Starting the gravel/dirt road/adventure/DGAF season the right way. #VOMAR

So it's April 27th, 2017. That is 1 month and 1 day after the Vermont Overland Maple Adventure Ride that for the sake of saving space and time, we will call VOMAR. Which also happens to be what Peter (Vollers, the promoter) calls it. So good, glad that's settled.

It is also the day before my mother's birthday. Happy birthday mom!

The winter, for me, dragged on endlessly. This was exasperated by the constant colds (#newdadlife) that I seemed to have and the very real flu-like illness that I was struck down with for what seems like an eternity.

Anyhow, back to VOMAR, first what you need to know, is that is the defacto "start" to the gravel season here in the Northeast or at the very least New England. It takes place at the end of March, which truth be told, is a BOLD time of year to hold a road/dirt road event in northern New England. And as luck we have it, we were graced with absolutely sublime late winter/early spring conditions for VOMAR. What does that look like? Let me spell it out for you:

  • Conditions that are cold, but oppressive. 25+F. Toasty!
  • Sun! Sometimes, maybe. Occasionally if you glanced up at the right time.
  • Low winds. Thank you baby cheez-its!
  • Frozen dirt roads covered in recent sand, you know, for grip. On ONE side of the mountain.
  • Frozen ice-pack ruts on the "pave" sectors, provided by a livery of Land Rovers and other overland equipped vehicles.
  • A wonderful slurry of mud, slush, ice, and near freezing run-off which here in Vermont we just call "Mud Season".
  • And the most power zapping of them all, dirt roads that have been inexplicably smeared with a thick coating of chunky peanut butter.

That pretty much sums it up.

Mrs. KOA, the peach and myself all stayed at the Top Acres Farm which was just outside of Woodstock. You can find them on AirBnB, they're super nice, the place is huge and the setting is pristine. Fortunately, Top Acres was at the TOP of a hill (go figure) so I thought it would be fun to ride the ~10 miles from the farm down to the start of VOMAR. This, shockingly, turned out to be a pretty good idea. It was downhill the first bit, then I just followed RT 106 to RT 12 to Pomfret and bingo, there I was.

On Wednesday night prior to VOMAR, I installed a Schwalbe G-One tire on the rear wheel, set-up tubeless. The same night I fought and wrestled and argued with a Soma Cazadaro to set it up tubeless on my front wheel. Soma says this is not recommended, but I say hog wash! Actually, based on how difficult it was to get set-up, I would agree, it's not recommended.

In the end, both tires performed admirably, I rolled out at the very front of VOMAR, only to find myself drifting backwards on the first climb. Come to find, these #dadlegs are quite heavy.

So listen, dirt road season is upon us; stop taking it so seriously, pack a sandwich, pack a flask, call some friends and go get lost.

I'm slowly catching up on things... Next up: Ronde Rosey, Rasputitsa, modding a fender to fit a Slate and starting Recon for #IRR6