Favorite routes of celebrities and local leaders

There is no doubt that Vermont is an idyllic place for cyclists. With hundreds of miles of country roads, small towns, plenty of bike shops and beautiful views, locals and visitors alike take to the roads and trails.

But did you know that some of our local leaders and celebrities are also bike freaks?

Governor Phil Scott, New York Times best-selling novelist Chris Bohjalian, Cindi Wight, director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, and Chapin Spencer, director of the Burlington Department of Public Works, shared their favorite bike rides around the ‘State with the Free Press, Just in Time for Summer.

Don’t forget to pack water and snacks and stop for a cream when you need it – these Vermonters love the long drives.

Governor Phil Scott

When he was running for re-election as Lieutenant Governor in 2012, Scott rode the 14 counties of Vermont. He’s known for his love of outdoor sports and racing, and his favorite Vermont bike ride is certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Scott likes to take the Vermont 12 north from Montpelier to Lake Elmore and take a ride around the lake. It’s about 22 miles from Montpellier to Lake Elmore, about a 30 minute drive.

Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian poses with his bike.  The Vermont novelist likes to ride a bike in his spare time.

One of Vermont’s resident novelists, Bohjalian posts photos of his dog Jesse and Vermont snapshots of his bike rides on his twitter regularly.

His favorite route is from Middlebury to Kingsland Bay State Park, which is about 18 to 20 miles one way, depending on the roads he takes.

“The north/south roads, including Quaker Village Road, South Maple Street in Vergennes, Sand Road and Botsford, offer scenic views and little traffic,” Bohjalian said by email.

“I also love riding to the Lake Champlain Bridge and then heading north along Lake Road with its masterful views of the lake and the Adirondacks,” he said. “If I’m doing thirty kilometers or more, I always add a stop at Lulu’s Ice Cream or the Laundry in Vergennes for a basil (or seriously chocolate) ice cream or the chocolate coconut banana bread from the Laundry.”

cindi wight

Cindi Wight, director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, poses with her gravel bike.  Wight owns five bikes and is an avid year-round rider.

Wight has a bike for every occasion: a gravel bike, a road bike, a mountain bike, a fat bike, and a city bike that she uses to haul vegetables home from her community garden.

She decided that if she had to choose a favorite road bike route, it would be in the Champlain Islands. Because she lives in the New North End, it’s easy to take the Burlington Greenway, get to Causeway, take the Local Motion ferry, and get to South Hero.

“I recommend cycling clockwise around the island and then heading to Allenholm Farms on the way back to the Bike Ferry for some delicious cream!” Wight said over email.

Cindi Wight, director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, poses with her bicycle at her community garden lot.  Wight owns five bikes and is an avid year-round rider.

Chapin Spencer

Chapin Spencer smiles in front of the Local Motion bike ferry.  Spencer's favorite bike ride in Vermont is the Triple Ferry Ride, an 82-mile round trip that runs up and down the Vermont and New York shores of Lake Champlain.

Spencer’s route is the most extreme, but may be a lake-lover’s favorite. He calls it the “Triple-Ferry Ride” because, well, it requires three ferry rides.

Spencer starts on the Island Line Trail, uses the Local Motion ferry on the causeway, crosses South Hero and takes the ferry to Plattsburg. It then goes down the coast of Lake Champlain in New York to Essex, New York, the ferry to Charlotte and back on the roads to Burlington. That’s a total of 82 miles, which could be cut in half, Spencer said, if the Burlington-Port Kent ferry is in operation.

After:The Burlington ferry is closed again for the 2022 season. Will it ever reopen?

“Definitely a full day now!” Spencer said via email.

Chapin Spencer's favorite ride in Vermont is the Triple Ferry Ride, which is marked on the map.  It is 82 miles long.

Contact urban change reporter Lilly St. Angelo at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @lilly_st_ang

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