Sunday, February 03, 2019

The ground was still frozen on Sunday but it's not going to last.

Headed out to ride at Upper Paugussett on Sunday and there were quite a few revelations seen on the trail. Some new trees came down that were taken care of, however, it looks who ever did this got a little over zealous and cut through an up and over that has been on the trail for years.


Also looks like people are riding when they shouldn't be. 
Way to many ruts everywhere!

With all the rain we have been getting and the temperature fluctuations, freezing to warming, means you should not be riding the trails if the ground isn't frozen.

While climbing up the Mulikin today I rode the entire reroute, and it would appears that others have ridden it as well. It was really nice but will need a few tweaks here and there.

As I got closer to the new roller the shape looked oddly familiar

The shape reminds me of Jabba the Hut

More ugliness on the unsactioned trail.

Today, however, I was in rare form. I cleaned the reroute climb on the Mulikin Trail and then I rode down the section of the unsanctioned trail that is benched with rocks and went over the bridge. Hit the bridge going the other way, too. Once back on the Gussy Trail I came across some folks out for a walk who were a little lost and told them how to get back to the parking lot.

The Brew Crew Roller is always a little daunting with the way the blow down was cut. Still haven't hit my head yet! Further down the trail, where it splits off for the Reach Around it's really wet and I think a reroute is needed around that section.

Even the Reach Around is getting rutted

I can't believe people bag their dog's crap but leave the bag on the tail. 

Heading back down the Mulikin I hit a muddy patch that was frozen underneath and went on the deck.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

100 K on New Year' Day

The weather forecast for the first day of 2019 was predicted to start around 50 degrees and maybe even get up to 60 by midday. I was invited to the Bethel Cyclery (former) shop ride that was jumping off from the Broken Symmetry Brewery at 10 AM. It's also the former site of Bethel Cyclery. Heading out from my house at 9 AM I found that the roads were really we wet from last night's rain so I turned around and headed back to get a fender. This set me back 15 minutes but I new it was a 40 minute ride from my house to Broken Symmetry.

I got to the brewery with 5 minutes to spare. I met up with Stephen, Shin, and few others that I have me over the years that I have been road riding, even one guy that worked with at GE Capital. I thought Gavin and Mike were going to be there but they were no shows. All these guys here were really fast riders and I realized that this was the type of ride where I am going to get dropped.

I thought there were was a B group but learned later that they left at a different time. I figured I would just do my best to keep up and see what happens. We all headed out and made our way over to Route 53 and headed south towards Westport. There were some really fast riders in this group all sporting some really fancy bikes.  

Crossing into Redding we were riding 4 or 5 abreast. In Connecticut, the law says you are allowed to ride 2 abreast but I think there are conditions that go along with that. A Redding Patrol Car passed us going the opposite direction and then we heard the siren a few times and the loud speaker order us to ride single file. That's the second time I have encountered police saying that when here is what the law states:  

(b) Persons riding bicycles or electric bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or electric bicycles. Persons riding two abreast, as provided in this subsection, shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

I guess the bit about shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic is open to interpretation and it appears the police have their own.

By the time we got into the Fred Zone and the first climb I found myself off the back and knew by the first climb I would get dropped. No worries, perhaps I could catch up to them at some point. There were even a few stragglers back there with me. I was trying to get one to stay with me but he faded at the Weston Market. I wasn't worried about where to go because this route is part of my bike commute. By the time I got through Westport, I caught up with the group waiting at the light to cross the Post Road.

Crossing over Greens Farm Road and heading back onto 136 under I-95, Stephen went down on the deck. He was in the shoulder trying to get onto concrete portion of the road and his front tire slipped out from under him due to the uneven transition and the fact that both surfaces were wet and slick. Fortunately, he was going slow enough that it wasn't a bad crash but it was still a crash. He had some road rash, and his shoulder and hip hurt but all in all he was good to go.

The group popped into Long Shore to use the facilities, have a snack, and take a few more pictures. The sun was out and it was starting to warm up.  From here we headed to Compo and then back out to Greens Farms. I was hanging but always off the back.

Heading back to Bethel I ended up riding with a smaller group that hung back with Stephen but Shin was having a rough go as well through Fairfield. Ironically, towards the afternoon, the wind came up and it actually started to cool off. We split off onto Hopewell and then took Boggs Hill. We said our good byes and Stephen and Shin headed down Platts Hill. Shin went on to ride 100 miles that day. I probably could have done more but I was looking forward to a nice cold 24oz PBR Tall Boy I had in the fridge.

Monday, December 31, 2018

A sign of Happiness

Cycling lets you enjoy the local sights that you often miss in your car driving at much higher speeds. I am sure others have found amusing road signs and sayings displayed for all to see on their rides. I was fortunate to discover a gem of my own while riding in Monroe on New Year's Day Eve.  Right before the intersection with Knapp Road in Monroe there was a sign attached to a tree that made no sense given the direction it was pointed. 

The sign makes no sense as the road up ahead turns left and then turns right and there is no road coming in at a 45 degree angle, either. Did someone at the Monroe Highway Department screw up? What ever the case it gave us a chuckle on our last ride of 2018.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Buckeye Turkey Burner

Before getting on the bike for what was going to be our biggest ride of the week I, once again, hit the Waffle House next to the hotel for a double order of hash browns. Just the right amount of food to get me going for a long ride.

Once again, Will and I headed out from the hotel along Johnstown Road out to Gahanna and mirrored part of the route that I did when I rode out to the Galena and the reverse of the route that I first did on Tuesday.

We rode out to Jersey and Columbus suburbia quickly transformed to rolling Ohio farm land. Jersey was also the highest elevation on the route, topping out around 1,200 feet. The roads here incredibly straight and there were a few descents. Eventually the terrain flattened out as we turned when we turned onto State Highway 37.

It was a busy 2 lane highway that was really flat for 12 miles. The only elevation change came from the I-70 overpass. Will pulled for the first 6 miles and then I pulled for the rest. The head wind made riding slow as molasses. In reviewing the route, it was probably not the wisest routing decision. I should have pulled the route to go closer to Buckeye Lake.

Turning onto Carroll Eastern Road, another state designated bike route we headed east towards Carroll, OH. 

This was an intersection for two major canals in the 1800s, the Ohio-Erie and Lancaster Canals.  

In Carroll is where found a great bar that served awesome pizza. It was served as shared style, which is cut into squares.

Once we left Carroll it was 24 miles back to the hotel through some interesting areas and neighborhoods. On the outskirts of Bexley a passerby took a liking to my bike and asked me if he could take it for a spin. Ignored the comment and pedaled a little faster.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Another Thanksgiving Day Massacre

Our Thanksgiving Day feast was planned for early afternoon so Will and I decided to ride the bikeways out to London, Ohio. Little did we know that the bikeway we would be riding was actually a famous one for Ohio that linked Cincinnati with Cleveland and it ran through the heart of Columbus. Heading out from the hotel we had to ride downtown on part of the Alum Creek Trail, and then through the center of the city to pick up the Scioto Trail, after a short bit of road riding we crossed over some railroad tracks and then picked up the Camp Chase Trail.


It wasn't until we got on the trail did I realize this was actually a rail with trail! It would be great do something like this in my town since we have a freight line through town that has minimal train traffic and connects to an existing rail trail.

There is a rail with trail in nearby Brewster, NY, that I haven't had the opportunity to try yet, however, I have seen it a few times and seeing it gives me hope that maybe something can be done through the neighboring towns, too.

There is pretty good separation between the trail and the tracks but the one surprising part of the trail was how many times the trail crossed back and forth over the tracks.

Camp Chase was a Civil War training camp for the war and later served as prison camp for Confederate soldiers

Once we got out of the city limits the trail was just long and straight. Fortunately for us, the cold weather was keeping many of the folks that would have been on the trail at this time of day inside.

Every couple of miles the trail switched sides, that is until we got further out and then is seemed to stay consistently on the north side of the tracks.

There is a big break in the trail that took us out on the road and down through a river valley but then we were back on the trail again.

In a little hamlet just past Georgesville called Lilly Chapel we came across the long line of tanker cars. It turns out there is a huge soybean harvesting operation there and they use the tanker cars to transport the soybeans to producers. 

The tanker cars went of for ever

Well, at least for a mile or two

Will was riding with his bar mitts, something I have yet to try. I am like my lobster gloves.

At the end of the trail in London there was this plaque commemorating some trail users that I thought was pretty unique.

The downtown area of London was dead as a doornail

We had hoped to find a cafe or a McDonalds that was open for a bike to eat

But nothing was open

We stopped at the London Food Market, which was open, and the Indian couple running the place probably thought we were crazy.

We had made pretty good time down to London but it wasn't until we started riding back that we discovered there was a head wind that slowed us down somewhat. The wind made it a lot colder, too.

The Ohio to Erie Trail, or OTET, is 326 miles long and 280 miles is on paved trails

This mural depicts the trail