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Sunday, January 27, 2008
In order to keep this blog focused on mountain biking and riding in general I have decided to start another blog that will chronicle the building process of the new trail. I have opened the blog with a history of what has transpired so far, a little past history of how the State Forest came to be, and what's next.
At first I was thinking of naming the new trail the Mullikin Trail after the original land owner but then a fellow mountain biker, who contacted me last week, calls the two Paugussett tracts of land Upper and Lower Gussy, I knew that had to be the name of the new trail. The new blog is going to have a lot of detail on the designing of the trail, that will include maps and photographs of all the different issues on the trail, as well as the fun stuff.
So, without further ado, I present to:
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Here is a portion of the ride, no sense boring you with Hanover Road.
More ATV tracks in the snow. Tom thinks there is a kid that lives on Pond Brook that is responsible. I think there is a kid on Bramble Trail that is responsible and then there might be another kid who lives across from the Connector Trail Head that might have an ATV as well.
There are trails in the air! Got a heads up from the DEP that my trail in the Upper Paugussett is close to being approved! Just waiting final disposition from the DEP Trails Committee. Ironically, someone contacted me last week about the Lower Paugussett, so it looks like after I am done with the Upper Paugussett, I might be setting my sights on the Lower next. I have only ridden there three times but it has some serious potential. Anyway, so this guy gave me an idea on what the name the new trail, something with Gussy in it. Maybe the Upper Gussy Trail. That way, when I build something in the Lower, that trail could be called the Lower Gussy Trail.
Back to the bike! Look ma, no tensioner! I counted the teeth on the gears and it was on a 17t sprocket, so I went out and got a 17t freewheel cog, put the chain on, applied a little elbow grease to get the axel into the vertical drops and voila! There is no sag, at all! Perfect. Before hand, I did consult with the Single Speed master himself, Sheldon Brown, and in my note I asked:
I was wondering if you could tell me whether you have any insight on a "magic gear combo" for setting up a road bike with vertical drops as a single speed? I got this 1985 Cannondale SR-300 from a buddy that is already rigged that way, at least in a funny way, by using the 6 spd cassette and manually switching the gears till you get to the tightest one, which I think is probably a 19 or 20t cog. I need to pull the wheel off and see what they actually are, but it's a six speed cassette and the chain is the tightest in the third gear out from the center. My Crank is a Campy 42t. Is this the magic number or do you have a better one?
It varies from frame to frame, 'cause they have different lengthchainstays. On my old Cannondale T-500 it worked great with 42/15,my favorite fixed gear. I discuss this issue in some detail at: http://sheldonbrown.com/vertical.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I decided to remove it instead. In that process, where the bike had received some dings, the paint came off and initially I thought I might have to strip it but worst part was along the right chain stay. Otherwise it wasn't too shabby. In fact, I think the tape, when it go wet was causing the paint job to oxidize. I think what I will probably do is use some steel wool on those parts to get it down to it's base and then find some touch up paint that will adhere to aluminum. Might try to find a lighter shade of purple or even pink and do dots. Might look cool when it's done.
In fact, I am still using the vest, the sleepingbag, and some of the pieces of the backpack. The backpack has an interesting story to it. I had been using it for Boyscout camping trips and then in my senior year me and a friend, John Reddin, set out on an ambitious over night hike up the Appalachian trail from Sharon, CT to Butternut Ski area. We got to the top of Mount Race, just past Bash Bish Falls and camped out. It was so cold that my Sterno wouldn't light. Ended up pitching the tent, getting into our sleeping bags and eating dried food. It was windy and cold that night!
Next morning we packed up and when I picked up my loaded pack the frame snapped! I did my best to jury rig it so that one of the frame pieces wouldn't dig into my back but it was extremely difficult to carry the load with just one shoulder strap. So, John and I slipped and slid our way down Sage's Ravine to the road and thumbed our way back to Butternut where we met my father.
Holy long hair and mustaches! This is how our parents looked in the 70s!
As you can tell, I haven't been riding. Wanted to ride this weekend but was just too busy. I did however work on my bikes. The Dumpgoose has been stripped down to bare components in preparation for it's transformation into a ski bike. Probably do a DIY post on that build and hopefully we will get some snow to try it out.
My Garmin Edge came back last week. This now makes the third unit. I think it's not as durable as I thought it might be. I think I am going to find some durable cyclocomputers and use those instead. I will still ride with the Edge, just keep it protected in neoprene pouch on my shoulder strap. Additionally, I am still questioning it's accuracy and want to do some comparison testing with a basic odometer. I think the one issue could be is on longer rides if you don't hit the pause it's recording every movement of the unit so when you stop to take a brake, with the constant movement of the satellites, it might be recording changes the satellite's aspect in relation to the bike/unit sitting in a stationary position.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
The free socks were the icing on the cake, though:
You can never have enough biking socks.
They have some great adds, too, that I find really funny:
So, if you are an advid biker and want to do your part in the national fight to preserve moutain biking, please join IMBA.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Additionally, keep in mind that State Forests and Parks in Connecticut close at sunset. If you are going to ride at night, you could get a ticket! I got this note sent to me by the President of CTNEMBA:
Another thing we have been having lots of NIght Riders at Huntington, coming here after 6 pm for night time rides. recently we have had to start writing tickets for hours of operation to and or simple tresspass to curb some of this. The last 6 guys were quite irate as you can imagine...also its amazing the amount of riders that come out as soon as we get a thaw, the trails are getting hammered.Please be mindful of the trails during the thawing conditions.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
This area is perfect for single speeding that I am not sure I will bring the 'Horse back unless I want to try some of these drops that I have pictured below. Of course, once the Fixation is back to being an All Mountain HT Single Speed, probably ride that instead. Never-the-less, Rich and I haven't ridden together since Nepaug because shortly after that ride he was here and as you see down below, did this jump (pictured below) and broke his scapula. Two months later he is now back on the bike and riding, slowly, but still riding.
I am thinking it's time to get a computer to atleast track the actual miles because until I get the Edge back, these two other units are driving me nuts. They work reasonably well but not as good as the Garmin Edge. The MAP60 (green track) outperformed the eXplorist (red track) today, think because of where it was in the camel, in the media pouch with the antenna sticking out.
The eXplorist was on the shoulder strap in a pouch. Still need to test the eXplorist on the stem to see how the performance is there because I read somewhere that it has to be parallel to the ground to reach it's maximum efficiency. Just have to figure out a way to hold it there. The OEM handlebar mount is horrible and the Garmin Edge is the only unit that I have seen so far made for the stem.
The report from Huntington SP yesterday was that to have a good ride you need studded tires, something I don't have, so I opted to head south. Bunch of guys from Crankfire were headed to Westwoods but that was too far for the little time that I had to ride today. Similarly, Mianus is the only other warmer weather riding area that I would think would be devoid of snow. Mianus, while often joked about by it's namesake, again too far to drive.
Took a new trail up out of the old reservoir that linked up with the yellow trail just before the picnic tables. At this one roller/drop called the lunchbox we met up with a trio of guys from Class Cycles in Southbury that were warming up for the picnic tables. The 29er rolls things alot differently and I could feel it here. It was fun.
Didn't get any names but this guy is riding a ferrous Gary Fisher and he going big everywhere.
This guy is the mechanic at Class Cycles and he was the star of the show.
This is some guy on a 2006 Specialized Enduro (?), the one with the Brain Shock.
Looking up at the Roller (with ladder) and drop that follows.
The guy on the Ferrous Fisher cleaned both stunts nicely. Steal is real!
At the roller play ground, I slipped on a root and did the lower part of this roller my side. Here is another attempt.
Here is the jump that got Rich. If you hit it too fast it turns into a gap jump and you soar through the air...
... as Rich found out two months ago. See the scrape on the tree Rich is pointing to? That is where his shoulder hit. This is at least five feet or so off the ground and ten feet from the jump.
Again, the guy on the ferrous hucking it.
This is the third guy from their group, riding a Foes Weasel with a hydraulic rear cantilever brake.
And the man of the hour, the mechanic from Class Cycles nailed both times!
Rounding a corner before the last stream crossing I hid a muddy patch and went down in the slop.
Except from the occasional splatter from mud I was reasonably clean before this latest mishap.
A good day of riding with friends and new friends is better than just about anything.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Every Tuesday (May thru August)
Girlz rides at Trumbull
Contact: Jo Brooks email@example.com and Paula Burton PEBurton@aol.com
Contact Jo or Paula to ensure the ride is still on for a particular day
Saturday 2 August: MTB Huntington
Meet at the statues off Sunset Hill Road at 9:00. We'll go to the north end of the park and play on the singletrack. Advanced novice level. Please RSVP with ride leader to assure ride is still on. Rain or really wet trails cancels. Ride leader Eric Schonenberg firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-746-0246.
Upper Paugussett State Forest
Date: TBA (probably first weekend in July)
Mark Lurie at email@example.com
George C Waldo State Park
Purchase Brook Rd, Southbury, CT
June 26, 30
July 3, 10, 17
Paula Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-426-5369