Ride #1: Putney to Westminster Date: Saturday, July 30, 2011
Riding Buddies: Todd
Liz’s Rating: 8
Todd and I left on a Saturday morning ready to conquer two bike rides (one on Sunday) in Southern Vermont. We reserved a room at the South Shire Inn, a bed and breakfast in Bennington. I had always wanted to visit this part of the state since moving here 25 years ago. We started the ride in Putney. This is the town where our current governor is from (Peter Shumlin). Before starting our journey, we fueled up with lunch at a diner in Putney. While waiting for our food, I found myself eavesdropping on some local conversations (which I often did just to get a flavor of what the towns were like) by an elderly woman whose dialect sounded just like Todd’s grandmother, Theresa Young.
The first 10 miles were unassuming and busy. Once we entered River Road, we enjoyed views of the Connecticut River and the coolness of the shade in the wooded area. The ride here was beautiful—there were new small vineyards that resembled the River Valley of Sonoma. The only problem was that the newly paved road had tire mark grooves all over the place. It was annoying knowing the road was freshly paved and smooth underneath.
While still in N.H. we stopped at Stuart and John’s Sugar House for a much needed reprieve from the hot scorching sun. We filled our water bottles, refreshed ourselves in the bathrooms, and enjoyed a cool dish of ice cream before heading back out in the heat.
This much needed break helped us get to the finish. After packing up the bikes for our car ride to Bennington, we bought some small snacks and a couple of beers to enjoy at a park. I’m not sure of the name of the park at the time of this writing, but there was a small lake and a picnic table area. Dusk was setting in so we opted not to swim but just enjoy each other’s company before heading to the South Shire Inn.
After arriving at the inn, we dressed up and took a walking tour of the town while searching for a late-night dinner spot. Ironically, there was some kind of “bike art” theme being displayed around the store fronts. We walked back to the inn and enjoyed a peaceful night’s rest.