Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Ride of Two Meals

I planned to meet Gavin at Cover 2 Saturday morning and as I was riding up Hanover I got really self conscious about what I was wearing. I had seen a graphic on the interwebs somewhere about what clothing is the best for visability and black, what I was wearing was on the bottom of the list, so I headed back to get my green jacket. 

First stop on the ride was of course to our favorite breakfast stop, Ovens of France, where we enjoyed hot coffee and the best croissants this side of the Atlantic.  

From OOF we rode north up Nettleton Hollow into Washington Depot and noticed a new mural at the intersection of Rt 47 and 109. 

If you are riding to Lake Waramug the best lead in is on Flirtation Avenue. It's always worth taking a picture with the sign, too.

While the ride up had some head winds it wasn't till we got to the lake that the wind got really bad. Up until this point it was around 40 degrees but the wind made it feel like 30.

Once we got around the like we headed down into New Preston and I kind of wanted to continue home but Gavin couldn't feel his toes so we stopped for an early lunch at the 9 Main Cafe and Bakery. We warmed up with hot chocolate and had sandwiches. On the way home, we called an audible and retraced our route back which actually made the ride longer but I think it was still faster. 

By the time we got to Southbury I was really wishing that I had started from Cover 2 because I was dreading the climb home.

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.