Category Archives: roads

Green Again

Spring always creeps slowly into the winter-brown Vermont hills and then explodes. This, the other foliage season, a riot of green, seems to arrive in the space of three days. And in the space of two weeks we go from skiing (bottom photo, Mt. Mansfield on April 22nd), to plowing (top, East Montpelier), to bicycling, paddling and mowing the lawn. Summer’s so short it’s a good thing that when spring finally gets here it pounces.

 

Also posted in farming, kayaking, mountain biking, mountains, rivers, Skiing, Snow, Spring, Vermont, water

Biking Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands

Two generations and a Croatian flag in the town of Stari Grad on the island of Hvar in Croatia’s Dalmatian islands. I had the good fortune last week to be traveling there with a Vermont Bicycle Tours group. Tourism in Croatia, on the rise in the 1980s, evaporated with war in the 1990s, but it is booming now. It’s no wonder: the clear, blue water of the Adriatic, a sunny and mild climate (even in September), stunning scenery and cityscapes, architecture that dates to the Roman Empire and earlier, fascinating Mediterranean culture and cuisine and people who are for the most part very friendly, despite the turmoil of the past 20 years. I met these two after following a man hauling grapes in a motorized cart through the narrow cobblestone streets and into his konoba (wine cellar). Below: a view typical of the islands — Pucisca on the island of Brac; a resident of the Brac hilltop town of Skrip, from which the limestone to make Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace in Split was quarried; VBT cyclists in action; and building with stone on Brac. Limestone  is everywhere — there’s far more stone than soil —and everywhere it’s in use, from pathways to walls, terraces, roofs, tiles and virtually every building. Vineyards and olive trees are everywhere too. Lesson learned: It’s not a good idea to eat an olive directly off a tree. Click here for a gallery from the trip.

Also posted in Bicycling, Croatia, Europe, exercise, farming, Travel

RAGBRAI 2

 

More from the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, in all its glory: Above, a mountain bike stunt rider at the bike expo, Sioux Center. Below, they got the color scheme just right at Mid-State Milling in Clemons; sustenance on Day One near Sioux Center — all egg sales to benefit the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra; and knocked out in Webster City, despite (or because of?)  the eggs, the bacon, the pork chops, the multiplicity of pies, the walking tacos and the watermelon. Bottom, buena vista in Buena Vista. If you want to see the world’s largest popcorn ball, the Obama-Romney dunk tank, and polkaing bike shorts in the Czech Village, click here for even more from RAGBRAI! And a RAGBRAI video is here.

 

Also posted in agriculture, alternative energy, Bicycling, farming, Food, Iowa, People, RAGBRAI, Travel

RAGBRAI!

Every July for 40 years the Des Moines Register and a legion of volunteers have put together a little event called the Register‘s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, better known as RAGBRAI, a week-long bicycle ride across the roughly 500-mile-wide state. It started with two Register employees and a few hangers-on and has grown into an Iowa tradition and a bicycling legend that this year drew 10,000 registered riders and perhaps 5,000 more unregistered ones from every state in the country and 15 foreign nations. It’s a tradition Iowans have embraced completely. It is gigantic, well-run and crazy. This year three of the seven days were above 100 degrees, which only added to the craziness. My friends Chip Stone and John Bollard and I rode it last week.  I will post more images and a gallery as I edit my way through them. Please feel free to Facebook or otherwise spread the link. Thanks! Above: sunrise on one hot morning — when the temperature’s going to hit 103 degrees, people start riding around 4:30 or 5 a.m.  Below: traffic on a rolling section of Iowa farmland (almost all of the route is closed to traffic other than bikes); an idea of the kind of Heartland food riders can get along the way; and some of the folks who make RAGBRAI what it is. More to come.

Also posted in Bicycling, Colors, Iowa, mountain biking, RAGBRAI

Spring Turns a Corner

In the Vermont hills, we’re finally moving from the gray browns of March into the soft green pyrotechnics of Spring: East Montpelier and Calais roads, and one beautiful but unfortunate ruffed grouse, on the road, Calais.

 

Also posted in Colors, Spring, Vermont

Night Snow

Snow-covered road at night, Albany, VT.

Also posted in black & white, Night, silhouette, Snow, Vermont, Weather, Winter