Ride #2: Arlington to North Bennington Date: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Riding Buddies: Todd
(Moderate Terrain-more like Difficult)
Liz’s Rating: 10
We started the day with a nice breakfast at the South Shire Inn. Todd got the car packed up while I sat on the front porch trying to plan out the day’s ride. Todd was anxious to get going as usual. I was determined to see the Bennington Battle Monument. We arrived at the site and took the elevator to the top. The view was awesome however the little windows made it difficult to take pictures. It was fun reading about John Stark and his strong-willed and determined wife Elizabeth “Molly” Stark. I pictured them as a great team who loved each other very much.
So now that I managed to spend the whole morning doing everything but biking, it was probably 11am before we started pedaling. The day presented itself as the perfect iconic Vermont summer Sunday. A small yellow farm house struck me early on the ride with its picket fence, flag, and old maple tree in the front yard. It was located on quiet Maple Hill Road and seemed like the most peaceful place on Earth to live. We rode past giant fields of bright yellow sunflowers with bumble bees buzzing around and past corn fields at their peak height.
We did not realize it at the time, but this ride was the turning point for Todd and I. We were metamorphosing from caterpillars into butterflies. The tour proved to be very difficult for both of us due to its length, terrain and the humid weather we were faced with.
We stopped for lunch at a historic hotel/restaurant while crossing into New York State (somewhere near NY Route 22). I can’t remember the name but we ate outside on the front porch area. There was also a long side porch where guests could eat as well.
The ride continued to get more difficult as we continued on some steep hills and dirt roads. It was a steamy hot summer day and we rode past hoards of people enjoying the Battenkill River while tubing or jumping off bridges. We couldn’t wait to find our quiet spot on the river when we finished.
Soon we encountered a heavy rain shower which served to break some of the humidity. We finally finished the ride around 5pm, the rain had stopped, and we plunged into the chilling waters of the Battenkill. It felt so nice to get the sweat and mud of the day off of our bodies before heading back on the long car ride home.