Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Perhaps it's the kid in me that thinks of an all day ride in these terms. I can't ever remember having one of these dentist's 401Ks as a child, probably because my parents were too smart to let me overindulge in pure sugar.  I had too many cavities as a kid, so maybe they were too broke from all that dental work to acquiesce to my juvenile demands.  Now, as an adult, the controls (or lack of them) fall squarely on my own shoulders. This past Sunday's all day ride was an all day sucker.  A 10, if you will.   

After a leisurely breakfast, Ms. Rocket and I rolled the bikes out and pointed them west.  We had a loose plan to ride northwest to Rutland, Vermont.  I had been there a year ago looking at a small tow-behind camper, the T@b Little Guy trailer.  The missus hadn't seen one up close and, even though they didn't have any new units for sale, except for a hail damaged one, it provided a destination on the other end of some great roads.

With a late start and a goal of "lunch" in Rutland, we were hard-pressed to make good time.  Long about 12:30 or so, Stephanie declared that she was "a bit peckish".  I knew of a good diner just on the far side of Hogback Mountain, so we stopped.  Seemed like all the holiday tourists were waiting for a table, so we strode up to the counter and plopped ourselves down onto some available stools.    A quick bite, and one or two too many iced teas later, and we were down the road again.  It was already a hot day and the over consumption of liquids was a recurrent theme that day.  I felt a bit like Whizzer.

The day was sunny, very warm and dry.  At an earlier stop, I could feel the sun beating down on the back of my neck.  We were dressed suitably, wearing all mesh gear and jeans.  No exposed skin to get a burn.  

The roads were largely unobstructed.  Any time we passed through a town we did notice a bit more traffic than usual, but it was a holiday weekend after all.  I love the roads in Vermont!  Once you get into the mountains, it's a constant winding back and forth and over and down.  Our pace was good, spirited at times, but respectful of the traffic and conditions.

We eventually arrived in Rutland, mid-afternoon.  The Italian restaurant I had in mind was in another city.  We used Yelp to find the Vermont Tap & Ale House and had a great butter and garlic pizza, which is really just cheesy garlic bread pizza style.

We found the RV dealer a few miles down the road.  We took a cursory look at the sold units and the pock-marked one.  The prices are off-putting, close to $20,000 for the luxury of standing up and a kitchen.  I liked the coffin on wheels for half the price, but I doubt I'd dump money into another depreciating asset.

Pointed home, we had a minor disagreement over the route the GPS selected.  By then, we were already hot and tired and too full of caffeine.  A couple of miles of radio silence sorted me out and we cranked the throttles and rode into New Hampshire again.   Sadly, one of our favorite roads, Rt 123, was a mess.  The bumps and cracks from the past few harsh winters have torn up a once-great scenic road.  Now, it was hang on and slow down.  Too bad.

One last gas stop (and bathroom break, I was fully hydrated!) and we were almost home.  All told, just shy of a 300 mile day.  Lots of sun and twisty pavement.  A 9 hour day and still plenty of sunlight when we arrived home.  Ah, the joys of summer riding!

I hope your holiday was independently wonderful.  Now is the time to get out and ride.  Make yours a safe one.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket

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