Manchester to Okemo

Manchester doesn’t seem to have much in the way of early breakfast. Up For Breakfast, the breakfast place locals like, opens at 7, but we needed to get breakfast a bit earlier in order to get to the ride start on time. Dan B. walked down to the combo Mobile gas station and Maplefields minimart, and brought back a variety of egg and sausage sandwiches, donuts and coffee. Another champion’s breakfast. We gathered for the ride at the Dana Thompson Recreation Park. We were led out on a loop through town, although the expected cheering throngs of townies did not materialize, then headed out for day two. The first twenty miles were covered in well under one hour, since the road was relatively flat and we had a tail-wind. In spite of our speed, we still were able to appreciate the scenery, including dairy farms, meadows with wild flowers, and a large lake, along Route 30. The route got moderately hilly the second 20 miles, which slowed us down considerably, and we lost the tail wind. We stopped at a bakery at around 35 miles to refuel. As with most places in rural Vermont, it had a quaint look, and served home baked goodies that were very tasty. I was feeling a major bonk at this point, and I think my week on call the week before was catching up with me. The last 28 miles included some very long, but moderate grade climbing, long downhills, some highway riding, and it proved to be a great opportunity for 71 year old Dan T. to show what he can do. He really powered up the hills, keeping pace with Dan B., and outpacing Keith and me by a mile. The Lion of Haddonfield roared today! Our ride finished at the Outback Pizza in Ludlow, where very nice sandwiches and salads were waiting for us, and the Otter Creek brewery rep was providing our group free beer. Total miles about 68. Then, we had to mount back up and ride a mile back to the elegant Jackson Gore Lodge, where we checked in to our luxury suite (for real, we are in a premium 3 bedroom suite). Keith and I took advantage of the pool here for a casual swim. Dinner was a barbecue mix of pulled pork, cowboy beans and slaw, while listening to a local band. This was a regular event here, not specific for our group, so a lot of the locals turned out. Tomorrow is a major ride, 104 miles over steep climbs and fast downhills. Should be good.

Frank

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