Waterbury, Vermont & the SMBC

November 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

The Town of Waterbury is very similar to the town in the movie “State & Main”. But one thing the movie doesn’t have that the town does is some truly awesome mountain bike riding. Waterbury is about 40 minutes south of Burlington, right down the road from Stowe, VT. The Stowe Mountain Bike Club (SMBC) maintains the Perry Hill trails and have recently added a little warm-up hip table at the entrance to the trails. The trail begins right off the road to the Ice Rink. Just about everybody plays hockey, hockey, hockey up here. Hockey is a weird word when you look at it for a minute…

waterbury mountain biking trail waterbury vermont trail signs 300x274 Waterbury, Vermont & the SMBCI’ve been finishing out the fall at the Waterbury trails and hope to get a few more in before rifle season (or the snow) starts. Everyone talks about the initial climb, it is a killer, but the trailhead itself speaks of the magnitude of these trails. After crossing the railroad tracks, there’s a 50 yard concrete tunnel that travels under the highway, I always imagine I’m traveling through some Dr. Who portal into the land of the super-stoked. Once you pass through, there are some instructions on reading the trail markers (nothing too complicated, red arrow is the red trail and blue arrow is the-you get the idea), a dilapidated rusty old bike sculpture (which seem to have an omnipresence in the VT) and then the climb.

Now I’m sure everyone has experienced a super fast, smooth descent with rollers, berms and natural wall rides but this aspect of the trail is one of the best finishes I’ve ever experienced, its boarders perfection. As you reach the top, the trail breaks and I always take the red. Red is best. Not much in VT reminds me of North GA, except for here. As you reach the top of the red trail, you pass an obscure gravestone with some crude carvings on it. Not sure what the story is but someone is buried right on the side of the trail. Its subtle and I knew of the story but finally saw it last week.

The descent provides the sensation we all crave when riding. Just wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. And it doesn’t stop, that’s the best part. If you rip the whole thing, you’re ready for a break at the end. You don’t have to go down to the concrete tunnel to start again, which is good. After the first run, I’m so wound up and buzzed that it would be difficult to start the whole climb again, but that’s just me.

The trials are everything a 6’’ bike is designed to do. And my FAT JACK from Lenzsport is quite at home in Waterbury.

So when you make the trip, ask a local how to get to the ice rink, look for the little parking lot on your right, cross the street and start the climb. Stick to the red trail, stay right so you can hit the pine tree section. And after your done, go to the Alchemist and get toasty on some strong brew…and I’m looking outside, wondering if I’ll time to get some runs in this afternoon.

Notes From the Field: On Location in Vermont

October 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Destinations

mountain bike by shed 300x191 Notes From the Field:  On Location in VermontI remember the days long ago whence I resided in the little town of Atlanta. Anxiously waiting for the next trip up to Ellijay to rip Bear Creek and a stay at M.O.E.S. Even now, 10 years later, I still make trips down from Vermont in the spring to remember those early years of mountain bike bliss sessions. And that was before the advent of what we now call “advancements in technology”.

So I was sitting in Austin, TX about two years ago and realized that I had my fill of dirt jumping and 4x racing. I wanted easy-access DH and trails to write home about. So I headed north to the green mountains of Vermont…a paradise for those with a penchant for clean living and the great outdoors. Oh, and beer too.

What can I say? Sure the winters are snowy and cold but the riding here is great. The Fellowship of Wheel is the local trail org. and those boys can build some trails. My favorite…The Flo Trails in Essex. Imagine a pump track flow on several miles of smooth wooded trail…just the perfect thing after work or before a day on the slopes. So good, in fact, that when selecting a new place of residence, I had juxtaposition to the Flo trails in mind (5 minutes away by car isn’t too bad).

looking down from mountain bike charilift Notes From the Field:  On Location in VermontAnd for the DH’ers in the audience, there is so much up here-Bromont, White face, Mt. Snow, Sugarbush, Highlands, Sunday River…the list goes on and on. It’s a proverbial potpourri I say! And the dirt jumps in Stowe are well worth the fight through all the leaf-peepers (that’s what they call the tourists that get bussed in to see the fall foliage here).

My thoughts are this, people who love riding, really love riding. I love the love personally. Most everyone started riding bikes as a kid. I think the excitement derived from those early fires of youthful stoke was so pure and simple. And now, it is really something to be able warm my soul by those fires every time I climb aboard and take a ride. There is nothing wrong with getting older, just as long as you learn how to stay young. Well, I’ve need to wipe my eyes folks (sniff).

Stay tuned for next time, when I tell you about a little something called “The Drifter”…a full-on DH ski-machine converted from my old Santa Cruz Super 8…check it out!

the drifter Notes From the Field:  On Location in Vermont