Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Kingdom Sampler: Bikepacking Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom

Brandon and I were running out of daylight. Miles short of our goal, we pushed our bikes through dense forest and around jagged rocks, lifting them over blowdowns on a barely visible trail that seemed more a figment of my imagination than reality. I had been nervous about this scenario all day- and now my fears were materializing. We were hitting the most difficult section of the day at precisely the wrong time. The thick woods were closing in around us, further choking out what little light remained in the gray skies above. Just as I began to consider retreating to the road we crested out of gully and my perspective changed completely.

Monday, September 18, 2017

FOMBA to Bear Brook Epic (October 2016)

Red carpet treatment.
 I've heard it said that Autumn is the reason New Englanders put up with the long, cold, dark winters.  While there are other reasons to love living in New England, I have to agree that Fall is at the top of the list.

But like most things, it is fleeting, and you need to make the time to breathe-in some of its essence before we descend into the hellish hangover that is November.   And what better way to capture the sights, smells and feels of the season than a leg crushing epic mountain bike ride in the hills of sourthern New Hampshire?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Boston to Northampton Epic Trail Ride (July 2017)

My bike took me here.
 The light was fading fast as I slowly walked my bike up a ribbon of steep, rocky singletrack beneath the high canopy of old hardwoods.  My only companions, the mosquitos, urged me along the trail despite the empty feeling in my legs.  I looked up to see the top of the hill, seemingly miles away,and put my head back down.  I was broken.  Physically and mentally.  Although I was in the homestretch of my second day, it had been a hard day.  Hot. Humid. And what I had hoped was a flowy five miles of singletrack to end the day became a five mile slog on slick, steep, and rocky singletrack.  I didn’t have any choice but to push on.  There was no other way I was getting home.  And so I took another long pull from my water bottle, pushed one leg in front of the other, and brushed the swarm of mosquitos from my shoulders and back.  Only a couple more miles now.  It wouldn’t be long. And that’s when I heard the thunder.