Riding the UV.
Cool, but not cold yet. These are the golden 8 weeks of summer when I ride without Mad Alchemy Embro or warmers. It is 4:30am, just bright enough to forgo the lights. About two hours time to ride before I have to be at work. Rolling out of the driveway the sun comes up behind Moose Mountain, I see Mt. Ascutney across the Connecticut River Valley, fog covers the valley like a blanket.
Two miles to the first dirt road, aptly named Three Mile Road since it describes its length quite accurately. This morning black bear road would have been a better description. In the next few minutes I will see 5 bears enjoying themselves in the warming morning sun and munching on berries. Just a few miles from here the Mad Alchemy Verge team had entered the final stretch of the Rapha Gentlemen’s Ride. Memories of Ryan’s encouring words come up, his quiet and supportive way, never letting you feel that the team would have been back for more than an hour if it would not be for me. Or that that I had let the team astray in the midst of thunderstorms to ride an extra 8 miles on a 123 mile loop – supposedly being the local guide. I pedal harder and decide to add a few hills en route – Thanks Ryan! I am one hour into the ride and have yet to see a car. As I pedal on the fresh gravel I am reminded how on this stretch Chris M. – outstanding photographer, team mate and organizer of the legendary Upper Valley Epic Rides – had double flated his tubulars while guiding locals and his Mad Alchemy Verge team through the spring epic. My trusted GP 4seasons look a bit worn out, having held up well on several thousand miles of dirt road riding (and half a million feet of vertiacal gain) this year. Somewhat reluctantly I turn back to get to work, it is one of those mornings where one just wishes to freeze time. Heading towards Hanover, and after over 90 minutes to riding, I encounter the first car. It trails me what seems to be 10 minutes, being overly careful not to pass on a curvy and hilly road.
Pedaling past the parked cars across the parking lot I check my garmin, 34.6 miles with 4380 ft. of elevation. No matter how work will be, it’s already an awesome day. Having lived in the Rhine valley where France, Germany and Switzerland meet, at the German-Dutch border and in New Zealand – there is no place like the Upper Valley to ride. I get to ride out of my drive way and I am on roads where others come to ride on vacation – on my commute to work.