There is no doubt Vermont is an idyllic place for cyclists. With hundreds of miles of country roads, small towns, plenty of bike shops and beautiful views, locals and visitors alike take to the roads and trails.
But did you know some of our local leaders and celebrities are cycling nuts too?
Gov. Phil Scott, New York Times bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian, Cindi Wight, director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, and Chapin Spencer, director of Burlington Department of Public Works, shared their favorite bike rides in the state with the Free Press, just in time for summer.
Don’t forget to pack water and snacks and stop for a creemee when you need one — these Vermonters like the long rides.
Gov. Phil Scott
When he was running for re-election as lieutenant governor in 2012, Scott rode his bike to all 14 counties of Vermont. He is known for his love of outdoor sports and racing, and his favorite bike ride in Vermont is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Scott likes taking Vermont 12 north from Montpelier to Lake Elmore and take a lap around the lake. That’s about 22 miles from Montpelier to Lake Elmore, approximately 30 minutes by car.
One of Vermont’s resident novelists, Bohjalian posts pictures of his dog Jesse and snapshots of Vermont from his bike rides on his Twitter regularly.
His favorite ride is from Middlebury to Kingsland Bay State Park which is about 18-20 miles one way depending what roads he takes.
“The north/south roads, including Quaker Village Road, South Maple Street into Vergennes, Sand Road, and Botsford, offer panoramic vistas and little traffic,” Bohjalian said via email.
“I also enjoy riding out to the Lake Champlain Bridge and then heading north along Lake Road with its magisterial views of the lake and the Adirondacks,” he said. “If I’m riding thirty or more miles, I always add in a stop at Lulu’s Ice Cream or the Laundry in Vergennes for basil (or seriously chocolate) ice cream or the Laundry’s chocolate-coconut banana bread.”
Wight has a bike for every occasion: a gravel bike, a road bike, a mountain bike, a fat bike and an around-the-town bike she uses to haul vegetables home from her community garden plot.
She decided if she had to pick one road-bike route that is her favorite it would be in the Champlain Islands. Because she lives in the New North End, it’s easy to get on the Burlington Greenway, ride out to the Causeway, catch the Local Motion ferry and ride out to South Hero.
“I recommend biking clock-wise around the island and then you hit Allenholm Farms on your way back to the Bike Ferry for a delicious creemee!” Wight said over email.
Spencer’s route is the most extreme, but may be lake lovers’ favorite. He calls it the “Triple-Ferry Ride” because, well, it requires three ferry rides.
Spencer starts on the Island Line Trail, uses the Local Motion ferry on the Causeway, rides through South Hero and gets on the ferry to Plattsburg. He then rides down the Lake Champlain coast in New York all the way to the Essex, New York, ferry to Charlotte and takes roads back up to Burlington. It’s a total of 82 miles, which could be cut in half, Spencer said, if the Burlington to Port Kent ferry is running.
“Definitely a full day ride now!” Spencer said via email.
Contact Urban Change Reporter Lilly St. Angelo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @lilly_st_ang
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