2014  HIKING, CYCLING,

& RV TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
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   JIM'S STONE VALLEY 50-MILE GRAVEL GRINDER
BIKE RACE IN POULTNEY, VERMONT

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

 
"The SV50 is a 50-mile gravel bike race through the Rutland County [VT]  
towns of Poultney, Castleton, Middletown Springs, and Wells."
 
~ Stove Valley Gravel Grinder's Facebook page
 
 
This looked like a fun event for Jim so he signed up for it on Active.com when he saw that its location is within a reasonable driving distance from our campground in Wilmington, NY. Poultney is near the VT-NY state line to the east of Lake George in scenic rolling terrain full of forests and farms.

This was another very beautiful -- and unseasonably warm -- day. It was sunny and temps were in the upper 70s F. at our campground and at the race site.

Jim got pretty warm during the race, although it was rather chilly at the 9 AM start. He finished about 2:30 PM.

 

We started the drive to Poultney in the dark and saw the sun rise along the way. We usually aren't up that early.

It was a two-hour drive to the elementary school where the race started and finished. We were on some hilly, winding mountain roads and there was patchy fog in some of the valleys. We couldn't see much of the scenery until 7 AM or later. The roads stay darker longer in wooded mountain terrain!


Soft colors over Lake Champlain before sunrise

We got to see how pretty the terrain was on the way back home in the late afternoon, although by then the sun was low again and all the leaf colors weren't completely visible:

Jim said the colors weren't as bright on the race course as farther north where we're staying.

About 48 people were signed up for the 50-mile race and only eight or ten in the 25-miler. Riders enjoyed this inaugural race so I'd imagine there will be more entered next fall.

We had plenty of time to mill around the race start, mingling with other riders and listening to pre-race instructions from the RD:

 

Jim's race began first:

 

 

 

Here is a map of the 50-mile course and elevation profile that we found online:

 

After the 25-miler started I moved the truck to a nice shaded spot close to the finish line.

I walked the dogs around the large grassy area between the bike path and ball fields behind the school, then mostly stayed in the truck until riders began coming in. With so few riders the race organizers didn't need any additional help at the finish.

 


Jim rides into the finish.

Jim received a glass mug for participating in the first-year event; there were no shirts and only a few overall awards. That's OK. The race fee was only $40 so we didn't expect much in the way of schwag.

There was one aid station on the course;  it had water and Clif Shots. Jim carried his own Hammergel. The race provided ice cream at the finish and a free beer at a local tavern but we didn't go over there after the race. We had a long ride home and wanted to do it in daylight.

Markings weren't so great. Jim missed a few turns but didn't get lost or go too far off-course. Some other folks did major bonus miles.

 

Traffic was heavy the whole route home from Poultney, especially on Hwys. 73 and 85.

We made a mistake by taking a little detour through the town of Lake Placid. The place was mobbed late on Saturday afternoon. Jim couldn't find the bookstore he wanted to go to and there wasn't a place to park anyway. What a tourist trap!

Next entryscenic photos from various day drives in the Whiteface and high peaks regions of the Adirondacks

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup

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2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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