6 participants. It could not have been a nicer day, a nicer ride or a nicer group of people. Not having biked with any of the riders who signed up for this outing, I had no idea what to expect. The weather forecast was low-mid 60s with little wind. So, we had a great start in knowing we were not going to get wet or blown off our bikes!

The Essex Center Park and Ride was our meeting spot and all arrived within minutes of each other. Introductions, a review of the route and we were on our way! Essex Junction, Colchester, Milton, Fairfax, Cambridge, Jeffersonville, Underhill, Jericho and back to our start – the eight city loop as I have since dubbed it. Lots of “rollers” as DH mentioned, who was on a tandem with her visually impaired partner. They are training for the Vermont 50, which DB attempted last year with another trainer and made it 30 miles. WOW! They certainly will finish this year with the training schedule they have set. And PH, no biking whatsoever the last two years and he shows up with his hybrid. Oh boy, who would have known he would be flying down the hills like a 10 year old! DM and FG had been out just a little this year, but are no strangers to the roads.

The best thing about the ride, besides the points mentioned in the first sentence, was we were almost always within sight of each other. Who would have known?!?! Two stops, one in Fairfax and the second in Jeff, to fuel up our bodies with several checkpoints from start to finish to make sure everyone was doing OK. And with nearly 54 miles under our belts, we enjoyed a small tailgate party complete with chips, peanuts, chocolate, soda and water at our starting point.

The script could not have been written better for an outing to replace being off trail in mud season!

Participants – Phil Hazen, Diana Hank, Frank Gibney, Dennis Bilodeau, Diane Muhr, Robynn Albert