American Adventures with Rick Norton

Rick Norton has contributed some of the most popular routes on FulGaz over the years, consistently producing routes on FulGaz that highlight the varied riding and rich colours of his region.

This week offers a collection of rides fo all tastes with hilly gravel trails, road loops, and some easy sessions to help you keep the legs turning over.

You can find all these rides under NEW in the FulGaz App.

ADK SARANAC TO AUSABLE RIVER VIA GILLESPIE CLIMB

We start on the Saranac River gently descending to Franklin Falls Pond and then Franklin Falls Dam (where the body of water is once again called the Saranac River on the other side). We gently climb Gillespie road before more aggressively climbing to meet the toll road to Whiteface Mountain. We do NOT climb Whiteface (that’s a different video!), instead enjoying a screaming 3 mile descent to the town of Wilmington! A flat 2 miles leads us to the West Branch of the Ausable River and our finish.

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24.87km
DISTANCE
00:45:18
DURATION
335m
ELEVATION

ADK LEWIS GRAVEL RIDE

This is a gravel and paved road mix near the small town of Lewis, NY in the Adirondacks. The start gently descends on gravel to the Boquet River. A short paved section takes you away from the river (and under the interstate) to a gently climbing gravel road. A series of paved roads leads you to the actual center of Lewis and starts you climbing to the high point of the ride. Then you take a pair of gravel roads to the high point on Wells Hill Rd. (the local mtn bike race turns right at the top to go over the top of the mountain via several water crossings). We start our descent (on gravel) before one final climb. The last 2 miles are all descending half on gravel and half on paved roads. If you’re bummed you didn't quite finish the loop (I ran out of battery!), do the ADK Keene gravel ride (that’s what I did!).

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25.18km
DISTANCE
01:06:09
DURATION
542m
ELEVATION

RECOVERY RIDE TO VANDERPOOL

This is filmed going east back into Virginia after a long day of climbing in WVa. We start near the bottom of the long first descent into a high mountain meadow (3100 ft) and after 2 meters of flat start our climb. 1.6 miles and 600 feet of climbing before we descend again into the 4 house town of Hightown. As the descent opens up you see the next ridge and the 4000 foot Monterey mtn. Luckily your ace filmer knows a way around this mountain so you get to finish with 8 miles of gently descending to the stop sign town of Vanderpool. After 80 miles up and down multiple big climbs you’ve earned it - enjoy!

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16.56km
DISTANCE
00:29:38
DURATION
221m
ELEVATION

STOKESVILLE STRADE GRAVEL COURSE

Stokesville is the campground base for access to many great mountain bike trails (just below the looming Reddish Knob Mtn from another video). Stokesville also hosts a gravel race right around the Strade Bianche in March. This film is 70% of that route (done twice for a 64 mile gravel race). This area is characterized by LOTS of farmland with a mix of gravel and paved roads and great views of the nearby mountains that form the WVa/Va border.

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29.88km
DISTANCE
01:06:45
DURATION
446m
ELEVATION

FALL COLORS PA GRAVEL

The gravel near the state borders of Pa and Md is characterized by a combination of open farmland, following streams, and occasional super steep rises. Though we start at Muddy Creek near some serious steeps, we mostly avoid the steeps for a longer gradual climb from the creek to the open farmland. What follows is a mixture of gravel roads along open farmland, gravel roads through the woods alongside accompanying streams, and the occasional twisty paved road to connect it all. Enjoy the near cloudless blue sky with burgeoning Fall colors and a more restrained pace.

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32.45km
DISTANCE
01:12:43
DURATION
505m
ELEVATION

ADK ROAD LOOP AROUND KEENE

Starting on a foot bridge across the Ausable River, we follow the river about 1 mile into the town of Keene. We quickly exit the town center to climb the steep 2 mile Hurricane road climb. The top of the climb is a fun twisting 4.5 mile road before a super fast 2 mile highway descent. Enjoy the next 5 miles of nearly flat roads mostly along the river. Turn across a one lane bridge over the river and climb for 1 mile (mostly on gravel) before a welcome descent back into town and along the river to the start. Enjoy the scenic ADK views despite some haze from the western wildfires.

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26.82km
DISTANCE
00:54:00
DURATION
458m
ELEVATION

FULTZ GAP GRAVEL CLIMB

Fultz Gap is a very remote gravel climb on the first ridge in West Virginia after crossing a taller ridge (10 miles earlier) that forms the border of Virginia and WVa. This climb has gained in popularity and folklore as Jeremiah Bishop has included it in his VERY tough Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. We start with a short descent along a fork of a branch of the Potomac River. Enjoy this flat because this climb kicks up in a series of ramps that will test your choice of gears and choice of lines through the sometimes bumpy and rough gravel. Your reward is a view only a few will have earned of a beautiful farm on top of the mountain and finally a brief glimpse of a steep paved descent on the other side

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7.26km
DISTANCE
00:25:45
DURATION
413m
ELEVATION

ADK RIVER TO RIVER RECOVERY

Starting on Haselton road next to the west branch of the Ausable River, we follow the river for about 1.5 miles before crossing it. We gently climb to highway 86 (part of the IM Lake Placid course). We take the twisting scenic Ausable road which takes us to the fork of the 2 branches in the town of AuSable Forks. We quickly cross another bridge (the east fork of the river) and climb along route 9R to a plateau with great views of the surrounding peaks. We finish with a fun 1 mile descent back to the river.

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25.70km
DISTANCE
00:46:26
DURATION
255m
ELEVATION