I'm hosting a friend from Georgia early next week and we're hoping to ride a bit on the Puppy Dog Route. I'm having a hard time finding info on the route. GPS waypoints would be GREAT. Anybody have any info for me? Thanks
E-mail to friends in Georgia on this adventure. Thought I'd share it with y'all:
Had a nice day with Bert traipsing the dirt and tarmac back roads of Vermont. A couple of things missing, though..............you two! Bert and I met up in Gardner, MA. The meeting time was set for 0900. We were both there by 0800! lol. Nice ride west on Rt 2 (Mohawk Trail) to Greenfield MA. Our intention was to ride "The Puppy Dog Route" north through Vermont. It's a route of mostly dirt, through the state. We only had written directions that were very involved, so we decided to just set the GPS for Silver Lake ( on the Puppy Dog) and chose the option of "shortest route" figuring it would take us on those dirt roads, even if not the Puppy Dog. We both agreed that the adventure would be what it is and that was fine with us. Mis following the GPS immediately found us on I-91 SOUTH! LOLOL. The adventure had already begun! Off at the next exit and a turn around. The followed GPS route took us on a maze of roads through Greenfield and then into New Hampshire.....all on tarmac. And hour into that and we decided, **** the GPS ( Patty, please excuse my French! ), we gotta head west into Vermont! We found our way across the Connecticut River and onto Rt 9 west in Vermont, a very nice and very paved road. Half way through the state, we again took GPS directions and our own whims and headed north. Found some nicely groomed dirt roads, a few dead ends and some nice paved country roads to Winchester Vt. It was about 10 hrs in the saddle, so we decided it was time to rest our weary bones, take a room and make ready for a good meal. We got a room at a local Quality Inn half way between Woodstock and White River Junction. Then headed back to the very pretty little town of Woodstock for a nice gourmet pizza dinner. No beers for us, cause we had to ride back. We took our libation to the restaurant/pub next to the inn when we got back. All in all, was a fun day of single track camaraderie!
Our second day was a total washout with a steady rain falling on arising for the day. The decision was made to abort the day's planned explorations and head on to our respective homes. It took us in opposite directions so we parted company after a coffee at a nearby DD. The steady rain turned into a deluge with many parts of New England reporting 2+" of rain. My ride found me on I-91 south where my face shield quickly fogged up to blinding me. Flipped it up and my wrap around glasses (prescription) quickly fogged up, blinding me. Pulled off the highway and decided to try it again without any face shield or glasses. Couldn't read the road signs and the construction signs were the most concerning of that. So, I found my way off the interstate, again, and brought out a pair of standard glasses (prescription) that didn't wrap around, and so didn't fog nearly as much. Rode much of the way back on the secondary Route 5 south that parallels the interstate. So, had to then contend with cross and oncoming traffic. Tried the interstate again just north of Northampton when the rain was lighter, but soon the deluge again began and I dropped back onto 5. Got home around 11am - 5 hours in the saddle. The raingear held up pretty well. The Aerostitch three finger rain gloves failed miserably. I think having had the gauntlets OVER the rain jacket allowed water to work it's way down to my summer gloved hands. Next time, maybe put the gauntlets over the riding jacket, but UNDER the raincoat. Suiting up is a major PIA! Made me want a new Aerostitch Roadcrafter one piece or Arthur's Klim suit! Still, water always seems to find a way in, no?
Anyway, the bike performed flawlessly. Held the road rock solid steady and certainly was more competent than the rider. I was very concerned for Bert on the DR. No windscreen, totally open to the cruel elements. We traded rides for our short ride back to the motel from dinner in Woodstock, VT, and Arthur you're right on the money in your description of the DR ride. It's like riding on a witches broomstick! I was VERY relieved to get Bert's text that he made it back to Hamilton safely. He's an awesome rider.
I'd meant to take pics, but never got to it. The only pics were ones that Bert took at dinner and texted to ya. Bert, when you have a moment, would you please send those pics to my e-mail address?
I'm already looking forward to our next single track adventure together, whenever and wherever!
It's comforting to read that I'm not the only one who hasn't figured out the details of how to program a GPS. So far, I've only used the (damn) thing once on the Wee, got disgusted and reverted to pulling over and looking at my (crappy) AAA maps and (way better) DeLorme state atlas.
I had a similar riding-in-a-downpour experience a few weeks ago. The rain was coming down so heavy that I had to lift my visor up enough so I could see (the 'wiper blade' thingie on my FirstGear glove was of NO help whatsoever!) and then my riding glasses got drenched but I continued on down the highway albeit slowly. Fortunately it was raining so hard that the cars in front of me were creeping along but then I got paranoid that somebody in a car behind me wouldn't see me. Was kicking myself for not heeding the threat of the dark storm clouds and taking shelter beneath an underpass a few miles back. Motoring onward, I reasoned that finding my way home on a side road might be better given that overhanging trees might lessen the rainfall. WRONG! And, now I had to contend with road flooding, to boot!
What did I learn? #1. Be sure to routinely clean and Pledge my visor; #2. Look for better gloves with an effective wiper blade thingie; #3. Respect Mother Nature and seek cover when nasty storm clouds threaten; #4. Get my will in order.
I'm wanting to do the 'Puppy Dog', too, and it's apparent that if I do attempt it, I should track down that young Tiger-riding fellow I met on a ride in May who expressed interest. He's some sort of computer professional and certainly he'll know how to program a GPS!
Ya, the riding in the rain adventures are exhillarating but no fun! I got one of those pinlock visors for my Arai XD3 - when it's raining THAT hard it didn't help at all. I'm gonna try some spray or wipe on anti-fog stuff next.
You can access written directions for the Puppy Dog online by doing a Google search of it. It's some BMW club that does it. There were "GPX" files available, but my puter won't read them. I dunno what they are but was hoping they'd be waypoints I could program in to my gps. That didn't work out!
Perhaps we can convince our friend, Beemerjim, to take us on the Puppy Dog this fall. Ride safe.
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