|On the "starting line" for SSUSA.|
This post is going to be in a few different parts - just too much about this weekend to write up in one without making it a book.
Part 1 - Pre-SSUSA
On Thursday morning, I left Philadelphia for Stowe, VT, driving straight through. It's about a 7 hour drive, which is entirely doable, but not ideal. I just can't stand long drives anymore. I had mapped out a pretty direct route - through NJ to the NY Thruway and then Rote 84 to 91 to 89 to Stowe. But that's a still really long drive.
|The rain was threatening almost the whole way, but it only rained in New Jersey|
The weather didn't much help either -- it was threatening rain the whole day, and even though it only ever rained in north Jersey, it was pretty crappy all the way from PA to VT.
But eventually I reached Stowe and checked in to my hotel. It was actually a really nice place. I think Joanna would have loved it, but I cared less about how it looked and preferred it for two other reasons -- it was large and on the first floor, so I was able to get my bike in and out easily.
|My bike fit easily in the corner|
|The bed was one of those four post tall beds. I practically needed a running start to get in it.|
But the ride was canceled when it started to rain -- George said the trails around Waterbury aren't ride-friendly when soaked. No big deal, though - we hung out at the shop for a while and shared some beers with a few other folks, both local and just visiting for SSUSA.
So Friday, I finally got a chance to ride with Mark and Jay (also from JB Mountainbikes team like Mark.) We didn't really know the trails in the area that well and ended up riding a section called "Town Loops" just across from the Rusty Nail Bar, and then heading up to climb the mountain to ride what we'd heard was the finishing section for the race, a trail called Kimmer's that dropped out just above the Matterhorn Bar where the pre-party was on Friday night. We didn't get a whole lot of miles in on the trail, but we did get a chance to sample what Stowe has to offer. Some fantastic single track and lots of flow.
|One of the single track climbs in town|
|The view from the chair-lift overlook|
|The drop-off near the overlook|
|Creek overlook along the bike path|
|Lots of farms in the Stowe area ...|
|The top of the mountain has some really tight bends on a narrow road|
|The top of the mountain -- looks like a great hiking destination|
|Trees growing on top of rocks - I haven't seen this since I was out in the southwest|
The party pretty much closed out my day, and afterward I headed back to the hotel to get ready for the next day's festivities.
To be cont'd ...