In my mind I am slugging away at the long climb west of Brattleboro on the way up to Marlboro and beyond to Hogback Mountain. The road is packed dirt, graded in spring, in mud season, and left to the elements for the rest of the year. It bisects thick pine forest flanked by pre-historic fern. Always wet, rain collects in the channels just off the shoulder, run off from the woods above trickling in rivulets constantly. The air is cool.
Forget fast. The angle of ascent and the inconsistency of the surface force you into a slow rhythm. The road ripples and ribbons, fords ad hoc streams, pitches up steeply and then meanders.
This is where I want to be.
Mostly I roll around under the basic premise that other locales, both foreign and domestic, serve up larger slices of idyllic beauty, of cyclo-specific wonder, than where I live, and yet year after year I find more and more to like about my native roads (and trails).
Padraig said of New England, “There’s a piece of my heart I was unable to pack and bring with me when I moved west.” We had been talking about the particular beauty of this place where I live, and though it was just one line in an email chain that stretches back deep into our friendship, it stuck with me, such a nice way to think about a place.
This week’s Group Ride is about where you ride. Is it great? Why? Give us your best prose. Show, don’t tell. And if it’s not great, tell us about a great place you HAVE ridden. We want details, not place names. We want description. We want to go there with you.
Images: Matt O’Keefe