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Sunday's Adirondack Swing


Hi folks, it has been an incredible couple of weekends, finally getting on the R1100s and turning some miles after what felt like months of rain and canceled trips. Last Sunday's foray out to the Catskills and back was a real joy, but this Sunday's loop up through NH, VT and the Adirondack Park and back from Boston was STELLAR.

In addition to a lack of precipitation (though it had rained overnight and freshened up all the lush Appalachian greenery), we also got really favorable temps, starting out in the low 60s and only getting as high as the high 70s (at least that's what it felt like). While some roads still had a bit of silt and gravel in places from all the flooding, especially in VT, for the most part everything was pretty clear, save some atypical seasonal road work (Rt 30N from Brattleboro VT is down to the dirt for a couple of miles).

Traffic was relatively light, other than the expected vacation months byway lineups in places around the most populated areas of the Adirondack Park. I did finally run awry of the NY State Police on Rt. 9N between Port Henry and Westport NY; irony, I was not really pushing it, I just stupidly forgot that they would be out targeting their July quotas, almost certainly impacted by all the rainy days. However, since I'd pulled over, shut down and put my hands on hips before the Troopers had so much as turned around to collar me, I was rewarded with a "Failure to Observe Posted Signs" versus an outright speeding ticket. Was prolly 10-15 over, either way I'll take my medicine and think again about zipping along in populated areas during peak (1030 am Sunday) timeframes. BTW, "yes sir" and "thank you sir" do stil feel a bit funny when the guy wearing the badge (and central casting issued 'stache) is roughly half my age. Time flies.

My route was a mix of well familiar and slightly altered roads. The 95-Rt 2/2a W hustle went quickly before the sun rose, and by the time I hit 119W and the NH border, the sky was turning gold around me with the morning chill still rustling through the air vents. Brattleboro seems fine post-flooding (though 142S is still closed out of town along the CT River) and breakfast at the Works Cafe was as good, and fast, as ever. As noted, Rt 30 N had some work ongoing, and showed some signs of the storms, but was great overall. The Rawsonville Market at the juncture of Rt 30 and Rt 100N is a regular spot for gas, facilities and a pre-made sandwich. Highly recommend across all fronts.

Turning up onto 100 N here, things really get amazing. Pretty much everything from the Concord Circle are beautiful NE scenery, but, there's a reason 100 is so legendary. Don't sleep on Rt 155 N either, it is much the same... and then there's Rt 140 W. The ride down to Wallingford was unfettered with any cars, and boy, this is a special run. Then across through insanely beautiful areas of Tinmouth, Granby via Rt 133 S and then back onto Rt 30 N through Wells and Poultney.Rt 22 N dips you briefly into NY and then back up through Orwell and onto Rt 125 W across the Lake Champlain Bridge.

Moving into the Adirondack Park, up the aforementioned Rt. 9 N along the Eastern shore of Champlain provides gorgeous views back over the lake into VT and the Green Mtns, including Mansfield. Turning West deeper into the Park toward Lake Placid you're soon rewarded with fantastic sweepers and wonderful forest views. There are a good amount of visitors this time of year, but the roads are still really enjoyable (the 50mph limits really help keep people moving along). Rt. 86 W takes you right into Lake Placid, which is pretty much Adirondack mountain lakes vacation heaven. From there it was on to the other big lakes - Saranac via 86, Tupper via 3, and Long Lake via 30 S. The road gets even nicer here, Following 30 S down to Blue Mtn Lake and Indian Lake. By this time traffic has also started to fade away. BTW, if you haven't ridden in the park it is really special. Great roads, tons of sweepers, the occasional set of tight twisties and BIG corners, surrounded by endless lakes, mountain views and pine forests. Get there if you can!

At this point I often hop on Rt 28 S and head back toward Lake George and a ride back through VT, but as I was specifically aiming NOT to get home at 10pm this time, I opted to stick on 30 S all the way down to Amsterdam NY, and while this is a fairly populated area with typical summer weekend traffic, the ride was free and easy (despite at least one HD guy passing people like a total...). Here I got on Rt 67 E and wow this is a great road that I'd forgotten. Hopping on 67A was a good call as it took me through some gorgeous backroads and mountain views, surrounded by rolling farmland.

Back into VT in Bennington and trying to make time now, I jumped on Rt 9 E. I often overlook this B road as I try to find tighter, less traveled backroads, but wow, I forgot how insanely good it is. With the sun reflecting off the yellow stripes in the middle of the road, setting to my back, I piled on all the big sweepers. Traffic was OK ahead of the golden hour, and there are plenty of... "truck" lanes. From here it was back across the CT River at Brattleboro, returning the way I came out, to finish the loop.

Thanks for indulging me if you're still reading this. This 1000km/625 mile-ish route was one of the best total rides I've done the last few years, among a good few at that. Perhaps it was the "overdue" feeling driven by the rain. I know it was in part feeling like all was well otherwise with my kids off on a vacation with their mother, some work projects completed, and the knowledge that next week I'll be "toughing it out" camping in the Sierras with my gf and her family.

What a gift these machines, the incredible places we live, and the time and headspace to enjoy them.

Cardo Packtalk Edge has also been a game changer in terms of keeping me from chewing on my thoughts too much. Boygenius, Alex G, The Shins and the two early Smashing Pumpkins albums were the playlist (just audible through my earplugs and over the sound of bikes and road, the tech involved here is.... magic).

Ride safe. Be cool.

Time to do my job? :laugh


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Haven't quite figured out how to ed pics once they're uploaded.... but if you tilt your head....:lurk
Haven't quite figured out how to ed pics once they're uploaded.... but if you tilt your head....:lurk

When you use the Edit function, look for the Go Advanced button. This will take you deeper so you can evaluate the jpgs you uploaded. Not sure what will happen, though. You can delete one, but if you reupload a new picture, I'm not sure it goes back in the same serial location...it might just go to the end.