Chris Meacham at Rooted Vermont. Photos: Angelica Dixon and Meghan McMahon
Chris Meacham (Doylestown) joined team friend Matt Moosa (Charlotte, NC) to take on the eighty-mile, 8,000 vertical feet, "Sip of Sunshine" course at the Rooted Vermont p/b Untapped Gravel Race in Richmond, VT (just about 15 miles southeast of Burlington in the famed Cochrane Ski Area). We last saw Matt in 2018 when he appeared as a guest rider for us at the Bucks County Classic, but since then he's gone on to fame and success with his own line of MoosePacks custom frame, handlebar and other types of bicycle bags and accessories.
In the words of Chris: "Rooted Vermont is a weekend long event to pay homage to gravel roads, cycling, Vermont community, and everything in between. The event starts on Friday night with a kickoff dinner and drinks at a local restaurant that this is formally for vendors but many riders also attend. Saturday is the first day of the expo at Cochran Ski area. From 9 AM through the afternoon there are various group rides leaving from the expo to 'taste-test' the gravel course.
There was a wide variety of businesses at the expo that left little to be desired with a selection of cool bikes from Cannondale, filtered water from Bivo Performance Water Bottles, drinks for purchase by PK Coffee and Lawsons Brewery, pizza from Farm-to-Fork Fitness Adventures, and maple creemees (VT soft-served ice cream) from Untapped Slopeside Syrup.
They fired the gun at 7:30 AM and within 5 minutes of the start there was a climb that reorganized the field. This climb enacted the 'mullet protocol' which is a term coined throughout the weekend meaning 'Business at the front, party at the back.' I stayed with the leaders until one of the Class 4 Jeep roads proved too rough for my road bike. At about mile 60 I met up with my compadre Matt and we partied until the finish at mile 80. I am really happy with where my fitness is at this point in the season. I think I could’ve raced more competitively if I had a proper gravel racing bike and possibly pre-rode some sections of the course. I think a few of us were surprised by how rocky a true 'Class 4 Vermont road' can be. I absolutely can not wait to race Rooted again. As long as this event is around it will be on my calendar. It’s more than just a bike race, the whole event makes you feel like a local for the weekend. You should consider the event too!" 2021 Rooted Vermont results are here.
Chris Meacham on a traditional, "paved" road at Rooted, VT. Photos: Angelica Dixon and Meghan McMahon