Vermont by Bicycle: A Look Through the Handlebars - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles
52 Hours In the Cairo Airport
A Guided Tour
A Real National Treasure
A San Francisco Treat
A Trip Back In Time
A Trip Back In Time
Adventure to Washington, D.C.
Adventures by Disney
Adventures by Disney
Airline Security
Amish Country
An Insider's Guide
An Insider's Guide
Arlington National Cemetery
Bath, England
Buckingham Palace
Busch Garden Africa's SheiKra
CARES Child Restraint System
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Celebration, Florida
Charleston, South Carolina
Costa Rica Adventures by Disney
Discovering "America's Finest City"
Disney's Vero Beach
Disneyland
Dover Castle
Driving Through The Night
Escape Into Alcatraz
Eurostar
Explore Alaska (From The Comfort of Your RV!)
Explore Alaska (From The Comfort of Your RV!)
Flying to Europe for a Disney Cruise
Flying to Walt Disney World from the West Coast
Flying Upper Class
Flying with Kids
Fort Sumter
Greeter Programs
Harry Potter's
Helsinki, Finland
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Hilton Head Island
Hong Kong Disneyland
How to Handle A "Bumpy" Flight
I Dream Of Hawaii
In a New York Minute
iPhone, I Travel
Kapalua, Maui
Keeping Kids Happy on Long Car Rides
Kent, England
King Tut and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
Las Vegas
Las Vegas for Families
London, UK
Los Angeles
Macau
Madison County, New York
Molto Italia
More Than Bridges
My First NASCAR Experience
Nashville, Tennessee
National Aquarium
New Orleans
New York City
Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Not Your Average Bus Tour
On the Road to Walt Disney World
Oslo, Norway
Oxford
Paris
Passport Update
Playing the Waiting Game
Port Canaveral, Florida
Prince Edward Island
Redondo Beach, California
Rome
Salem, Massachusetts
Small Is Beautiful
Small Is Beautiful
Southwest and JetBlue
St. Louis
Stockholm, Sweden
Stonehenge
Tahiti
The Amtrak Auto Train
The Auto Train
The Emerald Isle
The Globe Theatre
The Grand Canyon
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains
The Other Side of the Falls
The Quest for the West
The World's Loveliest Castle
To Rent or Not To Rent
Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo DisneySea
Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions
Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World
Traveling With Extended Family
Universal
Using Orlando's "Other" Airport
Vermont by Bicycle
Viva Italia!
Viva Italia! Part 1
Viva Italia! Part 2
Viva Las Vegas!
Vive la Difference
Washington D.C.
What To Do While Waiting for a Flight
When Does Your Walt Disney Vacation Really Begin?
When to Visit Walt Disney World
Wimbledon
Windsor Castle
Winter Wonderland
Yosemite
Your First Trip to Universal Studios Orlando

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles

Globetrotting Dining Articles

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum

Vermont by Bicycle: A Look Through the Handlebars

Photo illustrating U.S. Travel - Traveling
by Marley Braun, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 8/7/2008
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > U.S. Travel > Traveling  

I am not what you would call athletic by any stretch of the imagination. I am a person who simply likes to ride her bike when the air has a slight chill to it and there is low humidity. Those days are few and far between in balmy North Carolina so you can imagine how often I am on my bike.


Needless to say, when I signed myself up for a weekend bike tour in Vermont, no one thought I would actually do it. Not only did I do it, I loved every minute of it and intend to go back someday for a week-long tour.

My main criteria for choosing a tour was that it had to take place over a weekend, it had to be affordable, and it had to have a support van just in case I needed the help. Bike Vermont met all of those requirements.

Bike Vermont has been in business for over 31 years (http://www.bikevt.com or 800-257-2226). They have biking tours in Vermont, Maine, Ireland, Italy and Scotland. They offer different biking options so that you can set your own pace. You can choose to ride with others or ride off on your own. You can bring your own bike or, for an additional fee, you are able to rent quality bikes. If you are a beginner, no need to worry. The support van is always nearby with water, snacks, tools, encouragement, or a much needed ride back to your inn. If you are an advanced cyclist, they offer alternative routes during the ride to challenge you, if you so choose. Bike Vermont is very low key and limits the size of their tour groups and their inns to make sure you have very personalized service.

I ended up choosing their new Churchill House Inn tour outside of Brandon, VT and with their help over the phone; chose to rent a hybrid bike. I brought my own helmet, although they do offer those for free during your tour. My tour package included two nights at the Churchill House Inn, two four-course dinners, two huge breakfasts to start my day off right, 54 scenic miles and two very experienced guides.

My friend, Andrea, and I decided to make it a girl's weekend. Andrea is a tri-athlete and her best piece of advice before leaving for Vermont was to just try and get used to sitting on my bike seat a few times a week, it didn't matter how far I rode. Just get used to the seat, build up some endurance and buy padded bike shorts. The shorts are not very attractive but they are definitely worth the investment.

Our bike tour began on a Friday night. We were greeted by Seth and Olya Hopkins, who were marvelous cooks and very accommodating hosts. Tom Walsh and Danielle Ondrick were our guides. Both of them clearly had a love of cycling and their enthusiasm was infectious.

We got to know the other seven cyclists on our tour over a delicious, intimate dinner. After dinner, Tom and Dani conducted an informal introductory and safety meeting. They gave us maps of our Saturday route and assured us the support van would always be nearby. This was comforting to know, considering that the most I had ever ridden continuously was 11 miles and that tomorrow I was going to be riding 36 miles through rolling Vermont! Were they serious?



At 8:00 am, we met for breakfast and then went out and got "fitted" for our bikes. One by one, we took off down the winding hill. At first, we all stayed close together but slowly we broke off and began to take our ride at our own pace.

Saturday's ride was mainly how I pictured Vermont. There were rolling hills, stunning green mountains, and farmland dotted with cows and horses. The great thing about going at your own pace is that you can stop and take pictures or water breaks whenever you want. The van was always nearby and I never felt unsafe or alone. I felt completely content and in no hurry whatsoever. Andrea and I even strayed off the route a few times to find four hidden covered bridges that Tom and Dani had told us about.

As promised, the van greeted us for lunch outside the Vermont Marble exhibit. It was a lovely, shaded area with picnic tables and a blanket that they had set up for us. We dined on gourmet sandwiches and they even remembered the previous night's request for chocolate and showed up with a big bag of M&Ms (along with the healthy stuff, of course).

After lunch, Andrea and I felt invigorated and decided to add on an optional 7.8 miles to Wilson Castle, which is Vermont's only 32 room "castle," built in 1872. We could have stopped and taken the tour but it was at the top of the hill and my legs decided it would be best to only take a picture and continue on.

Winding my way through the small town of Brandon, I spotted a few of my fellow bikers stopping for ice cream and one hopping a ride back to the inn after enjoying the air conditioning of the local book store. Did I mention that it was 96 degrees in Vermont that day?

Despite the heat, four hills (yes, I was counting), and a tired backside, I made it back to the inn six hours and 46 miles later. Andrea, of course, added on the optional 8.2 mile steep hill to the stunning views of Brandon Gap, but I was content to take a well-deserved rest on the shaded porch of the inn and wait for my fellow bikers.

Later that evening, we basked in all of our glory at beautiful Lake Dunmore a few miles up the road and then returned to the inn for another delicious meal.

Sunday's ride was much easier, only 18.1 miles. Thankfully, it was mostly flat and the route was mostly shaded. The ride was glorious. It meandered around Lake Dunmore and offered plenty of lovely photo ops. The lake was lined with hundreds of unique cottages and I took my time taking in the wonderful views.

By lunchtime we were back at the inn and bid farewell to all of our fellow cyclists and our two extraordinary guides. Andrea and I agreed we would have to do it again. Maybe we would do a week next time or maybe we would bring our families. Or maybe we would just keep the secret to ourselves. I felt like anything was possible after the 64.1 miles this non-athlete had conquered.



About the Author:
Enter the rest of the author bio here. You may insert links, make text bold or italic, but do not change the font name or size. No need to enter bios for Featured Columnists or PassPorter Authors.

Related Links:


Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World - Avoid Those Baggage Fees last updated 3/2/2011
New York City - Something Old, Something New last updated 01/02/2009
On the Road to Walt Disney World - Doing "The Drive" last updated 01/20/2009
Airline Security - 10 Important Tips and Reminders last updated 1/21/2009
Sick at Sea - (But Not Sea Sick!) last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 8/7/2008 - Article #133 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Getting There (and Back!): Your Journey to Walt Disney World
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
By car, plane, or train -- share your tips, plans, and experiences with others! Forum Sponsored by Quicksilver Tours & Transportation


Resort Arrival Time?
by guerns17
25 Oct 2014 at 10:29pm
We are arriving at MCO at 10:25 am and are staying at OKW. Does anyone know about what time we should expect to arrive at the resort?
(click title above to view replies)

[Any recent experiences using] Dreams Unlimited transport (WDW-Universal)
by elbodans
19 Oct 2014 at 11:49am
has anyone used the ticket and transport pass offered by dreams unlimited? this is the service that includes a one day park to park ticket for...
(click title above to view replies)

Rent/drop off car at Disney?
by SheLovesAriel
16 Oct 2014 at 12:59pm
As luck would have it, I will be arriving in Orlando a week before my family for a work conference and staying three extra nights between work and...
(click title above to view replies)

Kindles and airport security
by disneydreamer33
15 Oct 2014 at 10:57am
Does airport security consider Kindles like laptops? Will the girls and I need to take them out of our carryons and put them into the bins? We will...
(click title above to view replies)

Gregory and Quicksilver did it again
by disneymom9092
14 Oct 2014 at 5:28pm
We used Quicksilver last week for our RT to SSR from the airport and RT to Port Canaveral and back to resort. Also our son and GF used them while we...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 3461


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.