9/16/2011

Epic Kingdom Ride: Part 1 - Richmond to Barre The Long Way

58 miles
2 hours
 

An epic ride includes it all: scenic vistas, challenging twisty bits, smooth straights, fast sweepers, good food and interesting stops. This ride qualifies. It will take an entire day to complete, combining technical riding, cruising, a gravel road section, good pavement and bad. Stops along the way include the State's deepest lake - complete with clothing optional beach; a rural Vermont country store with some amazing taxidermy; and two good meals.

The Epic Kingdom Ride Part 1: Richmond to Barre The Long Way
If you program your GPS to take you from Richmond to Barre, you will get a 35-mile route that takes 37 minutes to complete. Our route is 57 miles and 2 hours of riding, including the famous App-Gap in one of its two technical sections.

Begin your ride with breakfast in Richmond at On The Rise Bakery. Get a breakfast sandwich, bagel or the stuffed French toast - two slices of French toast, stuffed with cheese and apples.  Try the Greek Omelet with feta, mozzarella, spinach, purple onion and tomato folded into a three-egg omelet: it surely will hold you over to lunch.

When you finish your meal, travel the Huntington Main Rd 15 miles to VT-17. Beaudry's Store in Huntington center (approximately 6 miles from Richmond) is a convenient gas stop. The store also has food with a full grill and picnic tables. The gazebo on the Huntington green is a shady spot to eat.

At the end of Huntington Main Rd, turn left onto VT-17 at the T-intersection and climb App-Gap. When the pavement on App-Gap is in good shape, it is one of the best motorcycle roads in the Northeast.

GMHD Kid Safe Classic Bike -026View of moose pond from App-Gap

Due to the long 2010-2011 winter, the pavement in App-Gap has deteriorated badly. Mid-corner bumps and cracks will unsettle your suspension and create dangerous situations. Use caution. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the road slowly.

At the east end of App-Gap, turn right onto Route 100 and ride VT-100 south for 4.8 miles past the Sugarbush access road. Watch for a sign on your right pointing to the Warren Village on your left. Turn left onto Main Street and ride down into the village.

Warren -VT-11Warren Village

In Warren Village, take the first left onto Brook Rd. Brook Rd has good pavement with fun twists. The speed limit is 25 mph, so go easy on the gas until you are out of the village. After a few miles, the road levels off and has views of the Sugarbush ski area to the west and Adams Mountain to the east.

Follow Brook Road 5.7 miles, to a four-way intersection with Roxbury Gap road. Turn right onto Roxbury Gap Road. The East Warren Community Market, located at the intersection, offers food, but no gasoline.

Roxbury Gap road rewards riders with nice views and a feeling of accomplishment. The road begins with good pavement, but turns to gravel after several miles.

The gravel section of Roxbury Gap is a maintained class-3 road and the surface is predominantly good during mid-summer. Like all gravel roads, the condition varies with weather and traffic. During typical seasons, the road is compacted by mid-summer and passably by mortals on street bikes.

VT_Roads _NEK_Jul _2011-001View from Brook Rd., Warren VT

 

There are two 25 mph hairpin turns on the Warren side: both are paved, but contain gravel carried from the nearby roadway. Use caution on these technical turns.

Roxbury -Gap -VT-5-28-11-058Warning sign for Roxbury Gap

When the gravel portion ends and the road returns to good quality pavement and has several miles of twisty fun.

The road ends on VT-12A in Roxbury Village. There are no services in Roxbury Village (except at the local church on Sunday mornings). Turn left on VT-12A and ride toward Northfield.

After you past the Roxbury cemetery, you will come to a nice section of twisty bits. Use caution near the Northfield golf course: the course is on both sides of the road and golfers drive carts across the road. The carts do not accelerate as fast as a Lexus, which is a surprise to some golfers as they try to zip across in front of you.

After 6 miles on VT-12A, you come to the intersection of VT-12 and VT-12A. Left takes you to Northfield, which provides a full range of food and services. Take a right onto VT-12 and ride south to the intersection of VT-64. There is a store providing gas, food and other convenience items just before the intersection.

Warren -VT-5-28-11-059Roxbury Vermont

Take a left onto VT-64 and follow it 7 miles to Williamstown Village. There is an Interstate-89 exit at the midway point. After passing I-89, VT-64 begins to twist, providing some fun turns. Wilkins Harley Davidson uses this road for their demo rides.

At the end of VT-64, turn left onto VT-14 and head north to Barre. You will pass Wilkins Harley Davidson just before the intersection of VT-63. On your way into Barre there are gas, food and convenience stores. Barre has a full-time police force, eager to earn their keep: watch the speed limit signs.

When you reach the center of Barre, US-302 will join from the right. Continue on VT-14/US-302 through downtown Barre. At Maple Avenue, VT-14 takes a right and heads north. Take this right and ride out of Barre past the Hope Cemetery.

The Hope Cemetery is known for its intricate carvings and headstones, done by the stonecutters who work in the Barre quarries. The 65-acre cemetery has over 10,000 monuments made of Barre Gray granite.

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