Hearing torrential rain pounding down outside our B&B in Middlebury, VT from the early hours of the morning, through until the alarm rang out at 7am, we thought that we would cheer ourselves up by having a massive argument to start the day! Well, they do say that when it rains, it pours.
Anyway, by the time we had finished yelling at each other about nothing, it was around 11am, much later than we had intended to leave for our 66-mile ride into Norwich, VT. On the positive side, the rain had stopped!!
The day started with a long and steep ascent over Bread Loaf and the Middlebury Gap, which stirred Anthony’s “hisnia” up nicely, followed by one of most precipitous descents we have experienced on this trip: a 12% gradient where we accomplished a max speed of 46mph while dodging the many pot-holes. After all the climbing, the downhill was over in a flash. Hmmm, that helped our mood no end…
Knowing that we had a long day ahead of us with a further climb towards the end and worrying about fading light, we decided that we didn’t have time to stop for a break in any of the cute little towns that we passed through. As luck would have it, around 35 miles into the ride, the rain started again. Being forced to pull over and don our rain gear, we took the opportunity to pack down a few choice tidbits from our handlebar bags, which actually made us feel a bit better. From then on, although we could see clear blue skies ahead, behind and either side of us, a large black raincloud hung directly above following us for the next 20 miles, emptying its ruin upon our weary bodies without respite. We guess we deserved it… miserable gits!
As we continued on, Kat noticed that a lot of the places in this area, including our destination for tonight, Norwich, seem to be named after places in Norfolk: not only Norwich, but Thetford and Brandon too. And then, as we were cycling through the town of Sharon, Anthony spotted a road sign that helped us crack a smile (see photo). We noted that there are a lot of Sharons in Norfolk too.
Once we laughed and smiled, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and we turned off the busy main road on which we were cycling and onto the unmade Quimby Mountain road. Usually we would have done a great deal of tutting, rolling of the eyes and cursing about the road surface, but for some reason, Trusty & Steed came into their own, and we really enjoyed our climb over Quimby mountain. On the way, we bumped into David, who was out walking his Boxer dogs, and looked pretty surprised to see us (it’s a quiet road). We had a good chat with him as we got our breath back and found that he’s a keen bike rider too.
After a few more steep sections, it was downhill all the way into Norwich… yee-hah! We love our room at the Norwich Inn, and had a great meal in the restaurant here, ending the day in much better spirits that starting it. Tomorrow, we’ll be leaving the beautiful Vermont and moving on into New Hampshire. We can’t believe that we don’t have more photos, but since it’s rained almost constantly since we crossed the state line, we’re not going to beat ourselves up too much.