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Green Mountain Stage Race
Old 09-02-2008, 07:40 AM   #1
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Green Mountain Stage Race

I spent Labor Day weekend around Sugarbush, VT; refereeing at the Green Mountain Stage Race (bicycles). Having spent the first 32 years of my life wandering I don't really consider myself a native of any particular state. But I have to say, for all the hype about the beauty of VT, I didn't really think it had anything over Central PA. Except the steepness of the ski resorts.

All things considered it was a great race. Only one hospitalized. Talk about crazy!! These guys (and gals) are riding on 3/4" tires at 120 psi for 65 miles one day and then 77 miles the next day. They come screaming down VT 17 from the Appalachian Gap at 50 mph on those tiny little tires. I have to work my motorcycle to keep up with them. Not so much the speed as the leaning for the turns. A couple of turns actually "energized" me. (A nice way to say scared.)

I don't know HOW people live up there. There is NO industry to speak of, outside of tourist crap.

And how do moose know to use the moose crossings? I saw two moose my first day up there. And each of them was within the bounds of a moose crossing sign area.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
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I think Pennsylvania is pretty nice too.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LeatherneckPA View Post
I spent Labor Day weekend around Sugarbush, VT; refereeing at the Green Mountain Stage Race (bicycles). Having spent the first 32 years of my life wandering I don't really consider myself a native of any particular state. But I have to say, for all the hype about the beauty of VT, I didn't really think it had anything over Central PA. Except the steepness of the ski resorts.
I live in VT now but when I lived in MD, my wife and I used to go to the Endless Mountains in PA occasionally for hiking. (Is that "Central" PA?) There was a nice little town called Eagles Mere that we discovered - it actually reminded us a lot of New England - and we would stay there and do our hiking. Very nice.

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All things considered it was a great race. Only one hospitalized. Talk about crazy!! These guys (and gals) are riding on 3/4" tires at 120 psi for 65 miles one day and then 77 miles the next day. They come screaming down VT 17 from the Appalachian Gap at 50 mph on those tiny little tires. I have to work my motorcycle to keep up with them. Not so much the speed as the leaning for the turns. A couple of turns actually "energized" me. (A nice way to say scared.)
My son-in-law, who used to live in Burlington but has since moved is big into cycling. A couple of years ago one of his friends from CO came out to participate in the race. We watched the Criterium in Burlington - can't imagine taking those corners at those speeds!

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don't know HOW people live up there. There is NO industry to speak of, outside of tourist crap.
VT, much like lots of PA, is pretty agricultural. You no doubt saw a few cows. Major industries include IBM in Essex Junction (largest employer in the state), General Dynamics in Burlington, GE Healthcare in S. Burlington (formerly IDX) and a number of more niche businesses (Burton Snowboards, Ben and Jerry's, for example.) VT, for reasons I don't completely understand, is home to the largest number of "captive insurance companies" of any state in the Union. But you are right that, compared to places like PA where there heavy industry in the big cities, VT has relatively little industry. One reason so many people like it.

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how do moose know to use the moose crossings? I saw two moose my first day up there. And each of them was within the bounds of a moose crossing sign area.
I've wondered that, too. You saw more moose in your short stay than I have in 3 years here (I've seen one and I spend a lot of time hiking in the woods.) Never saw one during 3 years living in Maine.

Somebody once described PA to me as "Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other end and Alabama in-between."

Lots of civilian government employees I knew from a location near Baltimore actually retired to PA - just across the state line from MD - due to the fact that federal pensions are not taxed there.
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:24 PM   #4
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how do moose know to use the moose crossings? I saw two moose my first day up there. And each of them was within the bounds of a moose crossing sign area.
The moose don't cross where the signs are, they put the signs where the moose cross.

Moose.jpg

The text says: Warning Motorists: More Moose on the Way
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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I think Pennsylvania is pretty nice too.
Speaking as a Pittsburgh native, you'll have to get back to us on that in Jan-Feb...
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:27 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by friar1610 View Post
My son-in-law, who used to live in Burlington but has since moved is big into cycling. A couple of years ago one of his friends from CO came out to participate in the race. We watched the Criterium in Burlington - can't imagine taking those corners at those speeds!
Like I said, THEY ARE CRAZY!!

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Somebody once described PA to me as "Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other end and Alabama in-between."
Guess I'd like AL, if it weren't for those hot, muggy summers. I HATE hot summers.

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Lots of civilian government employees I knew from a location near Baltimore actually retired to PA - just across the state line from MD - due to the fact that federal pensions are not taxed there.
YEP!! BIG factor in deciding to stay in PA.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:30 AM   #7
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Guess I'd like AL, if it weren't for those hot, muggy summers. I HATE hot summers.

That's one of the primary reasons we left MD - I'd rather put up with cold, snowy winters than the kinds of summers where you're sweating a minute after you walk outside. Are the summers fairly cool in central PA?
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:27 PM   #8
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We are not crazy. We just have skin that grow back. Though I must say that washing whole-body road rashes can get a bit uncomfortable.
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:04 AM   #9
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Are the summers fairly cool in central PA?
Mostly they are OK. But we do get a couple of weeks around July/August that can be just brutal. My definition of brutal: anytime the humidity is equal to or greater than the temperature.That's when I always end up re-evaluating my plan to fill in the swimming pool and put in a garage.

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We are not crazy. We just have skin that grow back. Though I must say that washing whole-body road rashes can get a bit uncomfortable.
This turned out to be the perfect combination of poster and content!! After my race was over I jumped on the back of another race and did the course again to pick up stragglers. By tailing the last bike on the course I could tell the stand the course was clear and all riders were in that were going to be in. For the last four miles of Saturday I followed some poor schlep who was literally riding with his butt hanging out. He'd apparently crashed and skidded on his butt. There were no shorts left to cover his cheeks (or rather, hamburger), BUT he finished. That was important because it was a stage race. Can't race tomorrow if you don't finish today.
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