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Category Archives: Bike
Today, the Tour de France will conquer the highest point in the 21-stage race with a summit of Col d’Izoard in the Hautes-Alpes. A perfect opportunity to share this humorous vintage French postcard by Gougeon.
To escape from the humdrum daily round, to enjoy the beauties of nature and the open air, to roam far away across the frontiers. . . That is the dream of young and old! A dream which can come true for everyone, however, even without a well-filled purse and plenty of time to spare. No matter how short your vacation may be, you can have a wonderful trip by using the finest of all vehicles for tourist travel: the bicycle.
Vintage travel brochure from the Netherlands National Tourist Office. (Thank you to my husband for treasure hunting this gem!)
It’s always sunny on Darling Hill Road thanks to the lovely yellow of Burklyn Hall mansion, Burklyn Concert Barn and horse barn. This is no small achievement and a gift to behold considering the intensely gray and dreary moments Vermont weather reliably delivers. Accordingly, these structures shine on glorious bluebird snow days and radiate against the lush saturated green of summer. The yellow hue varies with the weather, from lemon on a sunny day to goldenrod when overcast. In any light, these elegant and glorious structures are icons of a country road that can feel like its own wonderful little world.
Darling Hill Road runs northeast from Lyndonville to East Burke, Vermont. This ridgetop route offers views of Lake Willoughby Gap to the northwest and Burke Mountain to the east. If this weren’t spectacular enough, the heart of the road is anchored by the gorgeous properties of Burklyn Mansion to the south and the Darling Farm (now The Inn at Mountain View Farm) to the north with the Burklyn Concert and horse barns in between. The farm was established around 1883 and mansion completed in 1908 by Elmer A. Darling – an East Burke native educated at MIT who went on to make his fortune in the hotel business of New York City.
Heading south, an arcade of stately trees provides a welcoming canopy to The Wildflower Inn and Vermont Children’s Theater. The serene Stepping Stone offers spa services and bed and breakfast lodging. From high on a knoll, The Chapel of the Holy Family watches over the road. Much of the acclaimed Kingdom Trails mountain bike and nordic ski network is located on Darling Hill, running on either side of this treasured road.
Instagram is visual, inspiring, fast and fun! The simplicity and ease of Instagram allows me to publish new images every day. And being a mobile app, it is easy to post on-the-go. I am excited to have a means to post quickly and more frequently to supplement the AlpineStyle56 blog with additional relevant content.
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For me, mountain bike season is over. It was fun – a new bike, a few events and a good amount of miles – but I am ready to ski. This year I am realizing how much I value a transition in between seasons and sports. It has been really nice to have a few weeks of down time – time to put away one thing before launching into the next. As part of that housekeeping, I am finally getting around to posting a few photos from the end of the bike season.
As always, my husband, friends and I logged some very pleasant miles at Kingdom Trails. We appreciate all of the work that goes into maintaining such a large, varied and well-ridden network. Thank you KTA and landowners!
The 2013 Circumburke was my first ride around the mountain – it was a great event! At 25 miles, it was long enough to feel like an accomplishment but not too long to turn unpleasant. The biggest challenge came right at the start with the initial climb, the Victory single track was more extensive and fun than I had anticipated, then a long haul out on the “Gold Trail” before hooking back into the familiar Kingdom Trails network. Spots of rain, sleet and snow kept it interesting but totally manageable. I tried my best to look around and enjoy the new terrain and surroundings. Thank you to all who cut, raked, marked and otherwise worked on trails and to everyone else involved who made this very cool day possible!
After passing on this event in years prior because we weren’t really sure what to expect for the course, weather, conditions – I functioned this year as a scout for spouse and friends. I can now give a whole-hearted, enthusiastic recommendation of Circumburke to anyone looking for a longer but low-key (think challenge, not race) end of the season ride.
Mark Tucker rode his Salsa Mukluk, one of a small contingent of fat bikes. He also covered this event much more extensively on his engaging blog – check Single-Speed Slogging for Circumburke recap and photos.
As for Burke this winter, it remains to be seen. Lots of changes with the ski area ownership and nothing much encouraging coming from official communications nor scuttlebutt we hear. So we will wait another couple weeks until we can finally get on snow and see how it plays out. Certainly, we will hope for the best and as always. . . lots of snow!
I found this vintage patch for the Little Ascutney Snowmobile Club at a flea market a few months ago. The patch is large (6”), features a flocked fisher cat mascot and shows wear of riding many miles stitched to a snowmobile suit – it’s fantastic!
Like the VAST trails snowmobilers travel in winter, the fifty-mile course of the VT50 is made possible only with generous access to private land. Thank you, landowners!
I hit a small local antique fair over the weekend and managed to score a few solid finds. It is a very big treasure hunting week with the final Brimfield show of 2013 starting today.
Gorgeous Native American leather gloves with beadwork. Too pricey to buy but a happy reminder that in just a few months I will be skiing in my Astis mitts!
Real photo postcard of the Smuggler’s Notch T-Bar at Stowe, Vermont. I have been looking for this specific image to add to my Richardson collection! Photo by Harry Wendell Richardson of Newport, Vermont.
Apparently, I needed a little break from blogging and spent the extra time the past couple weeks riding my bike. So this post is a week late but I still wanted to share a few photos from the excellent Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnée.
The D2R2 is a fundraiser for the Franklin Land Trust of western Massachusetts and has become known as a favorite New England cycling event. My husband and I rode the 115k loop and were not disappointed – a spectacular rural route running from Deerfield into southern Vermont with gorgeous vistas, wicked climbs, amazing event staff and the best weather imaginable.
So many fantastic vintage cycling jerseys! I was more focused on riding than collecting photos but was fully engaged by the variety of kits — from the newest Rapha to classic Ibex wool to retro jerseys dusted off for this event.
With four segments, tons of turns and landmarks – our simple DIY cue sheet holders worked like a charm. Thank you Shredly – my MTB shorts and YOGACHAM liners were super comfortable for the entire 72 miles – a much longer test than a typical mountain bike ride!
You Got This! Great encouragement to have rolling with you – very needed for the Pennel Hill and Patten Road climbs! Check out the colorful style of Boston-made Geekhouse CX bikes.
Team Awesome says: Ride Bikes. Have Fun. Stay Awesome. D2R2 was awesome!