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State of the Gussy

PER CT DEEP:  Please do not cut anymore trees. There are so many trees down is this section of the forest and on top of the Upper...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thirsty Thursday: Maybe Both


Kent Falls doesn't disappoint with this pale lager. It's the kind of beer that you can drink after a long ride or on a hot day and its very refreshing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

RAW: Chasing Daylight

Getting home at 6:30 this evening meant that I had to get rolling quickly if I still wanted to see where I was going to be going in the woods and I got rolling by 7:55.


Trying to maximize my time I rode up the Poly Brody instead of the singletrack and checked that one really big tree that was laying across the fire road the last time I came through here.  Looks like the DEEP Forester was able to open it up enough so you get through it.


While very rideable the surrounding blowdowns is just depressing and knowing what lies after the intersection with Double Secret Probation is even more so.


I passed some guys going the other way on DSP and when I checked Strava Flybys, it looks like they tried riding FUBAR section of the Gussy. Until I know what the State DEEP is going to do I am not touching this section.  However, if they don't log it, I have a reroute already figured out and the possibility of making a new connection to the reach around that would make riding the Gussy and DSP one big circuit.  




Sunday, June 03, 2018

L2L50: Just another excuse to stop at OOF!

It's been two years since I last rode at this event and it was great to be doing it again.  The past two years I always had a scheduling conflict but this time around the Lake 2 Lake event was scheduled for early June.


Compared to the day before when Steven, Paul and myself rode down to the Merritt Parkway and it was in mid 80s all morning, there were clouds of pollen billowing everywhere and I was drenched with sweat. No cramping this time around because I drank a lot of water. Sunday's weather, on the other hand, was down right chilly.


I met up with Gavin and Mike at the registration tent when another Newtowner, Scott, stopped by to say hello.  Scott had a bunch a friends meeting him and we all took off together. We stayed together for the first couple of miles but then some guy blew past us in a gold Audi and almost lost control and crashed. This seemed to distract a few of the guys and they missed the first turn.  We picked up one guy from their group, a guy named Abe from Norwalk. They all looked like really strong riders so I figured they would catch up to us pretty quickly.


On the climb up Carmel Hill Road (Rt 133) so of those guys Scott's group caught up while we passed a bunch of guys that probably came up from NYC. The overcast conditions gave way broken clouds but the wind kept it chilly.

The first rest stop was exactly 25 miles from the start and I wasn't really hungry.  At 1 h 30 min into the ride I tried one of the protein bars that I got at the start. It tasted like compressed cookie dough with chocolate chips in it. We headed off and wound up on the paved road that cuts through White Memorial and then found ourselves in the middle of a Triathlon. Those riders were all going in the opposite direction and we were surprised that a few of them actually waved at us. They had a ton of support from CT State Troopers who were blocking all the intersections and directional markers made with pink tape on the roads. Our course was marked with little yellow arrows which were challenging to find at times but I am not complaining.  I had the course in my Garmin.


We arrived at the last stop but didn't even bother going to it because it was co located with Ovens of France (my idea from last year).  I was really hungry by the time we got here and so I had something a little substantial and my favorite croissant, the Ham & Cheese.



Arriving back at the Shepaug Recreation area I cracked open a Maybe Both, Pale Lager from Kent Falls Brewing Co, that Mike gave me because he is not a fan of Lagers.  It tasted great!  Gavin had one, too.  All in all, it was a great ride and I look forward to doing again next year.  Maybe we'll do the 70+ ride next time.


Here are all the routes.



Saturday, June 02, 2018

State of the Gussy

PER CT DEEP:  Please do not cut anymore trees.


There are so many trees down is this section of the forest and on top of the Upper Gussy Trail that without some serious equipment, mountain biking and hiking in this part of the forest will not be happening for quite some time. The CT State Forester actually reached out to me on Friday and asked that I get the word out to cease sawing the trees to open the trails. The State wants to harvest the trees for logging.


I wanted see it for myself so I headed over to the forest Friday afternoon and parked at the Echo Valley Parking Lot. Someone took care of the tree across the driveway so you can finally get to the parking area. I headed in on the Blue Trail to the Right of Way, the stone wall lined portion of the Gussy Trail. There were a few tree crowns in the trail and I cut one up but then when I saw the clearing further up the trail I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.

Panorama from the Wet Spot
When I got to the Wet Spot and saw the number of trees down across the trail I could see that until they are removed this area is pretty much closed.


Those trees that didn't come down completely were snapped like match sticks and to get around all of them with a re-route would require building an entirely new trail. I even scoped it out but when this area gets logged everything is going to obliterated anyway and cleaning up the existing trail will be the number one priority.  



Then I headed in the other direction, towards the Brew Crew Roller and found sections of the trail in that direction blocked as well.


Even the Blue Blazed trail is completely blocked.


All the rollers up here are covered in trees


Even the Reach Around is impacted


And not only is Jeep Trail blocked at the trail head there trees strewn along the length of it, too.


You can almost get down to the Jeep Trail from the Gussy


This section can be managed with a hand saw but right now this is a trail to no where.


The big question is what is the State's time line to get a logging company into Upper Paugussett and how much damage will the logging vehicles make to the trails? At least there is one loop that can be ridden at Upper Paugussett. I might have to annex DSP and have it become part of the Gussy.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Upper Paugussett State Forest Riding Status: WYSIWYCR


What You See Is What You Can Ride at Upper Paugussett State Forest. After doing a re-route around this one tree that fell on the Tree Stand Trail, some folks came in and opened it.  I didn't even ride my reroute on this trip.


After the stream crossing where the lower Mulikin (purple blazes) turns I found the this tree was cut.


As well as the tree right before the little stream crossing with the rock spine crossing


And the trees immediately following the Mulikin's first Up and Over


However, there is still this obstruction blocking the Upper Mulikin



The blowdown on the forest road (Poly Brody) still hasn't been addressed and may not for quite sometime. I need to come back and figure out a good go around for this.


Once I was on the Gussy proper I was amazed at the number of trees down across the trail. I lost track after 15 but there still more than that.





A new skinny to be added to this area


And the one further back will need some tweaking since there is a tree now lying on top of it.


The double stream crossing wasn't spared either


But the most disappointing discovery is that the trail is completely blocked after the intersection with the Unmarked and Unauthorized Trail (aka Double Secret Probation).  


Given the terrain and the fact that there are so many trees down in this location trying to re-route around them will be tough and not to mention I don't know what's going on after this.  I have heard that it's pretty bad.


The Unmarked and Unauthorized Trail had 5 or 6 blowdowns but not nearly the amount of destruction that is on the Gussy.  The good news is that there is at least a one loop at Upper Paugussett that is now open.