- Bob LoCicero
Ride Vermont Class 4 Roads With Respect
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Vermont’s class-4 roads are a treasure for those seeking adventure in their adventure riding. They offer challenge, access to remote areas and a whole lot of fun for dual-sport and adventure bike riders.
But, these areas are sensitive. They are frequently in residential areas, and despite being public, are subject to being taken away swiftly by annoyed locals. Excessive noise, speeding, and generally acting like an idiot can ruin it for everyone.
If it has been rainy and the trails are wet and waterlogged, don’t ride muddy sections. Doing so ruins the trail, causes erosion, creates ruts and threatens access.
These roads are not maintained and conditions change rapidly. What was an easy section can be much more difficult in wet weather. Trees fall down, holes appear and rocks move. Do not expect things to be exactly as they were the last time you saw them. Road descriptions on Motorcycle-Vermont reflect the condition of the road when we last road them. Your condition will likely vary.
When using a class-4 road, please ride respectfully. Use the “when-in-town-throttle-down” mantra as you approach. You may need to ride across someone’s lawn (seriously) to get to the public right of way access to the class-4 section. Children, chickens, dogs, old people or middle-aged men may be in the road.
Someone might call the selectboard and complain. Local selectboards control whether these roads continue to exist and that annoyed farmer shaking his fist at you might be the selectboard chair -- you just don’t know.
Ride respectfully. The state-wide speed limit on gravel roads -- unless otherwise posted -- is 35 mph. Frequently, it is lower than 35 and is likely to be 25 or 30 mph. Expect two-way traffic. The traffic traveling the other way could be another motorcycle, an ATV, a monster truck, a donkey, a hiker or a moose. You just don’t know, so expect it and ride slower than you can, so you can stop.
If you encounter a horse, slow to a stop and turn off your motorcycle. Allow the horse rider to acknowledge you and follow their lead. Usually, they will thank you and pass-by thinking how wonderful motorcycle riders are.