Sunday, December 04, 2016

Veraciously Oof

A staple in my weekly rides with the Newtown Lunartics has been riding to the Ovens of France bakery in Woodbury usually before work starting at 5:30 am from Cover Two in Sandy Hook.  With the onset of winter, the colder morning temperatures has forced many us to riding trainers in the morning instead of the roads. This has pushed us to start waiting for Saturdays and leaving later in the morning when it has warmed up a little bit.

With temperatures in the upper 30s, Mike and I climbed up to the top of Spruce Brook Mountain and visited with the cows.  They aren't at all shy.  I see these cows in pictures from other cyclists on the interwebs.  They are famous!

I call this cow Porche because his/her tag is 911

These little Dogies were all bunched up checking us out

We got to Ovens of France, what we now call OOF, in record time and or course I had the Ham and Cheese Croissant which is simply delicious.  Since I hadn't had breakfast yet it was even more tasty. The French Roast was equally savory. As always, I purchased two almond croissants for my wife and daughter and tucked it into my jersey pouch.

Riding back to Newtown we took the I-84 Rochambeau Bridge bike path to by pass riding back through Sandy Hook Center.  At the bottom of the path, at root has grown underneath the asphalt and pushed it up forming a little jump.  I bunny hopped over this but Mike wasn't so lucky.

After Mike replaced his tube we rode through a few neighborhoods to get over to Toddy Hill Road and then made our way into Monroe.  The flat tire set us back a bit and we had to call an audible to make up some time so we rode down Jockey Hollow to Pepper Street.  Rather than ride down Rt 25 we were initially going to take the Rail Trail to Purdy Hill but then I remembered Old Newtown Road.  

The brew master was really cool and let us bring our bikes inside.  Mike and I both ordered flytes. He went with the best IPAs and got the Freddy Stout, Dopplebock, Aint No Sunshine Dark IPA and the Problem Child IPA.  They were all great but I decided to fill my half growler with the Dopplebock.

The ride back was colder due to the head wind from the north but the beer made me impervious to the cold. 

 Just to be safe from any leakage I seal my growler with electrical tape

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Roxbury Roubaix at night

As winter approaches and the days get shorter it's hard to find a good time to ride but having ridden Roxbury dirt roads countless times over the years and knowing that during the week it would be really quiet I finally took the opportunity to meet up with Jeff on one of his Dirty 30 night rides.

This was the first time where I was the only one on the ride on a cross bike and everyone else had mountain bikes.  I was a bit slower on my descents on the trails not having the squish and equally cautious on the other descents in the dark but none-the-less it was a blast.

The route we took was a lot different than what I am used to as I tend to stick to my favorites, like riding up Judds Bridge, descending Mine Hill and Hartwell.  On this ride, however, it seemed that it was all in reverse.

The temperature started out in the upper 30s but I knew it would continue to fall but kit choice had me sweating at the top of the first climb on Mine Hill.  After the second climb on Old Turnpike, I opened everything up and then descending down the other side I cooled off and it felt great.  In fact, the whole ride I never got cold and I was glad that I didn't wear the Lake303s.

The crazy thing about climbing at night is that it seems to go by a lot quicker.  When I got to the top of Mine Hill I felt like I missed something.  I think it's because you really can't see what's coming next so you are living in the moment of the climb in front of you.  However, climbing Old Turnpike, a few cars passed by and you could see cars in the intersection which made that climb painful. However, Shinar Mountain, was the same and this time I didn't stall out by the cows!  At West Church Hill I really wanted to just bomb down to Steep Rock and head back but I stuck with it. 

Eventually, we got to Steep Rock and it was beautiful.  No people, horses, or cars, just the sound of bikes on dirt and the bubbling of Shepaug River on our right.  Riding through the old railroad tunnel with lights on was the first time I have actually seen the inside of the tunnel.

The last stretch of road was Judd's Bridge.  On the second to last climb, one of the riders, Ben, had a bit of chain suck that we had to stop and fix and then we came to the end of the dirt and the ride.  It was beautiful and something that I will definitely do again.