Decisions, decisions, what should I ride today? As a consolation prize for not doing the Tour de Lyme, my wife gave me the green light to ride on Sunday. The first decision was made for me on Saturday by going mountain biking at Upper Paugussett and I haven't been on the Cannondale so the bike choice was made. Sunday morning's weather killed any notion of a good Gravel Grinder ride in Roxbury and Washington and as I was getting ready the power went out for all of 5 seconds -- typical Newtown, CT. That meant I had to stick around to get the internet back up otherwise there would be a revolt at Chez Cyclesnack. My four hour window to ride was now 2 hours so I decided to try one of my Newtown 26 courses that I have been mapping.
Right out of the gate I passed a big pack of riders and by the looks of their kit and blinged out bikes I would say it was one of the Bethel Cycle rides. I did get a few waves and good mornings though. Good think I waited till I did because it was perfect temperature and I dressed appropriately wearing a long sleeve wicking shirt with my Meatball Jersey over it. It was still cool enough to warrant the extra layer and on the downhills I was glad for it.
I rode through parts of Newtown that I have never been in before including Hammertown and Huntingtown. Riding down Hammertown road was almost like a roller coaster ride with some great climbs and fast descents. Somewhere along the way I passed a woman riding in the other direction on an old crappy ten speed, but at least she had a helmet on. However, should she ever read this blog please take note that you should not unzip your jersey that far! I was having a hard time with the routing feature on the Garmin 800 because I had the 1:24,000 topo map loaded and it had too much detail making it hard to follow the route sometimes, like the turn off to Castle Meadow.
I crossed over Rt 25 near the Indian Restaurant and then started my northward return towards home when I had to stop and adjust my seatpost. A couple of cyclists passed me going the other direction. One guy was on a full suss Cannondale Scaple without a helmet. I got to learn first hand why they call Toddy Hill a hill because it was a nice, long climb up and a wicked ride down. At one point I think I was going 40 mph! I think I did pretty well in the feed and hydration department, drank one bottle, and ate a banana and two guus! If I had more time I would have stopped in Sandy Hook for a can of PBR or a cup of coffee. Of course when I got home is when the allergies kicked in and made me miserable the rest of the day but at least I had a great ride.
Some things that I want to modify on this route in the future: stay off dirt roads. The route started with Pond Brook Road and finished with Sanford Road work a little more climbing into the course like hitting Castle Hill - you can't beat the view! Lastly, try to go by Fairfield Hills and work in the rec path into the loop.