Sunday, January 12, 2014

Named Vermont Gaps, Notches and Passes

I've ridden most of the popular Vermont named climbs several times, but there are a lot more named passes that I've never done. Many of these are not climbs that can be done on a bike, though a number of those that are not traversed by roads look like they have logging roads or trails that do go through. I spent some time today with a list of these and created a table that lists the passes and indicates what type of bike, if any, should be suitable for a crossing. I'm thinking of making it a goal this year to ride all the ones that look like they might be rideable at least once. Here's the link

There are exceptions, but generally "gaps" are east-west passes over the spine of the two spines the Green Mountain range. Notches tend to have larger cliffs on each side at the top, though App Gap certainly has some significant cliffs. Gulfs in Vermont usually run north-south and follow steams between steep inclines, but they are not included in this list. VT 100 north of Granville is widely known as Granville Gulf, but appears on the list as Granville Notch. I haven't checked the official place names (upon which this list claims to be based), but that one certainly is not in the same league as Smugglers' Notch or Hazen's Notch.

I achieved my goal of 10,000 miles for last year. I was still about 50 miles short of last year's total, but my records showed about 30,000' more of climbing and slightly more (10) hours of riding. Granted, my elevation recording methods are questionable in terms of accuracy, but then all are (GPS units fool many folks into confusing precision with accuracy). However, they have been consistent, so I think it's valid to say that I did a significant amount more climbing. My total recorded elevation gain was around 667,000' for the year, which is 126 miles, straight up. Not too shabby, if it's even remotely close to being a valid number. That would easily get me into low-earth orbit (min. 99 miles), which shouldn't surprise some people who know me. So far, this year is off to a very slow start with the cold weather we've been experiencing.