90 miles, 6027 feet climbed
Today was scheduled to be 73 miles with a lot of climbing but an impassible road added another 17 miles of backtracking and even more climbing. And it was a single SAG day, not enough for 73 miles, much less 90. Rain was a possibility again; FOG did make an appearance. There were winds, noticeable mostly for the chilly conditions throughout the day.
I started out in arm/leg thermals and my wind vest. At some point as the chill got worse, I switched to my rain jacket. A flat in the town of Wilmington put me near the last of the riders reaching the summit of Hogback Mountain, our last scheduled climb of the day. When I arrived, I was told to wait while staff figured out a problem with the descent into Brattleboro. The problem was that the road surface had been removed as the first step of a resurfacing project; we would have to ride down a packed dirt surface that had turned muddy due to recent rains. That would not be safe. I waited about 30 minutes while staff plotted an alternate route; the first riders to arrive waited for about 2 hours.
Ultimately it was decided to backtrack to Wilmington and take another road around the north slope of the Hogback. Without a route to follow, we had no idea how much longer we had to go to reach the hotel and the little, but not insignificant, climbs kept coming and coming. Staff, being of the glass three-quarters full disposition, shrugged it off as an “adventure.” I think we’ve had too many of those by now.
I was curious whether the issues with the Hogback descent could be discovered with the exercise of some diligence. A Google search brought me to a Facebook page from the Wilmington Police Dept, which described the road surface as being excavated. If I saw that, I would follow up and most likely would have learned about the problem in time to adjust the route so that we took the detour when we reached Wilmington, skipping the Hogback climb.