Sunday, May 21, 2017

Singlespeeding the Bloomin Metric


I brought my tandem down to Westport for my brother-in-law, Will and his daughter Julia to ride this year since my oldest son is no longer interested in staring at my fourth point of contact for 26 miles. I decided to ride my singlespeed again, only this time I kept it free wheel.  Have ridden 130 miles two days ago I didn't want to take any chances straining anything. 


We set off at a brisk pace by my father's standards.  Granted he is 75 and mostly rides rail trails but he still rides!  Some of the hills on the course were too steep for him and he walked a few of them. He was able to ride up Burr Street, though. On the singlespeed I had to attack every hill otherwise I would be walking.


My dad crossing over the Parkway


At the rest stop there was the customary pickle juice shot


Wasn't really necessary but it's tradition.


I think my father has been riding the Bloomin Metric every year for the past 20 years!  I have done it now 7 years in a row.  Hopefully, I will get another one of my children to come out in the coming years. Until that happens, and my father is till riding I will stick with the singlespeed.


After lunch I headed over to Aspetuck Brew Labs for a flyte and half growler fill.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Paul's Birthday Rando: a 211K Brevet


When fellow Lunartics cyclists Paul mentioned that he had a birthday coming up and liked to take the day off and go riding I asked him if he wanted some company and he said sure.  He wanted to do a big ride up to Barkhamstead Reservoir and since it's hard for me to do a birthday ride because my birthday is in the middle of winter I planned out a route for us to hit as much dirt as possible.

Paul has the yellow jersey on

The first leg of the journey was to accompany some other Lunartics riders on the Friday OOF (Ovens of France) ride for breakfast.

John (l) and Steven (r)
From Woodbury we rode up to Bethlehem and our first dirt road was Gros Road near Long Meadow Pond. At first it looked like a drive way but as we continued up the road it was indeed a nice gravel road.  From there, we road up the paved portion of Munger Lane and continued onto the dirt portion as well.


We then rode Headquarters Road, that I originally thought was dirt but when I road by it last year found that it wasn't.  Of course if I continued a mile or so up the road I would have found that it indeed had a dirt portion.  


Another new dirt road was Shepard Road (pictured below)


As well as, Hemlock Hill Road
(also pictured below)



Once in Goshen we searched for a store and found a Shell Station with a Quickmart.


Can't ride through the Connecticut Country side without at least one obligatory cow picture!


Eventually we made it to Winstead and we should have refilled bottles because little did we know that there wasn't a convenience store to be found for the next 30 miles.  


We rode into Barkhamstead


And then Riverton and along the Farmington River


And then headed around the Barkhamstead Reservoir


Little did I know that on the east side of the Bark'stead Reservoir there was going to be a tremendous climb.


Passing by Ratlum Road I saw the sign for Ski Sundown and thought that it would be nice to roll around in some snow right now. It must have been 90 degrees and both my water bottles were empty.


Turns out the brewery I wanted to stop at didn't open till 4 so we ate lunch at a diner located in the Collinsville Antique Gallery. I ordered a glass of pickle juice which tasted fantastic!


Of course if you are going to ride through New Hartford and dirt roads, you must pay a visit to the one road that never has a road sign.  The name of this road doesn't even show up on most online maps.  Those of us, however, in the know, know the name of this road. It's called Pussy Lane!  This has been on my bucket list for quite some time and now its blogged into history.


The bridge was out on Carpenter Road but we found a way to cross the river without getting wet. After crossing Route 202 we headed down through Harwington and down to Terryville.  On Route 6 in Plymouth we found another deli to get a snack and fill bottles again.  From there we stayed on Route 6 to Watertown and then headed down to Route 64 and Middlebury where picked up Route 6 again in Woodbury, right across from Ovens of France.  From there it was a straight shot back to Sandy Hook.


At Cover 2, I had an ice cold PBR that never tasted better!



video