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Featured Event: Muddy Onion Spring Classic Dirt Road Ride
Editor’s Note: The RidingGravel.com calendar is chock full of great gravel events from which to chose from. The choices have grown to include several varieties of events and number over 400 as of this writing. That’s a far cry from the small handful of events I first listed in 2008! With so many events listed we wanted to help put the spotlight on a few upcoming events we think are unique and interesting. This time we’re heading out East to take a look at one of Vermont’s early season classic events, the Muddy Onion. This time we will get a report from last year’s event from David Alden but first a bit about this year’s details from Tristan Von Duntz……..
On April 29th, 2017, the Muddy Onion starts and finishes right at Onion River Sports in downtown Montpelier and heads out onto 34 miles of beautiful, hilly dirt roads and is a fully supported ride with aid stations along the way. Our famous post-ride BBQ, as well as some great local beer breweries and other local sponsors, are what makes this event so attractive to 450+ bike-enthusiastic locals and out of state riders alike. The 2017 Muddy Onion for sure will have a little something for any rider who cares to test their legs early in the season and experience an incredible ride followed by a great party! See the Muddy Onion website for more.
Now on to a report about last year’s event as promised from David Alden. All images used here are David’s as well.
The 2016 Muddy Onion Ride Report- Words and Images by David Alden
Jean and I had ridden in an event in Montpelier a few years ago, and we still talk about the great dirt roads, awesome views, and killer climbs. We were registered for the Central Vermont Cycling Tour last year, but that got rained out. We’ve been eager to get back up to the Montpelier area so when I saw that Onion River Sports was hosting an early season gravel ride, I signed us up. Thirty four miles, a few thousand feet of climbing and chocolate covered bacon… take my money!
Weather in Vermont can be fickle any time of the year, and April could bring snow or temps in the 70’s. On Friday, the day before the ride, temps were in fact in the low 70’s with some rain. Saturday morning, the temp had gone down to the low to mid 40’s, but fortunately with no rain. The sky LOOKED like it wanted to rain all morning, but that never happened.
Jean wasn’t going to start as she had been sick for almost two months and hadn’t been on the bike, but she caught some of my pre-ride excitement and was at the start line with me, our friends Jason, Megan, and David, and several hundred other people. But where was Glen?
Anyway, with several hundred people at the start line, there were several hundred different rider styles and bikes, from full-on touring fat bikes, to cargo bikes, to full suspension mountain bikes, to hybrids to “Bicycle Industry Approved” Gravel Bikes(R). Because, you know, only certain bikes have been designed and tested to be ridden on gravel.
We finally got the “go,” and en mass, we rolled out through downtown Montpelier to the hills. In fact, there wasn’t much of a “warm up,” as the first four miles were essentially up hill. In summary, I loved it.
We had a great time, and Onion River Sports did an amazing job. We’ll definitely be back next year, and we’ll be back in the area this summer as we try for the Central Vermont Cycling Tour again… See ya then!