Last week I biked around Lake Champlain! Clocking in at 310 miles, we spent seven days traveling through beautiful landscapes, camping at great state parks, eating surprisingly well, and sleeping from sunset to sunrise.
I grew up in a valley. Each summer, I’d slowly build up my biking endurance, and would be able to make it up the big hill before weather turned cold and snowy again. It was hard to imagine biking more than several miles. When I moved to the city for college, biking became a practical mode of transportation. I learned how helpful waterproof gear was, how to pack a lot of supplies into a single backpack and milk crate, and live without a car for seven years. I learned to bike confidently on busy urban streets. Now that I’m back in Vermont, I’m appreciating how far “adult legs” can get me. The amazingly quiet and beautiful back roads provide great opportunities for recreation, and that “big hill” isn’t so intimidating anymore.
I’d never, however, done a multi-day bike trip before. We (mostly) followed the Lake Champlain Bikeways Route. They produce a great map and other resources for biking in this area. We were incredibly lucky – great weather, good health, and solid equipment made for smooth sailing. You can see the map of each day by clicking below.
When spending a day on a bike, many thoughts wandered through my head. Here are my words of wisdom and memorable thoughts from the trip:
- Never judge the upcoming hill atop a hill – things look steeper from up there!
- Sometimes it’s good to be in unfamiliar terrain – you have to take things one step at a time with less anticipation.
- Use all those gears!
- I’m a tortoise…slow and steady wins the race.
- Every bite of homemade granola bar (recipe below) was delicious. I’m drooling now thinking about them.
- June is a great time to bike in Vermont with moderate temperatures, quiet campgrounds, long days, and perfect sleep-length nights.
- After 310 miles, Lewis Creek Road feels pretty darn picturesque, our house looks like a great place to live, and I can’t wait to harvest from those gardens!
The Most Delicious Granola Bar Recipe:
Mix 1/4 c. coconut oil, 2 T. honey, and 1/4 c. tahini in a sauce pan over low heat until well combined. Cool. Preheat oven to 325. Pour over a mixture of 1/2 c. sunflower seeds, 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, 2/3 c. oats (I used dehydrated sprouted buckwheat instead), 1/2 c. dried apricots, and 1/4 c. bittersweet chocolate chips. Press into coconut-oiled 9″x9″ pan. Bake 30 minutes. Let cool, refrigerate, and cut into bars. We wrapped each serving in plastic wrap for easy eating along our route.