Sunday, June 28, 2015

Third Annual Lake to Lake Charity Ride

Please come out and support a great cause!

On Sunday, June 28, the Third Annual Lake to Lake Charity Bike Ride will take place at the Shepaug Dam Recreational Area (click here for directions). All proceeds will help fund the LOF Adaptive Skiers programs for disabled children, adults and military veterans.
100k & 75k start time 7am – 9am; All other start times 8am – 10 am

More Information:  Lake to Lake

Registration:  Bikereg

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Raid Roxbury

I headed out Saturday afternoon on an unscripted ride, meaning no preset course that I mapped out on RideWithGPS.  I had 4 hours to explore some new areas that I have been meaning to ride.  Today's ride was also the first time I would be riding with the Ventoura Handlebar bag with the customized handlebar bracket that I had made.  Also, it was the inaugural ride on the new Schwalbe tires.

Heading north on Transylvania Rd
Right out of the gate, I was having issues with my drop outs.  I thought I had it fixed but it just wasn't right.  Finally, I just took everything off and would deal with it when I got home later.  I headed down towards the Housatonic towards Southbury but missed the NY & NE path through winery.  The one thing I forgot to bring were my eye drops.  My eyes were really itchy.  

I rode north on Transylvania Road and that is great road to get in the mood for a Gravle ride.  It was a slow and steady climb but it felt good and that's when my Velo Wa kicked, all the stress and anxiety was instantly flushed out of me and I was one with the bike and the road.  I took Rucum, which according to Bing it's supposed to be dirty but it wasn't and then headed over to East Woods.  I stopped at Badger's House but he wasn't home so I continued over to East Grassy Hill.

Schwalbe Land Cruiser HS 307 Cruiser Bicycle Tire - Wire Bead (Black - 700 x 40)

The new tires were rocking!  Plenty grip and yet roll smooth on the Pave, and no road noise!  I rode 65 psi in the rear and 60 psi up front and they were sweet!  I think they are the best tire yet.

I flew down Grassy Hill and then rode over to Old Roxbury and then up to Lower County.  I remember the first time I descended Grassy Hill, 5 years ago on the Tour de Roxbury and all I remember is the group that I caught up were flying and I crawled at a snails pace.  Today, I flew!

I took Dorthy Diebold to Moosehorn and then cut over to Battleswamp.  I stopped at Judd's Bridge and what I should have done is dunked my head in the river because it was so dusty and dry and my eyes were still bothering me.  The climb up Judd's was slow but worth every push of the pedal.  There were some soft spots that I thought I might spin out on but the Schwalbe's just ate it up!  I took Hartwell down to Shinar Mountain and when the Pave started I took another break and washed my face and eyes.  I also changed glasses and that seem to help, too.

On South Fenn Hill I had my banana, ate another Guu block and finished off my first water bottle.  I go this way in order to catch the Gravle section of West Church Hill Road and then drops into Steep Rock Reservation.  On the descent, I think I might hit 40 mph!

Not a lot of people at the Reservation today which was kind of surprising.  No horses either.

One of the highlights is riding down the Old Shepaug Rail Road Right of Way.  There were plenty of packed go-arounds on the muddy sections but there was really no mud.  There is a new tree down somewhere in the middle but it doesn't block the right of way entirely.

The highlight is riding through Steep Rock Reservation is riding through the old Shepaug Railroad Tunnel.

From where I took the picture of the Cross Check (below) you could feel the cold air of the tunnel coming out.

My eyes were doing much better, largely I think due to the different glasses.  On the transition of the Shepaug Railroad Right of Way to the powerline access road, I had a slip in the drops that I had to fix but it took a few seconds to get it right.  That's why I need to go back to some sort of tensioner so this doesn't happen.

Riding up Judd's Bridge towards Roxbury Center I felt, for the first time, a hamstring cramp coming on so I stopped and stretched it out and then continued riding.  I was going to head up Hemlock but it was getting late and I had to be home by 7:30 PM so I rolled down 67 to River Road instead.  River road was riding nice and then I tried something new and rode up Flag Swamp.  While I wasn't bonking I was feeling tired but kept pushing.

Another new treat was the Gravle on West Flag Swamp.  I can't believe I have been missing this so long.  After the last house it turns rough and there is some short ups on it.  It comes out at a farm and at the Cell Tower turns to Pave.  Next to the cell tower is a red and while water tower and this area resembles a landing strip.  The last dirt of the ride was on Peach Orchard Road.  It had some soft spots and newly laid gravel making it tough in some spots.

When I got home I was wiped and later had some cramping, even after drinking a bottle of Powerade, three glasses of water and 4 Tums.  I think I need to take the tums before the ride, or it's just ant acids don't really help.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

88 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Savings from Bike Commuting

Gas:  12 gallons
CO2:  240 lbs

Beautiful morning to kick off National Bike Month

There were some drivers that were courteous like the one in this Subaru
and then the not so courteous one driving the silver BMW and talking on the Cell phone

Still need a jacket and gloves on the way in

and an earband

On the way home I didn't need my long sleeve and I got really sweaty

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

89 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Savings from Bike Commuting

Gas:  11 gallons
CO2:  220 lbs

Tuesday's commute was simply glorious!

I had to ride through town and stop at the Middle School
to perform my civic duty

Since I was already past the Newtown Flag Pole, I headed to the office on Rt 302
I realized how much I missed riding this stretch of road
It's still cold enough in the mornings to warrant a little snivel gear

I left the office kind of late

It was warm enough for shorts and finger less gloves
but I sill wore my jacket because the wind was fierce

I rode like bat out of hell to get home before it got dark.
I got home in 33 minutes which is the fasted time yet,
and I was on a singlespeed!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Working my way to Waramug

When I got up Saturday morning it was 30 degrees and it felt the same, if not colder, at my son's 9 am soccer game, probably because of the northerly wind. By the time we got home the temperature gauge said it was 50 degrees.  A few hours later, temps moved another 5 degrees.  I waffled a bit on what to wear, and only screwed up on shoe choice.  Brought extra stuff for the ride home thinking later in the day, coming back from Waramug is was going to be colder.

By the time I got to the top of Old Ridge, I was feeling good but thought I was biting off more than I could chew, so I altered course and took Rt 109 towards Washington Depot.  That is a scary road because a fellow rider was killed on this road just last fall.  He was riding west and probably picked up quite a bit of speed coming down a steep descent before Kimberly Farm when someone pulled out from the farm and he had no time to stop or swerve.

While riding up towards the Gunnery on Route 47 I spied another cyclist about 100 yards in front of me and it wasn't until I was a couple of miles into Rt 199 that I caught up to him.  He introduced himself as Randy and he lives in New Milford.  He was riding a Specialized Tricross with disc brakes, fatter tires, fenders, and all the right gear for a good dirt road ride. 

He said that he rode down through Steep Rock but the road just ended and so he turned back and came this way. I told him about the Shepaug Railroad Tunnel and how you can ride through it and keep going all the way to Tunnel Road and then on to Judds Bridge. I offered to show him the way and maybe that will be next weekend's ride, and shying away from Waramug, again, but hopefully I will have my new tires for the Crosscheck and good Gravle ride will be in order.

Randy and I parted in Roxbury, he went right on Rt 67 and I went left through Roxbury.  Didn't bother stopping at the market because I had plenty of energy.  In fact, all I was doing was drinking water the whole ride. I decided to stretch out the route a bit and take Rt 67 all the way down into Southbury.  At one point I was out in the lane trying to avoid a rough patch when a car honked at me. I got over and then the motorist passed me well within the 3 foot rule and there was no body coming up ahead, either. I had some choice vernacular for his driving abilities.

Further down 67 I came across a cyclist in distress and stopped to lend a hand.  Her chain dropped off the front ring and was stuck on the inside of the ring and the frame and she couldn't get it out. While she turned the crank I pulled on the chain and we were able to get it unstuck! She was riding the Carbon Fiber version of my bike.

The ride along the river back into Sandy Hook was stunning and then I headed up to the center of town and then home. After 41 miles, I felt great and can't wait for next weekend's ride which will either be to and around Lake Waramug or some Gravle. Despite the change in route, my hot feet, and the anxiety of my job going away and what am I going to do next, I had my Velo Wa and helping a fellow cyclist out on the road was further icing on the cake for a great ride on a beautiful day!