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Rain, Rain, Go Away

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It swelled, squalled, dumped, spit, showered, poured, and more.

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Start – Stop: American Flatbread, Vt – Montpelier, Vt

Distance: 22.2 mi

Elevation Gain: 1454 ft

Riding Time: 3:00

Time Awake Spent in Pursuit of The Trip, Roughly: 7:00

Weather: If yesterday was the party then this was morning-after weather. We had our day in the sun, the big show, the champagne-popping queen stage celebration, no wind and no rain, yesterday was the kind of temperature that makes you forget that weather is even a thing. Today, however, was not the case, today the rain started when we started and tracked us the whole way into Montpelier. It swelled, squalled, dumped, spit, showered, poured, and more. Even though we only had 22 miles to ride it took us the better part of the day to cover them.

Day 04 Objectives & Points of Interest

  1. Make it to the hotel in Montpelier.
  2. Enjoy some artisanal baked goods at the Red Hen in Middlesex.
  3. Stay dry.

The story of today centers around our crew riding to the Red Hen Bakery and spending an hour or two there. Not because the bakery was particularly interesting, not to devalue it, the Red Hen Bakery very much upholds the highest standard of Vermont’s artisanal tradition. But I wouldn’t say there was anything particularly standout about it. Rather, it was standing out that we were avoiding, in the sense that the last thing we wanted to do was be caught standing out in the rain that was falling like a waterfall outside, and none of us wanted to ride in the rain. Sometimes it can be fun; a good portion of us are from Portland and 3/4s of the year if you want to pedal you’re doing it in a shower. So we lounged around in the Red Hen, we paid for our time in extra coffees additional baked goods, we caught up on the news, we ‘grammed, we shared our hopes that the rain would stop soon.

It didn’t.

Eventually we just sucked it up and rode into Montpelier. Benedict had originally planned a route for us that would take us over another lesser gap. But this idea was unanimously rejected. Instead, we took a quiet river road back into Montpelier. In what I believe is true Vermont fashion, the first thing we saw once we entered the city was a group of portly naked old men aboard beach cruisers. Was it beautiful? No, no it wasn’t, at least not in the traditional sense. But just because something isn’t beautiful doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stare at it. And stare we did. We couldn’t help it. Neither could you have, if you were there—I challenge you. While we were ogling a car pulled up alongside of us, “What are they protesting, do you know?” What were they protesting? We didn’t know; was it age, gender or orientation bias, cultural norms, pants, eyes? We didn’t know. The volume was loud but the message was garbled, the visual analog of standing inside the amplifiers at a happy happy hardcore rave. The noise was too big, it crushed any attempt at content. It was only after they turned a corner that we were able regain some sense of self-consciousness.

“What had just happened? Where were we? What is this magical kingdom?”

Our day wasn’t quite over. We still needed to find a ride back to Brattleboro to pick up our van. You see, Patrick needed to catch a plane early the following morning and a train wasn’t going to cut it. We had made Craigslist postings and hollered at friends but so far nothing had turned up. Rolling through town I stopped in a local bike shop and met a fantastic young man by the name of George Valentine who agreed to drive me down to Brattleboro in exchange for a small fee and dinner. George, we are forever in your debt. The next day we’d load up, drop Patrick in Hartford, head back to Old Saybrook so Benedict could exchange his wheelset and then high tail it to State College, Pennsylvania.

A Tranquil, Loving, Wonderful and Transcendent Morning

We bathed in the morning light, then the rain began to fall.
In the distance a lone jay flits between branches. Does he know he is being watched? Would he care? If that Jay is performing, what is his dance? What is my dance? #naturalvoyeur
Have you ever wondered, "Is there such thing as a cycling samurai?" You're not alone, this is a common musing amongst us proles. After looking at this image, I believe we have an answer.
"Oh, hmm, yes, well, that's nice to hear."
"Oh these legs? Well, yes, they are quite impressive. No, they're natural. Although from time to time I do have to work on them. Ha, well thank you, wouldn't it be nice if we were all so favored by the gods?"
Ladies and Gentlemen. I present to you PIZZA VALHALLA! JK. This room was pretty creepy. All night I expected some demented elf to materialize from the wall to steal our chamois. Why a demented elf would want a soiled chamois I have no idea but elf, if you're listening out there, you're welcome to 'em. My treat.
Hair is looking ACE, bud. ACE!

Preparing for Departure

Did we stall? We did. You would’ve too.
This lady ran the show. She was nice, but in the way that she just wanted to tell us about her daughter. Which, that's cool, we're glad you're proud of your daughter. I am going to leave it at that.

Departure

Stalling no more.
Patrick, you look pretty #cool in this photo bud.

Squatting the Red Hen Bakery

Sure we lingered, but that doesn’t mean you should shame us for it.
Winter on top, Thailand on the bottom. You've got to be prepared.
If you're going to wear trash bag pants, the right thing to do is secure them with a toe-strap. It says so in the trash bag pants instruction manual.
When you want your feet to look good the best way to do it is to wear a g-string.
It's nice to know that even the best of us catch non-favorable light every now and again.

The Final Gritty & Grimy Stretch to Montpelier

The rain wasn’t going to stop so we sucked it up and finished the ride.
Yep, it felt exactly how it looks. And it looks like we are riding through wet cement.
Benedict Wheeler's pantone color of the year: Mud 140.
Such style, such grace, such panache.
Such style, such grace, such panache.
Take a hard look at this image. You're welcome.

Cleanup and Detritus at the Montpelier Econo Lodge

Class V Rapids!

Postscript: Lobster Landing in Old Saybrook, CT

On our way to State College we stop to see a Life Aquatic/Jacques Cousteau Smurf. His name is Bocci and he swears like the sailor he always wanted to be.
Benedict and Bocci. Both have beards, both wear shorts, both can flash that smile. But only one has the burst capillaries of a committed wine drinker. Benedict has yet to move on from thimbles.
Apparently this place is famous. Like that dude with the frosted goatee would come her and dip his fat fingers into the sauce and then suggestively lick them in front of the camera. Its that kind of place. So if you trust that "guy" then this is the place for you.
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