Before I moved to this big, flat, paved urban landscape and spent hours a day behind a desk, I wrenched at a shop in Cleveland with a dude named Robbie. Robbie likes lots of squish, big drops, pretty brunettes and making homebrew that doesn’t suck.
He lives in Burlington, Vermont, now. He texted me the other day about his recent adventures involving two wheels and two skis. I got some more intel on his recent extravaganza, and it sounds like he might be having too much fun. Around the same time, I watched Dirty’s kayak-fatbike video from Lake Powell again. I felt responsible. You need to hear how Robbie gets down in his free time in between classes.
In late October, Robbie and his buddy Tate – both on the same college cycling team – heard rumors of snow storm blowing through Stowe, which is a ski town just east of Burlington. They woke up early on a Sunday and brought their ski gear to get their first turns of the year in. Just in case the snow didn’t fall or wasn’t any good, they decided to throw their bikes in the truck to hit some local trails out that way. (From now on, I declare this should be your SOP, dudes.)
Cut to the next morning. Turns out there wasn’t any snow at the bottom of the hill, but they hoped the story was different higher up. Putting their coffee-powered, enginerd brains together, they figured they could strap skis to their packs and ride up until they found snow.
“It was a sufferfest. Tate’s line was, ‘If it was easy, everyone would be doing it,’” Robbie told me. They eventually reached what they thought would be the best snow, but it was nothing more than dust on grass. So they stashed their bikes in the woods and swapped SPDs for ski boots. After a quick hike to the top of the snow patch, they schralped some solid turns in the grass back to their bikes. From there, they bombed back down on their bikes. Going up sucked, but the ride down was way nicer than hiking. You can imagine.
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A few weeks later, they returned with a bigger group of guys from the bike team to get rad again, but by then the snow was actually all the way down to the parking lot. So the bikes unfortunately didn’t leave the truck. But they got much better pics that day.
Sounds like a real horrible time, eh? On a semi-related note, if you haven’t heard and are in the Vermont area in January, check out Uberwintern. The flier explains the rest.
Thanks to Robbie and Dana Greenlaw for the pics. Ethan Allen would be proud. I’m jealous of all the snow we’re missing out on here in Illinois. And the mountains. And homebrew:
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