12 Equinox Trail Race 5K & 10K, Charlotte, Vt. The Green Mountain Athletic Association hosts a pair of runs on trails through fields, singletrack and old sugarwood roads.

18 9th Annual Run For Empowerment, Burlington, Vt. Run 10K, 5K or walk a mile along the Burlington waterfront while raising funds for Women Helping Battered Women. 18 NH-VT Covered Bridge Half Marathon, Colebrook, N.H. A beautiful, mostly flat, looped course starts & finishes in Colebrook N.H. and includes 7 miles in northern Vermont along the Connecticut River. 19 Worcester 4 Mile Challenge, Worcester, Vt. Central Vermont Runners hosts an out and back course on dirt roads—uphill on the way out, downhill on return. 19 13th Annnual Skip Matthews Memorial Run, Lebanon, N.H. A 4-mile run beginning and finishing at Colburn Park raises funds for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center’s Brain Tumor Research Fund. 24 Sine Nomine, Vt. The Endurance Society hosts a secretive endurance race of unspecified length. The race will be held in rural Vermont at a location disclosed only to the entrants. www. 24 – 26 Coyote Scramble Trail Runs, East Burke, Vt. Kingdom Trails hosts three days of trail running with suggested distances for each day. Runners rack up miles before joining in the post-run activities including bowling and live music. 25 Catamount Ultra Marathon, Stowe, Vt. Starting and finishing at the Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center, runners complete a 25K loop entirely within Trapp Family Lodge property located in the foothills of Mount Mansfield. 50K racers will complete this same loop twice. 26 Wildcat Mountain Trail Race, Goreham, N.H. Trail runners challenge themselves on 5K and 5-mile courses up and over the ski area with views of Mount Washington and Tuckerman Ravine. There will be music, beer ands a barbeque at the finish. www.wildcatmountaintrailrace. com 26 Paul Mailman 10-Miler, Montpelier, Vt. The longest continually held road race in central Vermont starts and finishes near Montpelier High School as part of the Central Vermont Runners and Onion River Sports Race Series. Flat to rolling out-and-back course; 27 percent paved.

July July 2 -26 Green Mountain Running Camp, Meriden, N.H. Runners of all levels are invited to a week-long residential camp with specialized instruction for cross-country runners at Kimball Union Academy.

4 40th Annual John Langhans Green Mile Road Race, Woodstock, Vt. Runners celebrate July 4th with a challenging 7.1-mile run or walk around the Woodstock area. 4 Harry Corrow Freedom Run, Newport, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts a 10-mile, 10K, 5K and 1-mile run on the Newport-Derby bike path and the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation Trails. 4 Clarence DeMar Road Race, South Hero, Vt. The Green Mountain Athletic Association hosts a 5K on paved roads in South Hero. 6 (ongoing) 5K Trail Race Series, Stowe, Vt. The Trapp Family Lodge trails host a 5K trail race every Wednesday during July and August. A kid’s race is available at every race. 10 2016 Trail Race Series at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Jeffersonville, Vt. Smugglers’ Notch Resort hosts 4K, 8K and kids’ races on trails around the resort. Event repeats August 19. www. 10 Stowe 8-Mile/5K, Stowe, Vt. Stowe hosts the classic 8-mile run (and two-person relay) along with a 5K on local roads. Race starts at the Recreation Field and finishes at the Golden Eagle resort. 10 Mad Marathon, Mad Half and Relays, Waitsfield, Vt. The Mad River Valley is the site of a weekend of races on dirt roads with tough climbs, accompanied by views of the Green Mountains. 16 Goshen Gallop, Goshen, Vt. Blueberry Hill Inn in Goshen hosts a 5K and 10K trail race in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, billed as the “toughest 10K in the East.” 16 Chris’ Run, Stowe, Vt. The trails of the Trapp Family Lodge host a 5K and 10K trail race to benefit the Chris Ludington Scholarship Fund. 16-18 Vermont 100 Endurance Race, West Windsor, Vt. The Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run is a 100-mile ultramarathon held at Silver Hill Meadow in West Windsor, Vt. It is one of four 100-mile races that comprise the Grand Slam of ultra-running. www.vermont100endurancerun. 23 38th Annual Bear Swamp Run, Middlesex, Vt. A 5.7-mile loop course on mostly dirt roads climbs 450 feet in the first 3 miles, and then gradually descends to the finish. 24 5th Annual Essex Half Marathon, Essex Junction, Vt. Runners explore paved and dirt roads on an out-and-back half marathon that starts and finishes on the high school track.



summit. All racers receive a one-way gondola ticket for a scenic descent back to the bottom.

RUNNING cont. 30 Round Church Women’s Run, Richmond, Vt. Runners head to Richmond for a 5K and 10K, both out and back on Cochran Road, starting and finishing at Farr Rd., diagonally across from the historic Round Church. The courses are all paved with a few rolling hills.

August 6 Moosalamoo Ultra, Goshen, Vt. The Blueberry Hill Inn is host to 14-mile and a 36-mile races on the neighboring trails of the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area. 6 Fairfax Egg Run, Fairfax, Vt. The Fairfax Recreation Department hosts 5K and 10K races with eggs made to order at the finish. www.

21 Saint Albans Raid Half Marathon, St. Albans, Vt. Downtown St. Albans pays homage to its history with a half marathon on the historic Rail Trail. StAlbansRaidHalfMarathon

4 Vermont Gran Fondo, Middlebury, Vt. The Vermont Gran Fondo is a non-competitive ride that will test your fitness with its challenging climbs across Appalachian Gap, Moretown Mountain, Roxbury Gap and Lincoln Gap. Distances include the Gran Fondo: 105 miles, 10,000+ feet of climbing (all four gaps); Medio Fondo: 64 miles, 6,800 feet of climbing (Lincoln & App gaps) and Piccolo Fondo: 43 miles.

21 Green Mountain Athletic Association Scholarship Trail Race, Burlington, Vt. Red Rocks Park is the site of a 5K entirely on dirt trails. The course is gently rolling with several overlooks of Lake Champlain. Race raises funds for the GMAA’s scholarship program.

5 Lund Center’s 8th Annual Ride for Children, Burlington, Vt. The Lund Family Center in Burlington hosts a day of distance road rides to raise funds for the center. Distances include 50, 33, and 16 miles. Rides are followed by familyfriendly activities.

27-28 ADK 80K, Lake Placid, N.Y. The 4th annual ADK 80K Race Weekend consists of a 80K/50K trail run and relay on Saturday August 27th and a 80K/40K mountain bike races on Sunday August 28th. Both races will be held on the same 20K loop on the 1980 Olympic trails xc ski trails of Mt. Van Hoevenberg. www.

5 Tour De Heifer, Brattleboro, Vt. This challenging dirt road cycling event features 15, 30 and 60-mile routes all with minimal pavement and significant elevation. The less challenging, but still hilly, 15-mile country ride has paved hills and a scenic riverside dirt road section.

27 Best Dam Run & Walk, Whitingham, Vt. The Harriman Reservoir is the site of a half marathon and 5K race that follow the Hoot, Toot & Whistle Trail along the west side of the reservoir. The race benefits fuel assistance programs in the Deerfield Valley. 28 Race To The Top of Vermont, Stowe, Vt. The Catamount Trail Association challenges runners and cyclists to a race up Stowe’s historic toll road, gaining 2,564 vertical feet over 4.3 miles.

13 100 On 100 Relay, Stowe, Vt. Teams of runners split the 100 miles between the Trapp Family Lodge and Jackson Gore at Okemo into relay portions on Route 100. 13 Kingdom Run, Irasburg, Vt. Runners in northern Vermont race a half marathon, 10K or 5K on dirt roads with gentle hills. A complimentary meal with blueberry sundaes follows the race. www.


18 Berlin Pond 5-miler, Berlin, Vt. Race a 5-mile loop counterclockwise around Berlin Pond. Course features a mix of flat and hilly dirt roads, part of the CVR ORS Race Series. Race day registration only at the Berlin Town Clerk’s office.

3-5 Wilmington Whiteface Bike Fest, Wilmington, N.Y. The 7th Annual Bike Fest features the Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race on Saturday and the WW 100K Mountain Bike Race (a Leadville 100 Qualifier) on Sunday. Enjoy live music, beach party, Jump Jam Stunt Show, Best Calves Contest and more.

8/20 KBC Race To The Summit, Killington Hike or run in this challenging and scenic 5K course from the Ramshead Base Lodge to the Peak Lodge at the


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8 – 12 Tour De Kingdom, Newport, Vt. Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom hosts four days of longdistance road rides through the NEK and northern New Hampshire, totaling 440 miles and 25,000 feet of climbing. 11 The Moose, Newport, Vt. As part of Kingdom Games’ Tour De Kingdom, riders tackle a century on recently repaved Routes 114 and 102 in the Northeast Kingdom with sweeping views of the upper Connecticut River. 10-12 Bikes, Bevs and Beats Festival, Stowe, Vt. The Stowe Mountain Bike Club hosts a weekend-long bike festival celebrating mountain bike culture in the Stowe area with group rides, clinics, live music and beer. www. 11 2016 Champ Ride For HIV Prevention, Burlington, Vt. The Vermont Center for AIDS Resources, Education, & Services hosts a series of rides 17, 32, 67, and 100 miles long around Chittenden County. All rides start in Oakledge Park in Burlington.

11 The Vermont Epic, Ludlow, Vt & Bedford, Mass. Cyclists gather for a series of three events. The 70-mile Vermont Monster is a gravel grinder with 9,000 feet of climbing. The Battlefield to Vermont ride is 134.3 miles long and has 8,101 feet of climbing as it travels from Bedford, Mass. to Okemo Mountain. Rides are also available in 20- and 40-mile distances. 17 – 19 NEMBAFest at Kingdom Trails, East Burke, Vt. East Burke hosts the annual festival celebrating New England mountain biking. Weekend includes demos, live music, competitions and exhibitions. 18 Route 100 – 200 Miles, One Day, Derby, Vt. The 100/200 is a one-day road ride that stretches from the Canadian border to the Massachusetts state line. Route 100 is widely recognized as one of Vermont’s most scenic highways and the 200-mile ride is routed to minimize automobile traffic. 18 Switchback Bike for the Lake, North Hero, Vt. Cyclists ride loops 100, 80, 60 and 30 miles on the shores of Lake Champlain, raising funds to support the work of Friends of Northern Lake Champlain. www. 25 RAS Adventure Ride and 5K Run, Peru, Vt. Cyclists and runners gather to for the second event in support of RASopathies research. Both the ride and the run will cover Class IV dirt roads. Post-ride party to follow at the JJ Hapgood General Store. 25 6th Annual Long Trail Century Ride to Benefit Vermont Adaptive, Bridgewater Corners, Vt. The Long Trail Century Ride to Benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports returns again with an all-day event including cycling on 100, 60, 20 mile and Family Friendly/ Adaptive 5K routes in the morning and a family-friendly festival and party in the afternoon with BBQ, live music, farmers market vendors, kids activities and more. www. 25 Tour De Bondville, Stratton, Vt. The annual Tour de Bondville features a bike ride, golf outing and after-party benefitting the Breast Cancer

Research Foundation. Choose between a 50-, 53-, 25-, or 16-mile bike ride, a day on the links or just the after-party. 26 Central Vermont Cycling Tour, Montpelier, Vt. The Cross Vermont Trail Association hosts its annual 15, 30, or 60-mile rides on scenic country roads to raise funds for Cross Vermont Trail.

July 8 – 9 Prouty Ultimate, Hanover, N.H. The Prouty Ultimate is two days of 100-mile “century” road bike rides supporting patient services and cancer research at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, N.H. Friday’s ride is from Manchester to Hanover, Saturday’s ride is a loop from Hanover, N.H. 9 Raid Lamoille, Stowe, Vt. Cyclists ride approximately 100K (60+ miles), mostly gravel roads through the stunning Vermont countryside. The route will include nearly 6,000 feet of climbing. A 50K option will also be available. 7/9-10 Eastern States Cup Downhill Race, Dover, Vt. Mount Snow hosts the seventh running of the Eastern States Cup. There will be categories covering all ability and age levels with amateurs racing for gear and pros duking it out for a cash purse.

30 The Millstone Relay and 8-Hour MTB Relay, Websterville, Vt. Individuals and teams of two and three compete for the most laps to complete in an eight-hour period on an established course on the Millstone Trails network. www.

August 11 – 14 The Vermont Challenge, Manchester, Vt. Manchester and Stratton Resort serve as the 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. 13 8th Annual Bike N’ Brew Festival, East Burke, Vt. Burke Mountain welcomes anyone who loves bikes and craft brews to an event that combines both. The event features tastings, lift rides, mountain biking on local trails, contests and awards for the best beer.



17 Farm To Fork Fondo, Pittsfield, Vt. Cyclists pick one of four fondo rides with stops at local farms. Pick between a 103-mile gran fondo, a 74-mile medio fondo and a 40-mile piccolo fondo. 22 – 24 Vermont Mountain Bike Fest, Warren, Vt. The Vermont Mountain Bike Association hosts its annual festival at Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen area. The weekend include riding all over the Mad River Valley, Perry Hill and Green Mountain Trails. Blueberry Lake will host easier rides. 7/28-31 Beast Of The East Pro GRT The USA Cycling Pro Gravity Tour stops at Killington for a downhill competition on some of the mountain’s most challenging terrain.

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open water swims. Event repeats on June 25. www.

13 Harpoon Point To Point, Windsor, Vt. The Harpoon Point to Point presented by National Life Group is a cycling event to benefit the Vermont Foodbank. Choose from a 25-, 50-, or 100-mile ride starting and finishing at the Harpoon Brewery. www.


20-21 Eastern States Cup Sugarbush Showdown, Warren, Vt. The Eastern States Cup East Coast Showdown returns to Sugarbush for 2016, featuring enduro and downhill mountain bike races with a combined cash purse of $3,200. It’s a great race for spectators as these guys and girls fly down the course.

30 Kingdom Swim, Newport, Vt. Lake Memphremagog is the site of a series of swims, including 15-, 10-, 6-, 3- and 1-mile long. The 15mile distance crosses the Canadian border. www.

28 Vermont Overland Gran Prix, Woodstock, Vt. 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 afterwards.


18 Georgeville or Bust, Newport, Vt. Swimmers attempt a 15-mile swim in Lake Memphremagog across the Canadian border from Newport to Georgeville, Quebec.

30 Kayak Kingdom Swim, Newport, Vt. Kayakers are paired with swimmers on the 3, 6, 10 and 15-mile courses of the Kingdom Swim. The event provides dinner and lodging the night before for volunteer kayakers, and lunch following the swim, plus a $50 stipend ($65 if you bring your own kayak).

August 6 Seymour Swim, Derby, Vt. Swimmers attempt the 3.5-mile or 1.75-mile options of the Aquaman triathlon held the same day at Lake Seymour.

June 4 Deerfield River Festival, Deerfield, Mass. American Whitewater and Zoar Outdoor join forces to celebrate the Deerfield River with a full weekend of outdoor activities. 7 Dragon Boat Bootcamp and Try-It Tuesdays, Burlington, Vt. Malia Paddling and Dragon Boat Racing Club host free Tuesday evening paddles. No experience necessary. Event repeats until July 26. 10-11 Northern Forest Canoe Trail Paddlers Freshet Fest, Saranac Lake, N.Y. A paddler’s rendezvous for long-distance kayakers and canoeists as well anyone curious about what it takes to paddle the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. www.

June 18 Son Of A Swim, Newport, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts 2, 4 and 6-mile swims in Lake Memphremagog and can be used as a qualifier for other

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13 – 21 Swim The Kingdom Week, Kingdom Games host week of long distance swims at lakes around the kingdom.



25 Newport Sprint Triathlon, Newport, Vt. The Prouty Beach is the site of a half-mile swim, 13-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. The race is also available for relay teams.

July 23 Willoughby Triathlon, Westmore, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts a 13-mile bike on logging roads on Bartlett Mountain, followed by a 1.2-mile swim from South Beach to Devil’s Rock and back. The event finishes with a 2.6-mile trail run to the summit of Mount Pisgah. www. 31 32nd Annual Colchester Triathlon, Colchester, Vt. The Colchester Parks and Rec Department hosts a 500-meter swim (or a 1.5-mile kayak), 12-mile bike ride and 3-mile run, starting and finishing at Bayside Park in Colchester.

August 6 Aquaman Even-Up, Ollie Even-Up and Sprint Derby and Morgan, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts a series of three triathlons: The Aquaman has a 3.5-mile swim, 34-mile bike and 13.1-mile run; The Ollie has a 1.75-mile swim, 15-mile bike, and a 10K run; the Sprint has a 500-yard swim, 13-mile bike, and 5-mile run.


June 18 Vermont Sun Triathlon, Salisbury, Vt. Vermont Sun in Middlebury organizes its annual triathlon series with a 600-yard swim, a 14-mile bike ride and a 3.1mile run on the shores of Lake Dunmore. Event repeats on July 17 and Aug. 14. 18 Lake Dunmore Triathlon, Salisbury, Vt. Vermont Sun’s Olympic distance triathlon includes a .9mile swim, 28-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run on the shores of Lake Dunmore. Event repeats on August 14. 25 Missisquoi Paddle & Pedal Race, Richford, Vt. The Missisquoi Paddle & Pedal Race combines 6.5 miles of

Ethan Allen Biathlon Club 2016 Summer Race Series

DATES July 7, 14, 21, August 4,11, 18 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

Safety Clinic information

Interested? Contact:

flatwater paddling along the Missisquoi River and 4.5 mile of cycling back on an adjacent rail trail. Kayak and canoe racers are welcome.


June 18 Tough Mudder, Dover, Vt. The popular Tough Mudder race returns to Mount Snow Resort, with hills, mud-pits, exposed electrical wires and a whole lot more.

July 9 Dirty Girl Mud Run, Killington, Vt. Killington hosts a 5K obstacle race at Killington Resort with cargo nets, walls and mud. 16 Tri-Obstaclon, Benson, Vt. Racers attempt a 7K bike ride, a 300-yard swim and the 10K on Shale Hill’s obstacle course race. www. 17 Shale Hill Relay Challenge, Benson, Vt. Teams of three complete 2-mile portions of the course with over 60 different obstacles. 29 – 31 Kids Adventure Games, Stowe, Vt. The Trapp Family Lodge hosts an obstacle course race designed for kids. Kids can expect mountain biking, hiking, zip-lines, cargo nets, mud pits and more on a 3-mile course. July 16-30 WMS Climbing Camp, Bethlehem, N.H. White Mountain School’s Climbing Camp for kids 12-16 provides a safe and challenging experience for beginner and advanced climbers. Learn gear placement technique, climb legendary multi-pitch routes, and gain an understanding of safe practices at Cannon, Rumney, Cathedral and Whitehorse.

gsi_2016_JavaPressGrowlerWine_VTSportsMag_6.2016_r.1.pdf 1 4/27/2016 12:03:24 PM

Live in Vermont’s vacation paradise! Just 15 minutes from Stowe

8 Berry Ave, Morristown


his cozy 1600-square-foot home built in 1989 features an open floor plan kitchen and living room with vaulted ceilings and plenty of natural light. Three bedrooms, large bathroom with jet tub, partially finished basement, concrete foundation, drilled well and newly designed leach field, baseboard heat with oil surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Morristown — all of which sits on two open acres with an old stone wall bordering part of the property, a sliding hill, gardens and out buildings. Listed below appraisal at $178,900. For more information and photos contact Zoe Bedell.

Little River Realty • 802-253-1553 •

Register Now! Join us September 24-25 at the

20th annual Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival — one of the nation’s most scenic road races! Our award-winning event features distances for every type of runner or walker, including: 8 A marathon and two- and four-person marathon relays 8 A half-marathon voted the top 13.1-mile race in the Northeast region by readers of 8 5K, 10K and kids 1K fun run HALF MARATHON 8 Hand-carved bear statues for overall winners 8 A public beach for chilling out post-event 8 The Town of Schroon Lake’s hometown hospitality!

There’s plenty of time to train, so sign up now and get going!

For more information and to register, visit ADKM_1601_Vermont_QuartPage.indd 1

3/8/16 9:19 AM



ike Shops around VT sponsored content 91

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35 Portland Street Morrisville, VT 802-888-6557 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!



45 Bridge Street Morrisville, VT 877-815-9178 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm Sat 9am-3pm, Closed Sunday


3 Hours: 9am-6pm every day 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 over 75 rentals bikes with an enormous selection of clothing, parts and accessories.


2500 Williston Road S. Burlington, VT 802-864-9197 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm


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439 Route 114 East Burke, VT 802-626-3215



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511 Broad Street Lyndonville, VT 802-626-8448 Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-6pm Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm For 35 years, the Village Sport Shop has been a destination for sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to find quality, competitively priced sporting goods. Covering a wide variety of activities and gear the Village Sport Shop has helped customers, locals and visitors alike enjoy the outdoors.

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!



85 Main Street Burlington, VT 802-658-3313 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm Locally owned since 1969, Skirack offers gear, clothing, expert fits and accessories for all cyclists, with full service tuning and 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.



100 Main Street Burlington, VT 802-863-3832 Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm



37 Church Street Burlington, VT 802-860-0190 Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am- 8pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm OGE is quickly becoming Burlington, VT’s premier bike shop with a knowledgeable, friendly, and honest staff to get you on a new bike or fix the one you already have at a price that works for you. We have commuters and gravel grinders from Marin and KHS, mountain bikes from Pivot, Transition, Rocky Mountain, and Yeti, and a large selection of consignment bikes. Our comprehensive demo fleet allows you to try it before you buy it. Fully equipped service department and full Fox shock service in house. Come on down and see us!



322 N. Winooski Ave Burlington, VT 802-863-4475 Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-6pm Old Spokes Home offers VT’s best selection of professionally refurbished used bikes and new bikes for touring, bike packing, commuting, fat biking, and simply getting around. Named one of the country’s best bike shops by Outside Online for it’s “plain-talk advice and no-nonsense service.” A non-profit as of January 2015, OSH uses 100% of its revenue to run programs creating access to bikes in the community. And don’t miss their famous antique bicycle museum!



24 Bridge Street Richmond, VT 802-434-4876 Hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am-6:30pm Closed Sundays Belgen Cycles offers custom and stock bicycles supported by 38 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 18 years.



46 S. Main Street Waterbury, VT 802-882-8595 Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Thur 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.



20 Langdon Street Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409 Hours: Mon-Thur 9am-6pm Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm Whether you’re a cycling pro, a casual commuter, or a novice rider, we’ve got the perfect bicycle for all of your adventures — and the friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you find it. We are a full-service bike shop staffed by experts committed to helping you keep your bike at top performance. We can diagnose and repair problems on any bicycle, whether you’re looking for a basic tune-up, or complicated and extensive maintenance and repairs. We also pack and ship bikes anywhere in the country.



74 Main Street Middlebury, VT 802-388-6666 Hours: Mon -Thur 9:30am-5:30pm year round, Fri 9:30am-7pm yearround, Sat 9:30-5:30 year-round, Sun 1-4pm May - September and for Christmas shopping

Take advantage of the most advanced and courteous service in our region, including a quick turn-around in our service shop downstairs at Frog Hollow Bikes. 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. Formerly the Bike Center.



105 N. Main Street Rochester, VT 800-767-7882 Hours: 7 days a week, 10am-6pm Located in 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!



25 Depot Ave. Windsor, VT 802-674-6742 Hours: Tue-Fri 10-6, Sat 9-5 Closed Sun & Mon Paradise Sports Shop has been serving the needs of cyclists and outside enthusiasts in the Upper Valley since 2008. We offer professional retail sales and service of cycling equipment, accessories and soft goods and much more.



99 Bonet Street Manchester, VT 802-362-2734 Hours: 7 days a week 9:30am-5:30pm Full selection of men and women’s clothing. Rentals available. Great back roads. Road rides Thursdays at 6pm, Beginner Rides Fridays at 6pm.



105 Main St., Brattleboro, VT 802-254-9430 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-5:30pm, Sun Noon-5pm 80 years of serving the Brattleboro area with great gear for the yearround outdoor sports enthusiast. Featuring Raleigh, Bianchi, GT, Schwinn, Ibis, and Yuba Cargo Bikes. Best selection of kids bikes in the area. Top notch service Department...we can fix just about anything. Electric assist kits to help you “flatten” the Vermont hills.



49 Brickyard Lane Putney, VT 802-387-5718

Co-Motion, and Waterford. We also love and sell SUPs and are certified instructors for paddleboarding, road cycling and mountain biking.



18.5 Mascoma Street Lebanon, NH 603-448-5400 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm Sat 9am-3pm, Closed Sundays The areas 4-season Mountain Bike Headquarters. Locally owned and located 1.1 miles from the entrance to the Boston Lot trail system, the crown jewel of the Upper Valley. We are a shop run by passionate riders and we carry Rocky Mountain, Salsa and Raleigh bikes. We service all bikes and specialize in mountain bike suspension service and setup. Come join us for one of our Tuesday or Thursday night group rides at 6 PM.

OMER & BOB’S 20 Hanover Street Lebanon, NH 603-448-3522 Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Closed Sundays


Since 1971, the West Hill Shop has been a lowkey, 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. Our annual (and infamous) cyclocross race has been described as “the Providence race in Carhartts.” Come join us for one of our adventurous rides! Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 9am-5pm, Closed Sundays



28 Cottage Street Littleton, NH 603-444-3437 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm Since 1981 we’ve been helping north country folks enjoy the outdoors. With a full service repair shop, very experienced mechanics and a wide selection of bikes from Specialized and Cannondale to customs from Seven,

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’ trade-in, trade-up program.



2733 Main Street Lake Placid, VT 518-523-3764 Hours: Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm Sun 9am-5pm Lake Placid’s source for bicycling and outdoor gear since 1983! Road bike coaching rides and professional bike fitting, too. We also offer road and gravel cycling tours, and other schools and camps for all ages and abilities. Demos for Salsa adventure by bike, Surly, Giant and Scott bicycles — get off the pavement and on the gravel!




he finality of death is contradictory, a source both of despair and solace. When word came on a bright June day last year that my sister Lisi had been killed in a cycling accident—hit by a pick-up truck while walking her bike along a rural Louisiana roadside—my first emotion was disbelief. But mixed with the ensuing sadness and grief was the comfort in knowing that nothing—no medical treatment, no prayer, no distressed calls for help, no critical decisions—could bring her back. No wringing of hands or what-next consternation. In a realm beyond, she was at rest. Lisi’s death came in a year in which four cyclists died on Vermont roadways. Each of these fatal accidents was defined by unique circumstances— involving drunkenness or excessive speed or distraction or driver fatigue or simple stupidity—typically followed by a public reaction stirring together anger, sorrow, and calls for action or justice. And all shared in reinforcing a stark reality: We, as road riders, are incredibly vulnerable. The road-sharing equation is ridiculously skewed against us. Balanced on gossamer machines weighing less than the average family beagle, we ride within inches of heavy-metal behemoths typically traveling three times our speed. Yet the satisfactions and pleasures of road riding draw us in with irrepressible insistence. Death, or the risk of it, cannot change that. Lisi and I became active cyclists in very different ways. I was attracted in the ’70s to the spectacle of racing—the speed, the pageantry, and the Homeric stamina, physical and mental, needed to complete a multi-week ordeal like the Tour de France. The heroes of U.S. cycling in those days were John Howard, the Stetina brothers, and George Mount. I bought an Italian racing bike, a leather helmet, and stiff-soled cycling shoes. I entered races, mostly local stuff in Virginia. I wanted to cross the finish line with hands raised, imagining Dale or Wayne Stetina all but asphyxiated in my exhaust. Lisi’s motives were purer. Her appreciation for the sport wasn’t discolored by false illusions of racing prowess. She rode for the simple enjoyment of turning pedals, breathing




A memorial to Dr. Kenneth Najarian, this bike stood sentry on the side road in Charlotte. Dr. Najarian was one of four cyclists killed by cars in the state in 2015.

fresh air, and sharing good times with friends. While my rides might be freighted with serious intent—a training objective, a racing goal—Lisi rode with an unburdened cheerfulness. She was almost proud of her slowness, joking about how fellow cyclists on regular summer tours in Europe expressed astonishment that she could move so slowly and remain upright. On a group ride, the slowest rider can disrupt the rhythm and flow of a ride, with speedier riders made to wait. But year after year, Lisi’s friends wanted to return with her to the roads of France or Britain, even if she rode as the group’s sea anchor. Her selfdeprecating humor could dissipate all discomfiting concerns: the physical stress, the difficulty of the route, inhospitable weather. That speaks to an important aspect of riding: It is a social sport. Sure, you often see riders—myself included—alone on the road. But cyclists congregate

in groups to a degree not seen in other “individual” sports. Recreational cyclists join clubs and racing cyclists form teams, along with other forms of social bonding. Everywhere in Vermont—everywhere in America— invitations for weekend group rides or fundraisers fill the Internet from early spring into late fall. Aerodynamics, of course, is in play; drafting with other riders enables longer and faster rides with less effort. But more important is the pleasurable yackety-yak with fellow riders. I live on Lincoln Gap Road in Warren, and on weekend mornings in June or July, when I am outside with my dog, I can hear, coming up the road, the chatter of riders, perhaps on a LAMB ride, perhaps bent on conquering the notorious east side of the gap, long before the riders actually pass by. In fact, the appeal of bike-bound socializing can be so overpowering as to lead us to injudicious behavior. We

Balanced on gossamer machines weighing less than the average family beagle, we ride within inches of heavy-metal behemoths typically traveling three times our speed.

ride up alongside other riders for a chat, exposing ourselves to headwinds and, more importantly, to motorists who might or might not be tolerant or alert. I have been involved in the organization of the Green Mountain Stage Race and the Killington Stage Race since their inceptions, and we (as organizers) must persistently remind racers to ride single-file when the racing is done. But always, always, riders cluster three or four abreast for postrace confabs as they soft-pedal back to the start. A primal need for social interaction supersedes prudence, even within the context of potentially fatal consequences. Since Lisi’s death, I am more aware on my bike of sounds and movements around me. Always a careful rider, I have become more careful. I have also moved closer to Lisi’s cycling ethos; I seek joy, refreshment, and peace in riding, as my speed and competitive urgency have diminished with age. I am not yet Lisi-slow, but riding Lisi-style, easily and without weighty purpose, rejuvenates the spirit. And while on my bike, I think of her often. Peter Oliver has written for Bicycling, Skiing and numerous other magazines.

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Vermont Sports, June 2016  
Vermont Sports, June 2016