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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Singlespeed Turkey Burner

I intended to go mountain biking on Friday for CT NEMBA's annual Turkey Burner but the wife asked if I wouldn't mind staying local because she needed to go to NYC with my daughter.  So, I went on a 30 mile road ride on the Monster Cross.

I put on a different crankset last week and this was my opportunity to test it out.  Gearing wasn't really for road riding (34:17) but it helped in the hills.  I had been worried about whether I mounted the rear wheel too far out on the drops but didn't have any issues.  Of course, having a Surly Tugnut back there is always comforting.  I need to get the chain length so I can change cogs without having to lengthen or shorten the chain.  I am hoping that I can go from 14t to 20t on the same change, but if it's 15t to 19t I will take that, too.  Next I am going to ride this on Roxbury Dirt Roads and I am looking for the optimal gearing for climbing for next year's D2R2 in mind.

Today's ride was the first time that I ventured onto Route 59 in Monroe.  It's a popular stretch of road for cyclists but it sucked on the singlespeed.  Next time I come down this way, I need to come at it either from Sport Hill either by taking Poverty Hollow or Eden Hill and of course on a different bike!

Temperature got above 30 deg in the sun and I was layered up pretty well.  Lobster gloves were perfect and the balaclava (not Baklava) might have been over kill but I never got cold.  The one place I did have trouble was the feet.  I have always had pour circulation in my toes and feet and even with over booties and my cold weather riding shoes keeping my toes warm was a challenge. 

I don't know how many times I have passed by Hattertown Pond wanting to stop and take a few pictures so I did so today so that I could get a little circulation to the toes and experience the raw beauty of this one little pond that through the seasons is always captivating.

Riding back towards the Newtown, I rode the trails at Fairfield Hills wondering what is going to be the Cyclocross Course on 12/21.  The one thing I didn't know was there are these grass trails cut into the fields that could be fun to ride sometime.  When I get the big meats on the Qball truly start rolling Monster Cross I am going to give the grass trails a whirl.  Eventually, I am going to get some Rock and Road tires for D2R2.

When I got home I discovered my cell phone missing so I drove back to Fairfield Hills and ran up the trails, back tracking my route on the horse trails and I found it.  I should have closed up my top tube bag when I hit the trails but forgot.  I won't do that again.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Made in Italy: 1998 Bianchi Trofeo

A friend of mine had this Bianchi laying around that he never rode.

According Bikepedia it's from 1998

with Campagnola parts!

Only thing not Campy is the headset.  I think it might be a replacement, though.

It's a little small for me, 57 cm but I will replace the stem with something that will raise it up
and it has a setback seatpost already so it might be fun to ride.

My buddy painted the lugs.  It looks cool but what would be really cool
is painting them Celeste.

Looks like it was purchased locally


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Treks are for Trainers

Wet weather means no trails and with the temperatures nearing
freezing staying off the roads in slick conditions is paramount.

I finally decided what to do with the Trek I found on the side of the road
a few months ago.  Glad, I didn't throw out the wheels after all.
Tube in the front won't hold air but it's not like I need it too, either.

Jacked up the seat and replaced the bars for a few more hand positions.
The bike has a nice a feel to it.  Future enhancements will include bar end shifters,
better brakes and probably mustache bars and this will be a fun bike.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

First snow of the Gussy

Holy Crap was it cold this morning!  Snow squalls came through the night before leaving a dusting of snow that stuck around till the morning.  Standing temperature at the house was 22 deg but the windchill made if feel like 10!  I suited up in full snivel gear including lobster gloves, balaclava and a riding jacket.  I met up with Pete and we headed out on the Polly Brody.

The Garmin didn't pick up any satellites until I got to the Echo Valley lot.

We rode up fire road and then headed down the Mulikin
At the bottom of Mulikin (purple) we met up with Geoff.

I was running short on time so Peter and I rode back up the fire road to the Gussy
and then flew down the trail.


Roadie Saturday

It's hunting season and you know what that means, stay out of the forest!
But what a day for a ride!

Temperature started out nice, around mid 40s but in the
later part of the ride the temperature dropped.

Costume-wise, I was spot on except for my feet.
This time around, up top, I went with one t-shirt and two long sleeves
with a rear pocket jersey.  I think if I am to ride in the 20s I will
definitely need another layer

The top of Castle Hill is a great view and definitely worth the climb
from the river

On a whim, I climbed up Mt Nebo Road and found this huge, barn with holes in it's roof


Friday, November 22, 2013

V2R2 - Veterans Day Ride

I took a different spin (pun intended) for my annual Veterans Day Ride.  In the past I spent the whole day mountain biking in some location at least an hour away from home and enjoying a few cold ones afterwards. This time, however, I went for a road ride.  I invited my brother-in-law from NYC who had the day off as well. 

Kent, Connecticut makes a great jump off point for this kind of ride and I am definitely going to do this again.  While Skiff Mountain is a monster climb the back way up through Macedonia State Park is dirt and you know me, I like dirt!

In Salisbury, we said hello to some Vets.

And then the fun began!
Mt Riga Road.


Up, up, up and into Mt Washington State Forest!

Glorious riding, climbing and more climbing!

On the State Line

Hey, I know this place!
My sleep away camp in the 1970s

On to Bash Bish falls!

The Depot - great beer selection

Monday, November 11, 2013

The right way to ride Waldo

It's more of a personal opinion but I have been struggling with how to ride all Waldo without having to repeat any of the trails in the same direction more than once, and staying on Singletrack.  Today I found that formula!  Just when I got to the parking lot it started to sprinkle but the real surprise, besides still finding the new parking lot still not open for business, was the weather had remarkably changed and the temperature had dropped 20 degrees.  Could have used another layer and wool socks.     

OK, here is the course:

  1. Take Waldo all the way down to Elmer Fudd 
  2. Cut over to the new Daffy Extension and ride that all the way down to the bottom  
  3. Ride up the Rabbit's Foot (fka Extra Credit) and back down to the shore.  
  4. Back up the forest road (OK, not singletrack but it's only 100 yards) and then back on the Rabbit's Foot which leads back into Waldo.  
  5. Waldo all the way back up Elmer Fudd and then down to Daffy.
  6. Ride up Daffy back to Waldo
  7. Down Waldo to the Captain's Log
  8. Back up the Daffy Extension to Elmer Fudd
  9. Elmer Fudd back to Waldo and take that all the way out to the parking lot
  10. Thing one back to Waldo and do the uber technical section to the cut through
  11. Back down to Thing 1 and then out!

On my way up Waldo I ran into my neighbor Chris riding with his son.  
This kid is going to be a shredder!

New blazes on Daffy!
Well, the temperature took it's toll
because by the end of the ride my toes were numb!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Newtown Cyclocross - 12/21

Mark your calendars: December 21st.
NEWTOWN CYCLOCROSS p/b CCAP and Team 26 at Fairfield Hills

Come to Newtown! Race. Heckle. Hang out. Shop in our stores. Eat in our restaurants. Cowbells and Jingle bells. 

Race to benefit the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington and CCAP (Mission: to better the lives of our youth and young adults through the sport of cycling).

I am going to dress up and ride my Singlespeed Monster Cross!

It really is warmer in the woods!

Saturday was just a raw, cold, fall day here in SW Connecticut.  I wanted to ride Waldo but with the kid's activities and such that by the time my wife returned my best shot was just to hit the Gussy again.  My recent introduction to road riding now has me all confused for dressing for the woods but my new rule of thumb is if it's around 40 degrees (4.4 C) then shorts and two to three layers up top. 

Riding up the Mulikin gave me more time to look at these silly purple blazes and the only thing I can think of is that they are there to connect people either to the White Trail or just to dispel any confusion coming off the Blue Trail.  There is also no bypass to the rutted section but now that I think about it, they might be thinking the lower part of the trail before the turn, which has always been, in my case the Mulikin, but with that tree coming down due to Sandy and thoroughly blocking the trail that by pass that I have been riding for years is now thought of as the main trail now.

By the time I got to the top of Mulikin I was really hot and had to take off a few things as I imagined I would.  Once on the Gussy I decided to hit the short cut to the Three Bears Roller but found that I really don't like the flow.  I know who ever did it is probably reading this post so don't take this the wrong way, but I think a few tweaks here and there would make this a fun downhill trail and open up some additional challenges on the way down before the bears.

If I am going to rid up the Gussy, I like go out on the Equestrienne Trail, which by the way was one of the original impetuses to build the Gussy because the yellow crossed private land and was really unsustainable.  What I like to do is descend the Yellow to the blue, ride that for a little clip and then head out to the Forest Road on the sloppily blazed white trail but then I found some new yellow blazes at an interesting height - looks like someone painted them without getting off their high horse (pun).  Basically it connects the Gussy to the sloppily blazed white trail.  It's really a one way (down) trail trail if you are going to ride it.  You could ride it from the other direction with Granny's help.  Again, a few tweaks here and there and it could be a fun trail in either direction!