Few Addison County views are more breathtaking than the golden sun dipping down the backs of the Adirondacks at sunset, veiling the rolling farmland and surface of Lake Champlain in a golden cloak of luminescence.
One of my favorite times to head out on a north-south bike loop is during this period. Not only is the air a bit cooler, but you find yourself in the center of numerous sunset vistas as you breeze on by.
This week’s Weekly Rider features a Middlebury to Vergennes loop called sunset loop.
Length: 25.2 miles
Average Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes - 2 hours 45 minutes
This route, which runs through Middlebury, Weybridge, Waltham and Vergennes, can be ridden from either direction and presents many opportunities for variation. Introduced to me by local bike phenom Bill Roper, who heads Middlebury's Orton Family Foundation, this is one of my favorite loops to ride when I have about two hours to spare.
Accessible to cyclists of all abilities using any style of bike, this ride leaves Middlebury with a fun series of whoop-dee-doos. Start this ride heading north on Morgan Horse Farm and roll up across the dam on Otter Creek and onto Pearson Road. Continue on Pearson Road and coast nice and easy for two sweet miles down Green Street into Vergennes.
Once in Vergennes you can stop for a brick-fire oven croissant at Vergennes Laundry, some spectacular chocolate at Daily Chocolate, or bike supplies at Little City Cycles — or just keep on cruising back south on Maple Street. Follow Maple Street south up a little hill, and don’t forget to admire the sunset to your right, which overlooks Lake Champlain and the northern head of Snake Mountain.
Maple Street turns into Hallock Road and you’ll pedal to Route 17. At Route 17 cross over onto Quaker Village Road and climb two miles up to the center of Weybridge, where you’ll encounter the monument emblazoned across Monument Farms logo.
Bear left at Weybridge Road and cruise into Middlebury just in time for dinner.