Monday, February 14, 2011

Short and Sweet

Riders: MB and Bill
Miles: 65

We didn't ride too far on Sunday but the riding we did get in was good. We stopped at P&H for a quick breakfast again before trailering up to Groton. The trails were a little beat from Saturday but still in decent condition. We rode up through the hills of Topsham and out towards Barre before heading back. Hope the trails can take the warm up they are forecasting.
Ride on!

Sunshine, Freshly Groomed Trails, Whiteout

Riders: MB, Bill, Gregg
Miles: 162

Gregg's fire damaged sled is still in the shop but he got the dealer to give him a loaner Nitro so he made it out on the trails with us on Saturday. We got over 2' of snow over the past couple of weeks and nobody got out and broke in our feeder trail so we ended up trailering up to Groton to ride.

We had a quick bite at P&H and then met Gregg up at the heights. The weather was perfect and the trails were groomed out and covered. We hit a stretch of trail that was freshly groomed and we all took turns making first tracks. It was sweet.

We rode out of Groton, through Peacham, hit Marty's in Danville, rode up through Burke and got to the outskirts of Island Pond before heading back. We stopped at Marty's on the way home to get some lunch and steaks for dinner.

By the time we were coming back through Peacham it started snowing really hard and it was dark so it was hard to see. There were almost whiteout conditions and it was slow going but we all made it back safely. WooHooo!

We loaded up Gregg's rental sled on the trailer and left our sleds at his house while we drove down to Lucky's in a blizzard to pick up Gregg's sled and drove off the rental. We probably only got up to 45 mph on 89 because the snow was coming down so fast.

The trails are getting better and better. It's shaping up to be a decent season.
Ride on!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Conditions Improving

Riders: MB, Bill and Tate
Miles: 70

We rode out of base camp again on Saturday. We only got about 6-8" since the last time we were up. We still don't have nearly as much snow in Vermont as there is in Boston but the conditions are improving. It's nice not having to waste time trailering the sleds down the road. We usually try to get out early but we planned a later start because Tate had to get his hand warmers fixed even though he really didn't need them.
Bill and I had a quick breakfast at P&H and by the time we got back and got geared up Tate was ready to go. Going through the open fields was a little bit of a challenge for me but once we got on the groomed VAST trails it was pretty decent riding. Very few surprises in the trail and hardly any ski chatter or ice. Up in the higher elevations the conditions were actually good. We took the route 5 trail into Topsham, Corinth, stopped at the radio tower and headed back around through Groton. The railroad bed down to the Grill was probably the worst part of the ride because it was bumped up from all the traffic.

When we got out in the morning the sky was blue and the temps were warm (upper 20s/low 30s) but on the way back it was a whiteout with snow coming down in steady sheets. The snow was coming down so haard it was difficult to keep my shield clear.
Let's hope the next big storm goes far enough north so we can keep improving the trail conditions.
I'm happy to say it was another good ride without incident. WooHooo! We're on a roll now.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ride from Base Camp

Riders: MB, Bill, Tate
Miles: 97

About 5 years ago we got stuck on our access trail where a small bridge got washed out and we have been trailering our sleds down the road ever since. This weekend our neighbor, Tate, showed us how to access the new trail so we were able to ride right out of our base camp. It was only 10 miles from the camp to the main trails at CA 1. It wasn't a bad ride through the woods but there were a few fields we had to get through that were ungroomed and tough to navigate.

The conditions weren't great. There wasn't much coverage in most areas and there was lots of ski chatter and icy spots. We rode through Groton, into Cabot (why??), then into Danville. We stopped at Marty's to have some lunch and pick up steaks for dinner.
The ride back was sloppy and slushy but any day of riding is good riding, well, unless there's a fire or something. ;)
Still waiting for some good snow in the North East Kingdom.

Still waiting for good conditions.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Missed Photo Op

This was the first picture I took after I forced Gregg off the trail to tell him he was about to go up in flames.

When I was telling Shannon about what happened she said she was surprised I didn't have any pictures of the actual fire. I told her I was tempted to grab my camera first but thought Gregg would appreciate it if I helped put the fire out before snapping pictures. Of course, as soon as the flames were out I pulled out the camera and got pictures of the aftermath. I hope I won't have another opportunity to get those kinds of photos.

Friday, December 31, 2010


First Ride 2010-2011
Riders: MB, Bill and Gregg
Miles: MB and Bill - 71; Gregg - 20?

What a crazy day! We were excited to get out on the trails for the first ride of the season. We had a quick breakfast at P&H Truck Stop and then headed up to the Butterfield Parking Lot in Groton to meet up with Gregg. When we got to the lot Gregg said his sled wasn't running right and thought he needed a battery. We drove him back home so he could go get a new battery and made plans to meet back up in the lot.

Bill and I went back to Butterfield and were taking the sleds off the new trailer, the sleds slid out fast and the top of the new trailer came down and smashed the windshield and mirror right off my sled and broke Bill's windshield too. What the @#$%^&!!!! At that point I was ready to give in and call it a day. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to go riding after all. Bill was anxious to test out his new machine so we went around the loop and rode as far as we could before the trails got really messy.
After about 40 miles we went back to the lot to meet up with Gregg. He was just finishing up getting the new battery in and we were in business. We rode around the same trails for about an hour or so and since the temperatures were rising we decided to head back before it got really bad.

Bill and I were at an intersection waiting for Gregg to catch up which was unusual because we usually ride in a tight group. After a few minutes Gregg flew by and yelled out that he couldn't stop because his sled was not running right. His sled was backfiring and popping and he was trying to ride as fast and as far as he could to get back home. We made it down the trail about 5 miles when I noticed that the exhaust on Gregg's sled was getting red, especially on the left side.

I was watching his exhaust heat up and was thinking I should try to stop him to let him know I had a tow rope so he didn't blow his motor trying to ride it all the way back. Before we got another 5 miles down the trail there were actual 6"-8" flames coming out of the exhaust and burning right up Gregg's back.

I knew I had to get him to stop somehow because he had no idea his sled was ON FIRE! I decided the only option I had was to try to run him off the trail to get him to stop. I sped up and tried to get around him but he was so intent on getting back it took him a while to even notice I was beside him.

Bill was behind me so he had no idea why I was riding like a maniac on the wrong side of the trail. I finally got up beside Gregg and forced him to stop and screamed "YOUR SLED'S ON FIRE!!!" Gregg jumped off and we both immediately started grabbing armfuls of snow and throwing it on the flames. Gregg was yelling to get back because the fire was running under his seat and getting closer and closer to the gas tank. Bill was trying to get the seat off and eventually just ripped the thing right off even though it bolted on. We finally got the fire out and then had to figure out how to get his sled back home.

Thankfully I carry a tow rope so Bill was able to tow Gregg back. It was over 10 miles back to Butterfield. It had started to warm up and the trails were barely covered so Bill had to stay on the throttle at a steady speed so they didn't get stuck going uphill. I wish I had my camera out at the time because it was hysterical watching Gregg try to hold on as Bill went over bumps and around corners. The whole ten miles back Bill's sled was throwing snow and ice rooster tails right in Gregg's face.

About 5 miles before we got back to Butterfield I slid off the trail and amazed myself by throttling it out without any help. I knew Bill wasn't going to stop 'til he got them back to the parking lot so I was on my own.

So, that was the start to the 2010-2011 season. I'm hoping the rest of the season is uneventful. Whew...we live to ride another day.

Ride on.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Welcome Back

Welcome Back to VT Riders. It's been a long time.

Here's a snapshot of the past few months.
I always have good intentions of posting about our summer (non-snowmobiling) adventures but it just doesn't seem to happen. We only got out on the ATVs a few times this season but the good news is that one of the rides was up Mt. Washington. Once again, we lucked out with good weather and had a great day. My ATV was a little temperamental at the start and I had to evict a family of mice that made a home in the seat, but it all worked out ok.

I can't wait to get out on my snowmobile. I'm happy to welcome Bill back to team Skidoo. He bought a 2009 GSX1200. We plan on getting a few miles in around the loop in Groton on Friday. I can't wait. I'm praying for lots of snow and many miles of riding this season.

See you soon. I promise.

Hope you have a healthy and very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!