Credit: Lauren Danilek

What a day to finish.

After climbing the Lincoln Gap and descending easily to Bristol on Sunday, we easily found a campsite just outside town—and a comfortable one. And we went to bed thinking we’d wake up in the rain Monday morning but, after the sacrifice we made to the hill gods, they decided to show us some pity and hold off the rain until we got moving. And rain it did—essentially the entire ride back to Burlington. But the day was quick, the climbing was minimal, and the finish extremely bittersweet (literally—we found a creemee stand about a quarter mile from where we parked).

Credit: Lauren Danilek
Credit: Lauren Danilek

The whole trip, by the numbers:

  • Miles: 218
  • Elevation Gained: 18,310 feet
  • Little Free Libraries: 17
  • Covered Bridges: 7
  • Towns That End In -berry: 4
  • Brewery Stops: 9
  • Maple Creemees Eaten: 4

Our highs and lows for the trip as a whole:


Rose: “So much about trips like this is about spending time in the mountains, challenging yourself physically, drinking good beer, whatever. But for me it’s really just an excuse to spend some time getting closer to my friends. This team made this trip for me. We may not have been the fastest to ever do it, but we had the most fun.”

Bud: “We have so much great footage and a lot of fun stories from this trip that I can’t wait to share with people.”

Thorn: “I get that so much of the bikepacking ‘experience’ involves riding until you don’t want to, then slipping into some hidden patch of woods for the night, but man is that stressful. Not knowing exactly where you’re going to sleep, or if you have an idea, not knowing if it’s clear and flat and legal, was a major source of anxiety for me on this trip. Locking down more established spots, whether they’re actual campgrounds, known dispersed camping, or even friend’s couches, would be a much more relaxing way to do it.”

Best Beer: “We didn’t get a chance to stop at Hill Farmstead but we found a little bit of their beer at Three Penny Taproom: I loved their brown ale, ‘George.’ It made not getting to see the brewery hurt even more.”

Gear of the Trip: “When you’re riding 40 to 50 miles for five straight days, getting a good nights rest between sections is so critical. Our Big Agnes Fly Creek tents were such comfortable abodes night after night and really kept me sleeping well and waking up rested for another day of riding.”


Rose: “It’s a rare thing to get a group of people (that haven’t yet met in real life) together to take on a physical, multi-day challenge (while documenting ourselves at our not-so-finest moments) and actually have it work out. The rose of this trip for me was the way in which this group just flowed, rolled with whatever came our way, and maintained a positive attitude when things didn’t go as planned. It made everything else not so insurmountable; the physical challenge, the weather, not knowing where we were sleeping, we just took each thing that came our way and made the best of it. I felt lucky to be a part of a group like this.”

Bud: “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to the next one now. I’m excited to hear about a trip someone else has had on their radar or has been wanting to map out and figuring out how to make that happen. In the interim, maybe a small autumn bikepacking trip to integrate some of the stuff I’ve learned, particularly around packing and organization.”

Thorn: “My legs are pretty bruised and beat up, which is par for the course. I’m definitely giving my body some TLC this week.”

Best Beer: “My favorite beer from the trip had to be Zero Gravity’s Frankie, but that could be partly because it was our final beer of the trip. The sweet taste of victory.”

Gear of the Trip: “The Blackburn roll, frame, and seat bags. As a first big bikepacking trip for me, I was astounded that I could fit everything I needed for 5 days plus all the extra electronics stuff. My goal for next time is to organize better so I can maximize these compartments even more.”


Rose : “My Rose from the trip was actually gear related. I put a lot of time and effort into optimizing what I was carrying. I felt really proud that over the course of the week there was not one piece of gear that I was carrying that I wished I wasn’t and inversely nothing that I wasn’t carrying but wished I was. The bikepackers and backpackers will understand that feeling, nailing the gear set up is an accomplishment in itself.”

Bud: “We talked about this a bit at dinner and the AirBnb after the riding was done but my bud for after the trip is planning the next one. I feel like we all learned so much about how these trips can be set up and run. Perhaps something this winter? Stay tuned.”

Thorn: “Timing all the breweries and restaurants was the thorn of the trip for me. Whether it was too early, too late, or they were just closed that day, we missed a few places that were high on my list to try.”

Best Beer: “I told you that sours were my favorite, so it’s no surprise that my favorite beer of the trip was a Gose. I found this one really refreshing at our lunchtime pit stop to Lost Nation Brewing after riding in the sun all morning.”

Gear of the Trip: “I realized on the first day that not only was the Diamondback Haanjo a dream to pedal, but that I literally would not have been able to complete the trip with my own bike. Making the bike extremely mission critical.”


Rose: “Gaining more East Coast based adventure buds!”

Bud: “Having all these awesome biking photos to edit this week. There are so many I love already.”

Thorn: The post adventure hangover. I’m tired and a little bit sore everywhere.

Best Beer: “Prohibition Pig, they just know how to make a solid hoppy beer. All their IPAs were so good.”

Gear of the Trip: The Mountain Hardwear Kor AirShell—An unexpected necessity for the descents and the slightly chilly mornings. They weren’t insulating of course, but that cut from the wind was so critical, and the buttery soft fabric made it that much more enjoyable.”


Watch for lots more from the Green Mountain Gravel Growler, coming soon.

Credit: Lauren Danilek