Monday, May 31, 2010

Tandeming around town

I wanted to take Katie over to the North Putnam County Rail Trail but there wasn't enough time yesterday afternoon so we headed out for 10+ mile loop around town. She wanted to ride down Main Street so that mean climbing all the way up Hanover Road, ooof! Got passed by some guy on a sleek rig, of course he wasn't pedaling 50 lb bike, 80 lbs of kid, and some extra stuff. Of course the reward was a nice coast down Main but we got stuck at the light. We rode down to Mile Hill and then on to Mile Hill South where rode on the Town's other multi-use trail that runs along the back side of Fairfield Hills.

At the top of the hill that boasts a nice panoramic view of Newtown, granted you can't see much because everything is obscured by trees it still makes a nice place to stop and take a break.

And of course to ham it up for the camera.

Perfect day and perfect temps for riding around town on the tandem.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

All Gussied Up - Riding it

Hit the Gussy around 7 AM this morning with the intention of riding the new skinny. Dillinger is riding fine with the exception of the cracked aluminum sound coming from somewhere in the headtube. Now that I think about it I think I have had that sound for as long as I had the bike. I might have first noticed it on Veterans Day of last year while riding Greyville.

I rode up on the skinny and the first thing I noticed was having to make the sharp turn to set up to ride the log kept throwing me off. After trying it a few times I realized that I didn't have enough time to straighten out and momentum was carrying me off to the right. I fell off a few times figuring this out and got a nice scrape on my leg for my efforts. I hate to say it and I know ECHO and Bunnymen are going to say, "See DD, I told you so!", it's got to be the 29er wheels. Making the tight turn while maintaining enough forward momentum to keep you upright unfortunately didn't work here.

To make up for the situation where smaller is better, I ended up clearing a path before that gives me time to straighten out before hitting the tranny and thus my momentum is directed straight down the log. I also moved the tranny over a couple of inches so that the flat part where it meets the log is more in the middle. I think that was throwing me off as well. At some point I think I make a cut out trail that starts further up so that there is longer run up.

As I thought, the rocks on the end are perfect if you want to roll it, of course this could be case where bigger wheels are better so I would recommend hucking it, which I also did in the video below.

Now I am thinking about checking out the big slick rock that lies behind the Three Sisters Roller. That might make for an interesting interlude within this area. There is a lot more to play on here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

All Gussied up

A little trail work on the Gussy Trail this morning. More pix on the Upper Gussy Blog later tonight. A fellow trail user brought his father out to help with opening up a blocked portion of the trail on Saturday morning.

He cut a twenty foot section and we rolled it into place. Then he cut perpendicular cuts so that we could create a treadway using hatchets.

A little benching up to the Tranny to smooth it out.

C'est tou!

Friday, May 28, 2010


In a pinch, riding Upper Paugussett, is great. Take today for example, I haven't ridden all week due to business trip during the first part of the week and swamped with work for the rest. The kick-off to the long weekend meant getting out of work early but the earliest I was able to pop smoke was 4 PM.

Foliage on either side of the trail is starting to grow in nicely but the trail treadway is really well defined. The Dillinger, despite the cracking noise coming from the headtube and the donging noise coming from the EBB felt really good. I like the egg beaters that I have been using and I am getting much better at Bunny Hopping over logs.

Somebody contacted me last week about doing something with the tree that fell across the trail. It's a big tree and even if we cut it I am not sure if we'll be able to position it so that it can be ridden as a skinny or not. It appears however that a go around is starting at this rock.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Free Schwag

Big thanks to Greg Rides Trails for hooking me up with this sexy Airborne water bottle. I like the contrast the blue gives off (with a little help from Photoshop) against the pearl green of my Dillinger.

As far as how it works, haven't had the opportunity to test it out but it does have a nice volume window to let you know what's left in it. I will use it this Sunday for the Bloomin Metric.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tandeming the Bloomin' Metric

Katie and I got up around 6 AM and headed down to Norwalk a little before 7 AM. Temperature up where we live was a bit cooler on the coast and it was very foggy. After registering we met up with Katie's Grandfather who was working the communications tent. Apparently, the local Ham Radio operators get together and provide commo to the event with the sag wagons. Of course a cell phone would probably work just as well but it's cool to see this being done via local push.

We met up with my father and his girlfriend and then we were off. Unfortunately, while our training paid off in spades, my father didn't do any prior to the event. Katie and I were able maintain 12 to 15 mph to my father's 6 mph. We tried riding with them for awhile but we started feeling the need for speed and took off.

Along the way, we passed a distant relative to Barney. This woman was just plodding along. I think my father passed her as well.

We hung out waiting for my father catch up.

My father and his girlfriend, Peggy, caught up to us. We let them get a little distance on us before we started again but we quickly caught up to the them and passed.

The bathroom break was a little skeevy, Katie wasn't going to try.

It seemed that this beach was a popular stop for all.

There were a few mountain bikes

Quite a few comfort bikes

At the split off for the 75 & 100K routes we took a break. Katie used the restroom at this little grocery store while I bought some snacks. This was the halfway point and I should have held off on this because of the smörgåsbord of food offered at the Food Stop.

Food Stop! The booty was awesome.

There were quite a few folders and all of this manufacture.

There were a few tandems, too.

Last wait stop for my father.

At the end

Peggy rolls in

And my father closely behind

At Doctor Mike's Mobile Bike Shop we met up with Katie's Grandfather

Dr Mike had a Cro-Mo Raleigh XXIX, rigid, that he let me try. It was nice! I think I might be going back to steel next year. The Qball is looking super sweet as a Monster Crosser (coming soon) and I think I want to try something different, anyway next year.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

20 Clicks on the North Putnam Line

I got an email the other day from of someone that lives near me and shares my passion for riding rail trails. Brodie had been bugging me all week for a trail-a-bike ride so I thought I would make it up to him and he would ride this section of the Putnam Country Rail Trail. Paved Railtrails and Fixed Gears are a match made in heaven.

This is a busy rail trail with many cyclists and walkers, even a few roller bladers, too. I didn't know roller blading was still en vogue. We passed this Father and Son duo about a mile back from this point but you-know-who needed to pee so they caught up to us. We passed them again shortly afterwards.

At the 10 Km point, we stopped for a light snack, a little apple juice and some photo opportunities. We hit the 10K point in 30 minutes.

There are straight stretches of the trail that are a mile long.

Funny how you only see old guys on recumbents. I think it was the rage twenty years ago and they never got rid of them but you only see old guys on them.

Back at the car it was time for liquids and having fun in the back of the car while I got things loaded.

Having not made it all the way to Mahopac my guess is that it's one gradual climb and then basically downhill to Yonkers.

The first peak in the profile below is the section that goes through Carmel. It seems that the original grade was changed making it a much higher climb to get over Route 6 than what the original bed did. There are quite a few sections along what we rode that were this way as well. Still, it was cool to be riding a piece of history.

I might try to do the three sections next month, which would make it my first 100 miler. Not sure I was to try that fixed, though. Probably use the Qball for that ride since I have slicks on it now.