I posted an inquiry on the NWCT NEMBA Facebook page to see if anyone was available to act as a tour guide and found that a former Crankfire alumnus, Derek, was willing to give me the nickel tour. He brought his dog and was rocking to some some killer metal throughout the ride.
Friday, December 15, 2017
My company gave us the Friday before Labor Day off this year giving me a four day weekend which I planned largely to mountain bike. I have to take my daughter to Boston on Saturday so I thought I would hit Nassahegon State Forest on Friday and then Rockland on Saturday, Sunday ride local and then Monday, Milford Town Forest, aka Vietnam.
Day three of my of Labor Day Mountain Biking weekend I headed up to Milford Town Forest in Milford, MA, the home of New England Mountain Bike Association's Vietnam Mountain Biking Park. Due to the holiday weekend I couldn't find a guide so I decided to do a self guided tour with a little help from the ViewRanger App.
I was so excited that I was finally riding the Milford Town Forest that I didn't think to turn on route recording after 10 minutes in. This isn't a paid endorsement for ViewRanger, but let me tell you, that the accuracy of the software and the map was spectacular and I was able to ride mostly self guided. There is even an Apple Watch App, too, so I was able to check where I was without having to look at my iPhone. The only downside to the Watch App, however, is that it doesn't orient in your direction of travel, and with the map oriented to the north and you are heading south you are looking at the map upside down.
There was about an inch of snow when I headed out Thursday morning. There was a school delay so I didn't have to worry about not taking my boys to school. The snow made everything serene and peaceful. The snow that was left over from the weekend had melted somewhat due to the rain but refroze due to the cold snap and with the new snow on top made it crunchy as I rode up the Brodie Road to the four corners.
This where the Mulikin meets Double Secret Probation. Riding with my ViewRanger app on, I decided to ride down DSP so I could get a track of it. I am still trying to figure out how to create a map using the app, similar to the Trail Forks map but it seems Trail Forks only works if you are connected to a network service.
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Due to Winter Storm Benji bearing down on Southern New England last Saturday I suggested to my son that we skip his first day of his ski race team training and I would take him skiing at Jiminy Peak on Sunday instead. He was more that enthusiastic about that since the first day they weren't going to spend all day skiing and he really just loves to ski. That mean that I was free to ride!
I did some chores in the morning while waiting for the snow to accumulate, no sense taking the big girl out to play with just a dusting, and by the time there was around an inch of snow on the ground I headed out. Realizing that it was Saturday and on the tail end of dear season I made sure to get all oranged up because Upper Paugussett is an active hunting forest.
Friday, December 08, 2017
I saw this post on Strava today and I really wish people would take a moment and try to understand the impact they are having by leaf blowing the trails:
Actually, you are not awesome, in fact you are doing more harm than good!
It's really detrimental to the trails when this happens. Leaves shed water and keep the treadway from soaking in all that extra moisture. Trails at Upper Paugussett were so good you could ride them after a really good rain storm but now that they are uncovered people really need to let them dry out, now. Not that many riders actually do that any more or seem to care.
If you don't believe me then checkout a few of these threads on MTBR:
Here is an excellent video on why we do not remove leaves from our trails.
Yes, leaves make it more challenging to walk, run or ride but by leaving the leaves on the trail makes them more sustainable in the long run.
Sunday, December 03, 2017
Yet another biking conundrum ... how to dress for cold weather mountain biking. The last time I rode Fat Amy was early September and it was still summer. I lucked out this afternoon and picked the right combination of gear and was neither too hot nor too cold.
About a month into my recovery I got the girl ready to ride thinking that I could at least ride some rail trails. I went back to my original flat pedals and I put on a Jeff Jones H-Bar. These bars remind me of my old FuBars. What's so special about these bars and any kind of swept back bars? It's a more natural way you would hold your arms, thus reducing the stress on your wrists.
My brace came off Monday and the Orthopedist gave me the go ahead to start riding outdoors again however that presented a new hurdle because haven't the spent the last two months adjusting to the increasing cold temperatures as winter slowly rolls in. For my first ride, however, by some stroke of luck, I got it right.