Vacation in Vermont – Bikes and Not

It’s been an entire year since I’ve had a week off–last year I flew thousands of miles west to visit Whistler, BC and the largest, coolest mountain bike park in the world. This year I needed a financial breather (before I go back there next year, which is the current plan), so I stayed “local.”

I visited Vermont a couple times during the week–spending a non-kid weekend split between Burlington and Woodstock. Once upon a time, I lived in Burlington. I was 21 and fresh out of college, working in a management training program.  The area has changed a bunch since then, including the bike path, which has grown significantly. I got up super early and checked out the improvements.

The Causeway leads you out into the middle of Lake Champlain.

The Causeway leads you out into the middle of Lake Champlain.

The first half I just explored, but on the way back a cranked, picking up a couple of QOMs.  Sweet!

The Bike Ferry wasn't running over the weekend.

The Bike Ferry wasn’t running over the weekend.

Chilly at 7:30AM, but sunny and nice.

Chilly at 7:30AM, but sunny and nice.

The next day we headed south to Woodstock where I was able to tackle some lovely gravel. The rolling green meadows sprinkled with wildflowers and a backdrop of mixed hardwoods and balsam trees made for a magical setting. The air was cool and crisp, and I set out early again (I pedaled by a still group of horses standing in a meadow–still asleep). The climbs were hard and beautiful; I wanted to ride all day, but only had a couple hours.

That afternoon I returned home for an hour, repacked and headed east to pick up my son and head to my folks place in Boston to visit. This was my rest day from the bike–but I got to visit with my parents and an old friend from high school. We only stayed a day before heading back, doing a ton of laundry, and repacking yet again for a camping trip back in Vermont.  I brought my bike, but sadly never unpacked it.  My son and I were vacationing with another family and the dynamic just didn’t lend itself to riding.  We hiked instead. At least I had the wisdom to schedule a sitter so I could sneak in another AM ride before setting off for Vermont.  I kept with a climbing theme and finally summited Skinner for the first time this year. Strava never picked up the climb, which was disappointing–I wanted to see if I made it up any faster then before.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.14.41 PM

Seriously–our view from our campsite.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.14.59 PM


After a couple of nights sleeping under some of the most beautiful stars in the world, hanging with long time friends and their kids, who get along with my kid better than siblings, the mountain air, and teaching my son how to whittle a proper marshmallow stick, we returned home.

I got a ride in Friday evening, Saturday, and again Sunday. The weekend rides were focused on building some more intensity on mixed surfaces.  Sunday I practiced cyclocross skills–dismounts, carries, remounts. I feel good about some of the work I did on the bike. I didn’t put up huge distances last week but looking at my activity vs. last year–I’m in good shape. The true test will be August 29th, which kicks of my cyclocross season.

All & all a much needed vacation with lots of outdoor time and great time with my son, family and friends. Although I do think I need a bike exclusive weekend with like minded people. An escape where I can go out and ride 4-6 hours a day for 2-3 days. Yeah, I could go for that.



About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling.

2 responses to “Vacation in Vermont – Bikes and Not”

  1. Laura says :

    Name the weekend and I’m there, sister.

    • Karen says :

      I’d love to check out the Northeast Kingdom for MTB…..but it’s REALLY far up there… Canada far. Maybe next summer!!!!

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