There’s something to be said for wanting to drive 29 hours in about two days to Vermont from Boulder, CO….Crazy. The reason for such a feat (without needing to attend an event for work) was so that Pamela and I could make it to VT to participate in the Rapha New England Prestige. I was riding on a team and Pamela was the onsite medic. The Rapha ride was a last minute addition to our existing trip to spend time with family and show off Ellie and Penny Love in New England. The kicker for the trip was that Pamela and I both worked on the 26th of August, so we wouldn’t be leaving Boulder until around 7pm. Knowing the hurdles of trying to eat, travel and then ride/race, Pamela planned our meals for the journey. She was a rock star and made pasta and salads in jars which lived in the fridge of the van. These meals on wheels were life savers as we darted across the country avoiding ho-hum food options at service stations.
The 29hr sprint to Vermont was just that. We had no intentions of visiting anything except gas stations and pet walking areas for Penny to do her thing. We did however take a little detour into Michigan thanks to poorly marked exist in a construction zone during nightfall and Pamela’s night blindness. Love you Pamela, but we both agreed no more night driving for you! 😉 Luckily the detour only added about 25 minutes to the commute. We pulled into West Pawlet, VT around 5:30pm on the 28th. This left just enough time to get some dinner with friends in town for the ride and make sure the bike and van were all set for their respective roles.
Rapha Prestige – New England
The ride lived up to Rapha’s previous Prestige events, where the distance was long and the climbing was plentiful. In all we covered 115 miles and ascended 11,000 feet. Not bad for rolling hills in Vermont! Really the day couldn’t have been scripted any better. The weather was magical, the roads were mouth watering smooth (pavement parts) and the gravel was just as mind blowing. Having been fortunate to ride in the Boulder Gents race last year, I knew the route wouldn’t be as epic but I knew that VT had its own special treats to offer at a much lower altitude 🙂
Our group of very accomplished misfits (Keith Kelly, Andrew Saint Germain and Derek Treadwell), me excluded, had a great day. We went out with the mindset to finish the day and see how my legs held up after the long drive to bike transition. Lady luck was on our side as we didn’t have a single flat or mechanical issue, while other teams seemed to be cursed with flats or other issues every few miles or so.
One of the best parts of the ride was being able to resupply at some amazing, country general stores. These life long establishments take pride making baked goods from scratch and having pretty much anything you could ask for (except Skratch Labs, hydration). My day was fueled with Untapped Waffles, a few maple syrup packets, 2 Skratch Labs fruit drop packets, a Whoopie Pie and an amazing Apple Pie square. Not bad for a long day on two wheels. Thanks to Andrew Gardner and his pull at Velocio, our team was kitted head to toe, and we looked great. It’s the first time I’ve worn the brand and I must say as a long time Rapha Ambassador, I’m sold. The fabrics are great, the fit is spot on and the color pallets are perfect. Nice work Andrew and all those at Velocio. I’m excited to see what you come out with next.The following day Pamela repeated her sagging/medic duties as she supported the women’s only route. Another stellar day with zero complaint. She brought along a large L.L. Bean tote worth of supplies and only needed 1 inch of athletic tape to help fix the ever flatting flats of Team Drifters + 1 Skratch Labs Hyper Hydration. Over prepared and under utilized, that’s a good report from any medic.
Post Prestige Puppy Magic
It was off to Cape Cod to see Pamela’s family for a week. Having just recently lost sweet Alice, the best Boxer in the world, there was a lot of emotion around Penny’s arrival on Wings Neck. She filled a niche and did her job beautifully. Her human cousin, Rhys, and dog cousin, Hector, are very accustomed to having a snorting bendy family member in the mix and it was therapeutic for everyone to have her there. Birthday bike rides with my mother in law, excursions in the boat and chill time on the porch filled our days at Briar Hill.
From Cape Cod we headed north to Maine to see my family in Portland / Sebago. We couldn’t have had better weather over a two week span if we tried, in both locations. Both families loved seeing Ellie (van) and meeting Penny Love. Penny stole the show with my family as my niece Audrey (who’s afraid of dogs at baseline) was excited to meet Penny (having seen her on numerous FaceTime calls). Even though she was excited to meet Penny we didn’t know how it would go. So we took baby steps to ensure it would good smoothly. Within the first few hours of day one, Audrey and Penny were like two peas in a pod. Audrey couldn’t stop petting Penny and Penny couldn’t get enough love and affection from Audrey. When we took Penny out on a boat for the first time Audrey was there to comfort her and Penny responded by sleeping on her lap…Amazing.
The rest of the time in Maine was spent doing a few bucket list items, such as riding bikes with Pamela along the coastline I grew up on, getting dinner at Street & Company with my folks, attending Audrey and Charlie’s first soccer games of the season and of course visiting L.L. Bean in Freeport to get a few Ellie supplies. The one big milestone out of the entire trip wasn’t witnessing what took place between Audrey and Penny, but rather it was getting Audrey and Charlie to campout in a tent at Grammy and Grampy’s house. It was there first every tent camping along with their dad….LOL. He did great and wasn’t scared at all. We had a little sleepover at the lake. Pamela, Penny and I slept in the van while Kate, Aron, Charlie and Audrey slept in a tent. Grammy and Grampy slept inside…smart. It was the perfect way to end our stay in Maine.
As I write this, I’m sitting on my in-laws porch overlooking the Atlantic. Tomorrow Pamela flies back to Denver/Boulder leaving Penny and I to our own devices for 10+ days. As Pamela returns to work, I will slowly make my way to Richmond, VA to watch UCI Worlds. Along the way I’ll be stopping in Vermont, NYC, Philly and DC. So get ready mid-atlantic peeps…here we come!
Until next time, this time sooner, rather than later