Bike Vermont 2006

Four Engineers (Paul, Bret, David & John) ride the State of Vermont

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Posted by thatwindguy on August 17, 2006

Hi Folks,

Paul here. David asked me to upload some of the pictures that we took along the way but did not upload at the time. Hope you find them less boring than the typical slideshow.

Bike On Train?

Discussing Bikes on Train – Despite much cajoling, calls to dignitaries, even consideration of civil disobedience, we were not allowed to put our bikes on the train. Thank goodness, John’s wife Deb came to our rescue and drove down to Brattleboro with our steeds and saved the day. Thanks Deb – we owe you!

Nearly Empty Train

Once we got on the train, we were amazed to see how empty it was. There was plenty of space to place bikes safely away from passengers, particularly in the three empty cars that were off limits to passengers. As it turns out, our Vermont taxes pay for this train through VTrans. We can have a say in how it is run. Bring back the baggage car!

Bike Shop at Train Station

When we get bikes back on the train, this bike shop will be ready. It is right at a train station!

Hydro Power!

Another energy related theme of the trip was hydro power. We saw examples of it (usually now defunct) in many locations. Here is one of the large dams on the upper Connecticut River (way in the background). Another missed opportunity for Vermont!

Typical View from the Rear

We saw a lot of this!

Italian Models at the Falls

Italian Supermodels! Well, two out of four isn’t bad…That water was nice.

Breakfast at the Miss Bellows Falls

David was concerned about coming up short on caloric intake. He need not have worried. At least he did not suffer…

Get Back!

Move away from the plate and nobody gets hurt!


Day four plus 11 miles – Finally, Canada. This was followed by a nice breakfast with the ladies and a car ride back to the lake house for relaxation.

It was a great experience. Amazing what the human body can achieve, even ones that are nearing the half century mark.

What’s next??


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Day 4

Posted by thatwindguy on August 4, 2006

We made it to Seymour Lake at 3 pm today. 65 miles today over a 2200′ mountain (we walked except Bret). Beautiful weather, great scenery and a really good ride. 11 miles to the Canadian border tomorrow morning before breakfast at 9am.

We are all relaxing at our lake house, drinking some beers, eating brownies and chocolate.

More later, pictures, etc. David

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Day 3 – David’s

Posted by thatwindguy on August 4, 2006

Doing real well as day 3 was the key to believing that I can do this whole bike trip. Last year at this time I weighted 250 pounds and now weight 170. Amazing how much I can do. John Miller was the incredible inspiration to join the VTRIM weight loss program at UVM and I want to thank him for helping a number of us at NRG and our friends to get our weight out of the obese category. John’s nickname is “Lance” and he is quite a tough guy to stay up with.

Staying at the Nootka Lodge tonight – nice, friendly reasonable priced, clean place. A real keeper if you want to stay in the Wells River/Woodsville area.

Big day tomorrow as we head to Seymour Lake. Cooler now and we are loving it!

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Day 3 – John’s

Posted by thatwindguy on August 4, 2006

The much discussed “crash” was a consequence of day-dreaming! Couple of scrapes but everything is OK. I had to spice things up somehow! Breakfast’s are the highlight. Hard to believe we can do this many miles in a day. We are talking about another ride this fall. So far no flats or equipment failures. One more long day so I hope Jan has beer in the fridge (hint!).

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Day 3 – Bret’s

Posted by thatwindguy on August 4, 2006

Well, it’s day 3, we’re in Woodsville, NH and the 20 year old Ross MT Hood mountain bike is still holding together after 145 miles (so far). Contemplated buying a new bike in the beginning, but the MT Hood fits like a glove and I decided to go for it. Paul and John also took their old favorites.

Can’t believe the quantity of food I’ve shoved down the gullet so far and still end up hungry before the next meal time. Looks like David’s calorie calculations are indeed valid or I’d look like a Shriner in a mini-bike by now!

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Day 3 – Paul’s

Posted by thatwindguy on August 4, 2006

Finally got the Creamy!  65 miles and there it was in Wells River just 1 mile from our destination.

Visited Lake Morey in Fairlee and cooled off in the water and shade. A little trip down memory lane for me. I spent my 16th summer at the now defunct Rutledge Inn and Cottages working as a dishwasher and sailing/swimming instructor.

First “crash” occurred today when John, who was closely drafting me (overlapping wheels) lost his balance and the guard rail. No serious damage to the bike or John, but he sure made a large bang on the metal rail. We all whipped around to see if was OK. We had often discussed our concerns of hitting one of these because they are quite low relative to the bikes and you could go over easily. The posts that hold the rail are made from thin-wall I-beams and they look very menacing.

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Eating well

Posted by thatwindguy on August 3, 2006

Eating well

Originally uploaded by thatwindguy.

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Cooling off

Posted by thatwindguy on August 3, 2006

Cooling off

Originally uploaded by thatwindguy.

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Wed. Day 2 (8/2)

Posted by thatwindguy on August 3, 2006

Tried to get a continental breakfast but left due to super slow service at the Putney Inn. Great local food last night, they just need to work on the service part – it matters. Ran out of OJ, waited 15 minutes for ordering cereal but gave up and left at 7:30am and headed for the Miss Bellows Falls Diner which was fast, great food and friendly to the 4 of us sweaty bikers. Arrived at Ascutney Mt. Resort at 2pm after 46 miles in extreme heat and humidity. Jumped in the pool between thunderstorms. Tomorrow I will upload from my cell phone a picture of us enjoying a cool dip in a roadside waterfall – it was absolutely great and it took our breaths away. Had a great dinner here. I ate 3600 calories today and burned 2300 biking. My budget is 2400 and then need to replace the biking 2300, so I am still behind in my eating by 1100. Pigging out on peanuts, ice cream, gator-aid. Hard to eat that much but I was feeling real weak as we climbed the final hills to the mountain resort. Gotta eat more as tomorrow is a 65 mile day. We are burning 50 calories a mile so I gotta eat 5650 calories tomorrow! We all are really enjoying the trip and got to see a bunch on John Miller’s family along the way since Putney is where he grew up.  Vermont is a great place. Onward to Wells River on Thursday.

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Day 1 – Tuesday

Posted by thatwindguy on August 3, 2006

Two things – AMTRAK and HOT!

 Bikes refused on the train since there is no longer a baggage car. Called the Governor’s office before the train arrived. Also talked to the guy in charge of rail at VTrans. Absolutely no help and standard answers on why bikes can’t travel on a train even when AMTRAK’s own website gushes with how bikes are a big part of transit and trains. VT funds a fair amount of the Vermonter train but the state seems ineffective in getting a baggage car for this route. Probably because Douglas wants the Circ and new roads and not a workable and useable train and mass transit system. Very Sad.

Anyway, John and Deb (John’s wife)  drove the bikes to Brattleboro and we took the train. After boarding the train, we found that the last 3 cars were closed to passengers and were EMPTY. Gee, safety risk to put 4 bikes in an empty car – the two conductors seem to thing so as policy is NO bikes. Utter stupidity. Total passanger count was 44 by the time we stopped in Brattleboro. Each car holds 64 people – you do the math.

HOT – 95+ F leaving to touch the MA border at 1 pm. Covered 31 miles in 4 hours that included a lunch stop. Ended up at the Putney Inn at 5pm.

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