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.