Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rollover @ Currituck & Route 25

Riding up Pond Brook Road this morning I got passed by some black sedan going 50 mph on the dirt road flashing his lights and as he passed I noticed he had NY plates.  Shortly afterwards I heard fire trucks, most likely coming from Hawleyville Volunteer Fire Company.  I didn't put two and two together till I was about 100 yards from the intersection of Currituck and Route 25.  Blue and red lights off in the distance said it all.   

On the right is the black sedan.  At first I thought he might have caused the accident given the way he was driving but then I noticed the green Subaru in the middle of the intersection.

And then there was the black Dodge SUV on it's roof.  If I had to venture a guess as to what happened it looked like the Subaru was out a little too far into the intersection and the SUV came around the curve, clipping the Subaru, lost control and rolled.  That really sucks.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mid Morning Endo

Slippery leaves and sharp turns are a bad combination only on this endo I supermaned it a little better and to took the fall on the elbows and rolled through it.  Still, it was a bit of a yard sale.

Over the two stream crossings and up a slight hill I come to a recent blowdown that was cut up for me and I have been wanted to do something about it.  Some moved it so that it was properly blocking the trail again and I decided to do something once and for all.

First I tried it on the west side of the trail but didn't like positioning.  Not to mention, I needed to armor the crotch otherwise if you fell off the other side you would surely endo.  But I didn't like the end line.

So I moved it to the other side of the trail but that had a section sticking into the trail that I had to do something about.

I cut this section with my collapsible saw.  It took maybe 15 to 20 minutes.

After cutting the tip off that was blocking the trail I did a little armoring and voila!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rattle Canned 'Goose

Based on the shifters and from what I have found in Bikepedia you are looking at a Mongoose Switchback, circa 1995. Interestingly, the bike was secured to the pole with a rope but based on it's looks I would say you would have to be pretty desparate to steel this bike.

If it wasn't for the saddle I wouldn't have figured out the make

The rapid fire shifters is what helped me pinpoint the model year.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Burner Gravel Grinder

I had originally intended on leading a Turkey Burner down at the Pequonnock River Valley in Trumbull but as luck would have it it was raining so that was a no go.  I waited till the afternoon and headed out for a little adventure on the Qball Monster for a little post Turkey Day Monster CX ride around the neighborhood.

The ride started at the entrance to Tamarack Road, which is dirt, and then I took Sanford Rd (also dirt).  Heading into the forest (Upper Paugussett) the dirt driveway turned into a gravel logging road also known as the Poly Brody Forest Road.  Came across these two hunters who were out looking for hooved rats.  From there I climbed the hill to about the highest point in the forest and then descended down to Pond Brook.  Quick jog onto Hanover Rd (first pavement) but then got off the hardball and into the dirt at the boat ramp.  Picked up the old Shepaug RR bed for 100 feet, crossed over Hanover and was back on dirt for Pond Brook Road.

Pond Brooks turns into Hardball at Lake George but I had to endure the shame of riding on asphalt for about 100 yards till I crossed over the stream and got back on the old Shepaug RR line.  The last time road this trail was in 2005, might have been first or second time on a mountain bike and I didn't go that far.  This time, however, I decided to go all the way (to Curituck Road).

The local horse people call this the Ash Track and it wasn't that bad.  There were a few wet spots here and there, and quite few blowdowns.  One even caught the saddle of the Qball and I figured it was a perfect photo op.

By this makeshift bridge (background) are old railroad ties that must be over a 100 years old.

The trains that ran on the Shepaug line over 100 years ago brought milk from Litchfield, CT down to Bethel and then to Norwalk where it was loaded on ferries and sent to NYC. 
Tennis Anyone?

After the town openspace the old rail bed goes through a cut which reminded me a lot like Steep Rock Reservation.  Same line in fact.  After the cut, however, the bed gets worse and worse.  At the gas line I had to carry my bike through the reads and prickly bushes and then bailed altogether on the bed and rode a short distance down to Curituck Road.  The it was 30 yards up to Adams lane, left on Adams - yes I had to endure the indignity of riding on more asphalt but then I banged a right onto Kenan and that turned to dirt.

There are two, really old farm houses on Kenan, one of which has all manner of barns and out buildings, with lots of old signs everywhere.  My dirt Shangrila was short lived because I was back on Curituck and then it was Butterfield.  Butterfield is now buttery smooth but that didn't do much counter the chagrin of riding on more asphalt.  Finally though I came to a horse trail that cuts over to some Newtown Forestry Assocation land.  The initial part of the trail was easy to follow but further in it got tough.  There was really nice terrain back there and I was wishing I had my mountain bike.

I wondered where that Giraffe got off to
The trail, while difficult to follow at times eventually cuts across the gas line and winds up at near the other side Georges Hill.  Someone told me there was more trail that led eventually to Daniels Farm Lane but I didn't find it.  Instead I climbed the old right of way for Georges Hill, only it looks like the equestriennes made their own trail braid because the old road was pretty washed out.  Still, I had to use the upper most section to get back to Butterfield.

Back on Butterfield I experienced a gorgeous sunset but the waning sunlight meant I had to get home fast because I didn't bring any illumination with me.  Thought about it before leaving the house but bagged it to minimize bringing extra stuff that I wasn't I needed.

No time to look for more dirt, just bombed down Butterfield and then road home.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Friday Fix: What a difference a saddle makes

Here I was trying to sell this bike and I recently went back to my Brooks saddle and it's a whole different bike, or shall I say the bike that I used to love riding before I changed the saddle.

On Monday, I rode with the yellow saddle but combined with the seatpost, I just couldn't get it high enough to make it comfortable to ride. When I put the Brooks back, it changed everything. Wednesday's commute to work proved it. The bike fit nicely again and it was a pleasure to ride that I am now of the mind that I will never sell this bike.

I think, however, that once I get the Deathfork back in business I might try the Marin as a fixed cross bike. It's a bit heavy but I get the feeling that it's going to be fun off road.

Fixie Action

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Fixed-Giving!

Short work week and I rode to work 2 of the 3 days.  Riding the Brooks saddle I noticed a huge difference right off the bat.  The Stinson is fun to ride again because it feels right.  

Riding up through the Pond Brook River Valley Wednesday morning there were some cool lighting conditions.  

Dark clouds with the sun rising in the east make an interesting combination.

Of course, those potholes got me on Pond Brook Road causing me to drop my chain.  Looks like I need to tighten my chain again.

Road Side Virgin


I think those hunters are looking for this guy
On the way in, I took my 11 mile route which is a favorite of mine because there are no real terrible descents and I can usually do it in just under an hour.  Seeing that it was the start of the Thanksgiving Holiday, the office cleared out quickly so I left around 3 ish and decided to take the long way home.  The wind, both coming and going, really cooled things off quickly.  Still, it was great to be on the Stinson and having the bike feel right again! 

Bianchi Comfort Irony

While my boys enjoyed themselves at the Jungle Gym at Railroad Park I noticed a Bianchi Comfort bike locked to the railing in front of the old train station.

Naturally, I had to check it out.  I think this is a 2001 Bianchi Avenue according to Bikepedia.  I have always like Bianchis and this kind of bike would make an excellent commuter.

Not two minutes later, I get a shot of this guy riding past also riding a Bianchi Avenue.  This one is a little newer, 2002 model, in British racing green.  What a coincidence!