Wednesday, July 16, 2014

October Mountain Gravel Grinder: The Flat Part

This section of the ride was from the October Forest Camp Ground to beginning of Schemmerhorn Road which is where the original route was supposed to go but after looking at it up close and seeing that it was washed out we decided to go around.  The dirt starts where our course in the map above makes essentially a U-Turn and up to and a little beyond it's a good ride but then the conditions turn progressively worse until you pop out onto pavement.

The Flat Part from Mark on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Riding with Elliot: Tandeming Trumbull

After boating with the cousins from Texas we headed down to Trumbull to spend the night at Elliot & Brodie's grandmother's house and I brought the tandem with me because I promised Elliot that we would go riding together.  Our initial plan was to do the railtrail but we were short on time so we rode 5 miles in the neighborhood.  I had to borrow's Will's helmet because I had left mine at home, which meant that later I had to drive back to Newtown and retrieve it along with some other important things that I forgot.  Elliot once again, had a blast!

Monday, July 14, 2014

October Mountain Gravel Grinder

Will and I decided to drive up early Sunday morning for Parent's Weekend at Camp Chimney Corners in Becket, MA to ride some gravel roads.  Both our daughters go to camp there and our wives were already up for Mom's weekend.  Sunday is when Fathers and the rest of the family can visit and we were supposed to be a the camp around 12 noon.  

Getting there around 8 AM would give us 4 hours of riding a 50 mile Gravel Grinder I planned out with the help of a friend at the Berkshire Cycling Association, who is also putting on a the Fall Foliage Gravel Grinder or F2G2 this fall.  Unfortunately, we arrived around 8:15 am and didn't start riding until 8:40 which meant we needed to cut out some of the original course and trim it down to 40 miles.  The original course is marked in the map below in green and what we rode is in red.

When Will came up a few years ago for Parent's weekend he was exploring around and found a gravel road that went all the way to Lee, MA, so when we came out on Route 8 our route turned west just after the Otis Poultry Farm, instead we headed north and picked up Tyringham Road, which was dirt, and then took George Cannon, also dirt, which has a fantastic dirt road descent.

George Cannon from Mark on Vimeo.

The video is a little long, 4 minutes, because we are still climbing but starting at 1 minute 50 seconds we start descending and it's a wild ride!  At the end of this road is where things got really confusing because the Garmin kept trying to re-route us back on to the original course which at this point was the other direction. While this ride was not as long as a Populaire or even close to a true Randoneer, with all the course changes made it almost seem like we were wandering in the Berkshires by bike.  In German this would be called a Radwanderung (pronouced rat - vahnderung).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Frame bag for the Randommuter

Perfect timing!  My old frame bag/top tube bag died on me the other day and this arrived.  When I bought the Cross Check at Christmas the seller threw in a frame bag and while it seemed cool I was pretty satisfied with the one that I was already using.  Not to mention it was camo and I have had enough camo.  So, it never got used.  I even contemplated selling it on eBay but never got around to it.

Not sure how it came about but the seller of the bike offered to make me a new in my favorite color, blue.  I sent him some additional requests to enhance the versatility and he just sent back the finished product!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

This week in Bike Commuting

I finished Week 28 with three commutes, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  I didn't commute Monday because my fourth point of contact was sore from Sunday's ride on the Ashokan Populaire and I thought it best to give my legs a break.

What is the culprit of my ass soreness, you might ask?  My Brooks Cambrium Saddle.  It looks great but it's hard and due to the material composition I don't see it ever "breaking in" like I have seen with other Brooks Saddles.