PUTNEY, Vt. – Sunday, Sept. 24 is the date for this year’s West Hill Grinder, organized by the West Hill Shop in Putney. Three different gravel-road biking loops will offer a variety of rural challenges for intermediate and advanced cyclists. Routes ranging from 19-39 miles will wind through scenic Westminster, Athens, Brookline, and Putney on town dirt roads, class-4 woods roads, and Pinnacle Association hiking trails, with a bit of pavement here and there. The West-West Loop is the easiest and shortest ride on packed dirt roads without technical challenges. There are bailout points on all routes if a ride must be shortened.
The ride starts at 10 or 11 a.m. depending on the chosen route. Both the start and finish will be at High Meadows Farm in Putney, Vt, which offers water, facilities, protected seating, and onsite parking. Individual, student, and family rates include an after-event lunch catered by John Labine of Taco Barn. Labine’s food cart is a familiar feature at the Brattleboro area farmers’ market on Saturdays.
The 2017 Grinder is a fundraising thank-you from Diny and Jim Sweitzer, owners of the West Hill Shop, to the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association for “creating and maintaining an incredible resource of trails in Putney, Westminster, Athens, Grafton, and Brookline and for recently
renovating the cabin at the Pinnacle overlook.” The Pinnacle Association’s 25-mile trail system runs from Putney Mountain to Grafton.
For information on the routes, bike recommendations, equipment requirements, prices, food, as well as registration, visit www.bikereg.com and search for West Hill Grinder. Or go to www.westhillshop.com/about/group-rides-pb103.htm. For questions, call the West Hill Shop at 802-387-5718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The West Hill Shop’s Facebook page will give updates on routes and announce any changes responding to weather conditions. Directions and information about High Meadows Farm may be found at www.highmeadowsfarm.com.
This adventurous gravel-road ride is a great way to see really different and beautiful sections of the area while supporting an organization that helps to conserve land and make many of the area’s rural features accessible to hikers and bikers. For information about the Pinnacle Association, visit www.windmillhillpinnacle.org.