Sunday, January 08, 2012

Post Op, my first ride

I have been slowing working myself up on the trainer but today, three weeks post the knee operation, I decided to try riding.  I took the Bianchi down to the Farmington River Trail while my kids were skiing at Ski Sundown with their Grand Father.  That place is incredible!  We haven't had any snow this winter and they are 100% open with a 3 foot base and spring like conditions.  They know how to make snow!

I have been drooling over the Farmington Trail for years because of its rich history in manufacturing and what it still offers today for industrial sightseeing.  Not to mention the Farmington River, it's probably Connecticut's premier trout fishery and unless it's frozen over you will find people fishing in it year round.

I have ridden the Bianchi on the Trainer for about two hours now, and except for a few driveway circuits this is the first time really riding it.  A couple changes are necessary, I feel.  Definitely a bigger front ring and the rear derailleur needs a little adjusting but riding with the mustache bars are excellent and in fact, I think all my future rebuilds are going to go route in the future.  One thing for sure, it's fun to ride and solid as a rock.

The first 20 minutes on the bike from the junction north of Collinsville, where I parked down to the center of town my knee was still a little stiff.  This is the first time in 6 years that I am riding a bike with flats and it felt weird, especially wearing shoes with cleats.  If this were Saturday, I might have been wearing my sneakers or my orange Crocs (probably would have looked like Bozo) but Sunday was much cooler and I have come to learn that dressing for a road ride is a lot different that mountain.

I was surely tempted to stop for a pint of something yummy despite the cold but I had only a narrow window to ride so I passed it up. Maybe next time.  Of all the places to visit, however, Collinsville is the one.

This old Railroad bridge still stands, enclosed by old factories that harnessed the power of the Farmington River that industrialized America a couple of centuries ago.  

I kind of messed up on my route.  At first I was going to ride the new trail from Collinsville to Canton, then take Rte 177 down to Avon and come back up the Farmington Trail but I was afraid that it might take me longer than I imagined so instead I rode down the Farmington to Avon and then decided at the last second to follow the course in reverse but I am not used to following courses on my Garmin and missed critical turn.  Why didn't I bring a map, doh!

I ended up on a road with a bit of climbing, something that I was actually trying to avoid because I knew that only 177 would be flat (or at least flatter) than this route.  Some friendly firemen along the way gave me some directions so I knew I wasn't going to be late because I was at least headed back to Collinsville.  I got back to the car still had a half hour to kill.  

So I did the Collinsville to Canton run.  There wasn't a lot of information readily available on the conditions and how much was done and not done, in other words I threw caution to the wind and took my chances and it was worth while.  The trail is paved all the way to Canton and it's recent so it's really smooth.  The one thing I forgot, and I am usually Mister Boy scout and bring everything, is a bell.  There are so many walkers, doggers, roller bladers, joggers, and people enjoying the unusually warm weather on these trails that I got hoarse from yelling out warnings.

While I didn't do the intended loop per-say I was able to ride all the rail beds.  Next week I think I will be doing it again, only this time I will do the loop in a clockwise fashion. 

1 comment:

CB2 said...

I used to steer clear of the bike path, but I have been enjoying it a great deal lately. Great hitting it early before there is too much traffic. I rode it from the Mass border to Farmington over X-mass break.
Took the Q there one day in December and he crashed exiting the bridge leaving Collinsville.