About 20 minutes from my house, in the next county over, are couple of rural communities that have a lot of dirt roads and an old rail bed from the Shepaug Rail Road that make for excellent Gravel Grinder Terrain. I have ridden these roads in the past but this is the first time that I am using them to train for an upcoming race. I also wanted to ride here in order to get some miles in preparation for Singlespeed-a-polooza.
These Oxen were in training, too, getting exercise by pulling these huge tractor tires around. The ones in the front are the veterans and in the back are the newbies.
I picked this route as a warm up and see what gear ratio I should be riding in this terrain. The Qball was geared 32:19t because of the the insane climb in the middle of the route. But I think when I come back to do 20+ miles I might try running 32:18t on the Kona and I might just bypass the Shinar Mountain. That was a bitch of a climb and I wasn't able to do it without stopping because my heart rate was in the red zone numerous times.
My route includes Steep Rock Reservation. The old rail road bed on the west side of the Shepaug River is off limits to bikes but not the east side, however, most if not all the single track trails are off limits to bikes. Kind of a downer because from what I hear there are some great trails in there. It's the net result of a few careless riders back in the day that got the majority of this area closed to mountain biking.
It's too bad there isn't a bridge across the river linking the east and west sides of the old rail road bed.
For a gravel grinder, the old rail road bed is awesome and you can actually ride through the old train tunnel