Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

Part XII: Vermont and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream!


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September 4, 2003: Ride to Killington, VT

Up and out early to meet the crew to ride to Killington. I was the last one to arrive at the meeting point. Laura (millerlc), Marty, Carol, Don and Cindy, and Dave (Voodoo) were all there. Don led us on a nice ride until his GPS got us onto a dirt road. I'd ridden about 5,000 miles to this point and I'd managed to avoid dirt, and here I was on the last leg of this journey and here I was on a dirt road. Oh well. So, we turned around and Dave led us out of there. We all had a good lunch in Great Barrington. Dave parted company with us and headed back to NY. This is when I took point.

This was my first experience leading a group of people on BMW's. Well, I took it a little too slow. When we got near North Adams Laura asked me to kick it up a notch. She didn't have to ask twice. As soon as we got outside the confines of the city we were off. Finally we were on some interesting roads. Up until this point we had been riding on wet roads, finally they were drying out.

We had been in and out of rain gear since we left NY. The weather just couldn't decide what it wanted to do. Once we got into VT things cleared up. We took VT-100 all the way from the MA/VT border to Killington.

Dry roads, Laura said, "kick it up a notch." Well, that's all I needed. I was in my element. I learned to ride on roads like this in the Adirondacks. With the stuff I've learned riding down south VT-100 was easy. It wouldn't have been before this trip, but now it was. I really got into a great groove.

This trip did a lot for my level of comfort on the bike. There's nothing like saddle time to achieving oneness with the bike. I really felt it all coming together on VT-100. Once the road dried out I was "seeing" the lines through the curves. It was a moment of enlightenment.

I particularly remember a 90 degree right hander over a bridge to a slightly uphill 90 degree left hander that I just absolutely pegged. It was a real rush. Brake, down shift, lean right... whoosh over the bridge... hard braking, off the front brake, trail the rear, down shift, apex, whoosh.... It was a real breakthrough moment. I "saw" the line, and just nailed it. It was really cool. Everything worked. I was relaxed. The bike did it's thing. It was beautiful.

September 5, 2003: Ice Cream Ben & Jerry's Style

Myself, Laura, Marty and Carol formed up early and headed out on the self guided tour to Ben and Jerry's. It was a nice ride up VT-100 and then back through Montpelier the state capitol. All in all a good day. There was a great piece of road on VT-12 south of Montpelier. I had a local in a car that was really pressing hard so we road together for a while. I occasionally like doing this on an unfamiliar road. I figure the local has some idea of what the curves are like, where to slow down, etc. It was great fun. Let's put it this way there's no way I would have ridden my car that fast on that road.

When we got closer to Killington a guy on a sport bike passed me. I picked the pace up a little and hung right with him. Very comfortably. I didn't feel like I was pushing. What a break through.