VT forest route 71 and Kelley Stand Rd. Adventure.

Discussion in 'Northeast - Greater Flugistan and home of the carp' started by NewEnglander, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Southern NH
    1BE67571-9989-403C-89D8-25AFCEFB5D23.jpeg It looked like a great day for a ride. Almost 50deg out and sunny. I decided to take Forest route 71 off Rt. 9 to Kelley Stand Rd. This is a route I have taken a couple of times before and follows a nice river up into the hills. The dirt roads in southern NH are in great shape and figured they would be in VT also. WRONG! I soon found out the hills in VT have seen a little snow. Heading up the dirt road that leads to Forest route 71 it soon turned to extremely slick baby poop mud where all the formerly frozen snow and dirt had melted. It was about then that I regretted my decision take off the knobby tires. The Shinko 705’s I put on recently actually performed much better than I would have guessed.
    Creeping along with an adrenaline overdose in my veins and the front and rear tires wanting to take different routes up the road the surface slowly solidified a little. I’m thinking I’m through the worst part. Still gaining elevation I start to see more snow and ice on the edges of the trail but way better than riding in the jelly mud. Now a little more snow.....a little more snow...then it gets interesting. I come upon a section of ice about 300ft long from edge to edge. Seeing some small specks of gravel I decide to give it a try. Why not, I’m only about .25 miles from Kelley Stand rd. Thinking to myself that this seems manageable the front end just flops over and I slide down spinning on the ice riding on top of the bike. Ok...now to pick it up which under normal conditions is not hard. While picking it up I start slipping and the bike and I slide sideways down the hill while trying to not drop it again. I slowly slide the bike to the edge of the road where my feet are in the snow and have a little traction. Walking the bike down the edge (I can’t remount because the edge of the road is low, the bike is tall, and I am not) I get to a dirt patch and stand the bike up without it sliding. I didn’t get any pictures as I was in adventure mode just thinking about the task at hand. Time to recon and walk down the road to see if it gets any worse....the intersection is so close. I made it this far and turning back will probably be worse than continuing. Down to the intersection staying in the tire tracks where the ice has melted and the intersection is all ice! The edge of the road is snow and the drop off is not too deep and I ride it to the intersection. Flop, the front end slides out on ice while I am barely moving. Pick it up again and ride on the edge of the road slowly in the snow. The ice clears and turns to slippery mud again and I am home free. Now I have a sense of accomplishment rush through me and realize how much of an adrenaline rush this was.
    The funny thing is a similar situation happened to me in November 2007. I guess the moral of the story is stay off Kelley Stand road in November. Then again I wouldn’t have had some great riding experiences. It’s moments like these that I feel truly alive.
    #1
    MsLizVt, wishing well, Tcon77 and 4 others like this.
  2. Old and slow

    Old and slow I got nuthin'

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    514
    Location:
    Republic of Vermont
    Right...nice finish! When the frost goes in the road, then it warms up again the top will thaw but the road is still frozen, and that makes for some interesting traction.
    #2
    NewEnglander likes this.
  3. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Newly-Clothed Explorer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    811
    Location:
    Nude Hampster
    My buddy and I did half of the Bayley-Hazen and Puppy Dog from Montpelier to Ludlow last Tuesday, 300 miles total. It was very similar conditions, B-H was mostly snow covered and sections of the PDR looked like a mud bog. A couple days before that, we did PDR from Greenfield up to Grafton, also slightly snow covered and muddy in spots.

    That said, the TKC80 front keep the front straight, while traction control kept the rear straight. It's definitely nice to have an aggressive front and traction set to full this late in the season. Neither of us dropped our bikes either time (well except my buddy who decided to pin the throttle coming out of an intersection without traction control on...but that was his own dumb fault).

    Lots of pucker, but lots of fun!
    #3
  4. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    6,227
    Location:
    Western Mass.
    i ride that route often; i think it is a really nice big bike ride- IN THE SUMMER! :lol3
    #4
    NewEnglander likes this.
  5. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Southern NH

    Sounds like fun! The Shinkos did surprisingly well but really regretted taking off the knobby tires. The mud was splashing my boots as if I was riding in 3 inches of water. I don’t mind the snow so much but the ice is frightening. Luckily no damage to my bike. The crash bars work very well on the GSA. Not a scratch on the bike. I was also moving extremely slow. The dirt roads in southern NH where I am from are in great condition. The mountains in Vermont are always a crap shoot this time of year. Thanks for your insight.
    #5
  6. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Southern NH
    You are so right!
    #6
  7. BMgreenmt

    BMgreenmt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Oddometer:
    656
    Jealous of your late season riding that I missed! Made the mistake once of going out a bit too early during mud season one time. Headed out on a familiar dirt class 3&4 route, what usually wasn’t there was the 12-18” deep ruts from four wheeled vehicles plowing through the mud. Boy, was I glad to get back to pavement that day!
    #7
  8. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Southern NH
    I know exactly what you are talking about. Once the cylinders start dragging on the sides of the ruts it’s time to turn around. I love riding in the dirt but it’s strange what a relief You get when returning to pavement after a particularly hairy situation off road.
    #8
  9. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,500
    Location:
    CT exile now in NH
    That looks like the West Wardsboro Store.

    I built a log home a mile or so from there.

    I was too damn busy building the house to do any riding there.

    Shit!
    #9
  10. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Southern NH
    You are right. Stopped in for a drink and a snack. Nice people. Too bad you didn’t get some riding in. It something to look forward to.
    #10