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2018 Green Mountain Rally

Sunday, November 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Victor Cruz #91428

There we were, in the upper reaches of Vermont’s National Forest, home of gap country, where the chain of green mountains is bisected by ladders running east to west, roads officially posted as “scenic.” We have Appalachian Gap, Lincoln Gap, Middlebury Gap, and Brandon Gap, where the Green Mountain Rally is held every September for the past 36 years. What a location.

At a time when rally attendance is on a decline, this BMW Vermont club-sponsored event was sold out with, 263 motorcyclists, a third of whom hailed from French-speaking Canada. There was live music, early riser hot coffee and a clutch of four-bed cabins. The rally even showcased a French-Canadian band. Camp Thorpe in Goshen isn’t part of the Vermont Park system, but a private nonprofit summer camp for children and adults with disabilities. With acres of soft beds, it was a challenge deciding where to pitch your tent. Day temps were in the 60s with nighttime lows in the 40s.

This year an award was given to a rider who’s gone to every event, though he seemed to forget his certificate in the newly built, post and beam Hathaway Pavilion. Possibly the food was a distraction: we were fed two excellent breakfasts of bacon, sausage, pancakes and scrambled eggs along with never-go-hungry dinners of chipotle chili, tiki masala tofu, roasted chicken, baked potato, corn on the cob, baked beans, and salad. These self-described “home-cooked meals” were finished off with fingers diving eagerly for the trays of fresh-baked peanut butter and still warm chocolate chip cookies, soft at the centers, crispy at the edges.

Riding Vermont is spectacular, with hardly any traffic and good to great river-following roads to write home about. I’ve been riding up here for 18 years, and it always surprises. The bovines lumber on rolling fields among swarths of blond, beige and golden grasses and wide open patches of dried wild flowers. A red barn suddenly emerges, alive with two horses ringed by a white trailing fence. A monarch butterfly hits your helmet, and you wake up riding in a dreamscape. Call it pastoral until the Remus on my naked K 1200 R cracks the serenity. It’s not too much stimulus or too little fanfare; it’s just right.

It’s an entire state custom-made for riding, complete with small town general stores, the kind with floorboards that creak when you walk through, offering maple syrup cones for a dollar. You can lose yourself in Vermont by just following the artisanal cheese trail, or visit Poorhouse Pies in Underhill, an open shack that trusts you enough to leave the right amount of change before your gobble your fill of strawberry rhubarb. As Jack Riepe would say, the roads here have “more dips than an ice cream stand.” Although the showers could be fancier, someone said how MOV’s Green Mt. Rally is the “gold standard” among campouts. He spoke the truth.

We rode to The Alchemist brewery in Stowe to pick up some souvenirs, then rode to Frank’s BMW dealership near Burlington. Route 100 is the default, but not the only route. Take a loop north from Royalton on 110 then south on 14 from Barre. Incomparable Vermont. September is a perfect time of year, when vacationers have gone back to school and the leaf-peepers are still in cocoon, too much green still left unspent for those critters. To tap MOV visit bmwmov.wildapricot.org.

Fun Facts

  • Oldest Male Rider: Bob Pipes, 83
  • Youngest Male Rider: Brian Guntharp, 22
  • Long Distance Solo Male: Bob Smith, 1,310
  • Oldest Female Rider: Muriel Farrington, 77
  • Youngest Female Rider: Samantha Wilkins, 21
  • Long Distance Solo Female: Melissa LaVangie, 1,100
  • Youngest Passenger: Glenlivet Burke, 2
  • Long Distance 2-up: Richard and Barbara Piela, 1,850
  • Long Distance Sidecar: Ron and Jackie Jones, 1,115
  • Oldest BMW: 1966 R 60/2

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