Monday, April 30, 2018

Roubaix to Brew: Mission Aborted

Upon checking the weather Saturday the forecast had changed to rain on Sunday morning with colder temperatures.  It was raining pretty hard when I woke up so I made sure that I brough all my rain gear, too. True to form, on the drive to Wassaic, Mr Hanky came a calling.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Ride After Work: Librarian's Option

This has been a tough week to ride.  My wife and oldest son are on class trip to DC which means I get to play Mr Mom.  It's not that bad, only morning rides/bike commutes are out this week because my better half isn't around to drive the kids to work.  The night before, after cleaning up from dinner, doing the dishes, and making sure homework is done I was able to get on the trainer at 10:30 PM.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thirsty Thursdays: Switchback Ale

Now this is an Ale that should take home to Momma!  Another fine ale from the Green Mountain State! It's an unfiltered, amber ale that tastes amazing. I think their secret to success with this beer is that they let it age, something other micros seem to be cutting short on. It has a full body and doesn't seem watered down like many of the other beers flowing into glasses today. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Next Roubaix to Brew: Let's ride 66 miles for a glass of beer!

I have always wanted to ride to Chatham Brewing and now I am going to do it this Sunday (4/29).  Originally, I was planning on by passing Mt Riga Road after learning that there is still snow on Mt Washington Road and Mt Riga Road I was thinking of avoiding it but now it's back into the route.  If you want to join the ride, we are meeting at the Wassaic Metro North stop (end of the line) at 8 AM.  The route will consist of rail trail, dirt roads, and some pavement.

Click the Read More link for the route and Ralph Pruitt's video of his ride from last weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

First Bike Commute of 2018

On the Tuesday after that huge rainstorm I met Gavin down at the intersection of Huntingtown Road and Meadowbrook Road and we rode together down towards Easton.  It was much colder than I was expecting and feet froze. All the local streams were flooding but the most impressive one was the Aspetuck River off of Wells Hill Road.

Thirsty Thursdays: Jack's Abby Smoke & Dagger

I hope I don't sound biased but you can't go wrong with anything from Jack's Abby. I have had black lagers before but this one is totally outstanding. This is kind of beer that goes well just about everything.  Especially after a good ride.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Please let the Gussy Trails dry 24 to 48 hours

That was a lot of rain today (4-16-2018). At the request of the land managers, most importantly the CT DEEP, please stay off the trails until they dry. Probably 24-48 hours in this case. We've had recent complaints from land managers about rutted trails, trail braiding, etc. that can jeopardize everyone's access.

Looks like the footbridge at the Pond Brook Connector Trail needs a little TLC!

Winter is back?

Last week I met with Paula and we walked my re-route at the Mulikin Trail and she suggested some changes.  Going back Sunday morning and incorporated those and had to make a few more because the ground in which she said to move the trail to was just too soft.  Bucky met me up on the trail and helped do some cutting. I probably have to go back one more time to finalize the final route and then work can begin.

Roubaix to Brew: Kent Falls Brewery

This year's first Roubaix to Brew began on a beautiful spring morning. Andy, Jeff, and Jason rode in from their houses, Mike parked at the Brewery and rode down to meet us, and Paul and I drove.  We left Roxbury Market at 9 AM and headed down Judd's Bridge.  

On the way down I hit a bump and immediately following my saddle felt loose.  Riding up Tunnel Road and onto the old Shepaug Rail Road right of way it was perfect.  There was even still ice in the tunnel from this past winter and the temperature inside was at least 30 degrees cooler.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Mulikin Trail Tweaks

I met up with a local trail builder and we looked at the pin job I did on the Mulikin Reroute.  She had some really great ideas that will make this part of the trail really good. Now I have to go in and pin the exact trail now that I have a rough sketch.

Afterwards, we rode up the Mulikin and then onto the Unmarked and Unsanctioned Trail.  She said that poor attempt at bridging has to come out and a proper reroute is needed.  I agreed and we rode on.

Who ever is leaf blowing the trails is got to stop.  You have no idea how bad it is for the trails. Leaves help shed water and keep the treadway from getting soggy which then leads to a muddy trail and then is reroute or armoring is necessary.  It looks good but it's really bad for the trail.  PLEASE STOP!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thirsty Thursdays: Spin Cycle

I have always been a fan of New England Brewing Company's Sea Hag but their Spin Cycle is so much better.  For a Double IPL, it's got a full body and tastes great.  The one you see pictured here has an extra quality to it that most people can't appreciate, it rode on the back of my bike from the brewery to True Cyclery, some 10 miles and still tasted a great as ever.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Oh my, what a large head tube you have!

Every two years I like to switch out bikes, at least gravel bikes. The Fred Mobile only lasted a year and the Specialized Tri-Cross lasted two commutes. I replaced the Cannondale SX800 with a Surly Cross Check and I wasn't really happy with the size of the Specialized. Now, two years later I now have a new bike.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Log Sesh at Waldo

I took my neighbor's son to Waldo on Sunday and he loved it and we barely scratched the surface. It was his first time riding skinnies and now I think he is hooked.

Here he is riding one of the skinnies on the Where's Waldo Trail.

Before leaving we tried the skinny on Thing 2 and he cleaned it as well.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

True to Brew: Fuzzy Baby Ducks Gravel Grinder

Two years ago I went on a True to Brew ride with the True Cyclery crew but I am not sure what happened last year, somehow I missed all their rides.  I got the invite from Karl and I said I am not missing this one!

Karl, owner of the True Cyclery and True to Brew Ride Leader explains the ride:
"Gonna ride some trails and dirt roads and then stop at a brewery"

Dreux, Jack and Braxston were down with that

So were Nancy, Matt and Kristen.

We left the shop and headed to East Rocks Park.  Making a sharp turn we started climbing a trail that just went up and up.  Taylor (pictured below) just hammered up it like it was nothing.

And of courser, there was more climbing

After East Rocks, we took a round about way to West Rocks.  Along the way, we climbed up Woodin Street, which at it's steepest point, after the Parkway, is 12%!  Then it was down into West Rocks State Park.  This time, we took the trail west of Lake Wintergreen and climb up was pretty brutal.

Time for a break in West Rocks and a little decision making about the best way to get to the Shadowlands.

We decided to ride the trail with the most obstacles

It was almost impossible to go underneath this tree

But we made it in varying ways.

Unbelievably, there were no flats on this ride

However, there was one mechanical and it was major.

Nancy hit a stick that tore her rear derailleur hanger clean off! Karl was able to rig her bike as a singlespeed.

Then we were off to the Shadowlands

The Shadowlands is essentially the backside of West Rocks State Park which is a trail system made up of mostly all old Woods Roads.  Very cyclocross friendly trails.

From here we rode north and then looped back and south on Downs Road. Another hidden gem, closed to all traffic but perfect for this kind of ride.  We then worked our way south hitting Sperry Road, which is another dirt road also closed to traffic.  Then we hit a few trails in Woodbridge.

One of the trail followed some powerlines for a bit and then we veered off onto a dirt road that had its share of mud bogs.  I walked the first one but blasted through the second one which was pretty deep.  My waterproof boots had no problem and but other riders weren't so lucky.

Regrouping after the mud bogs we left this fun place and headed towards the Racebrook Tract.

Nancy was hammering every hill on her new singlespeed and there were many buckets in her accomplishments!

With the sun out, jackets were shed.  Racebrook Tract was really good.  From here it was mostly downhill to the New England Brewing Company, the Beer Stop.

Finally we got to the brewery and there was a cyclist discount on pours.

I had a pint of Fuzzy Baby Ducks and Spin Cycle.  I ended up filling my growler with 32 oz of Spin Cycle and rode back to the shop with it in my seat pack.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Thirsty Thursdays: Von Trapp Double IPL

Another IPL, this time a double, and after a 60 mile ride in 30 degree weather it was a great post ride beer.  Again, it's the extra hoppiness that I think I like the most.  This is a stronger beer than other IPLs that I have had but still thoroughly enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Round 2 with crashes and mechanicals

My neighbor's son texted me midday and wanted to know what time I would be home from work on Tuesday. I told him when I decided to stop as I was working from home. Clearly, he wanted to ride as he saw my ride from the morning on Strava.

I took a break from work after 5 and headed out with Bucky. I knew the trails had seen some action after my ride in the morning so we headed in from Pond Brook.  The bridge is still where I left it!  We headed up to the Hunter's Tree Stand Trail, which is where the lunch riders went, too.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Mother Nature's belated April Fool's Joke

Woke up to Newtown Schools on a two hour delay and at least 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground already and certainly more coming.  With no kid transport duty required, I quickly dressed for a ride in the woods and got on Fat Amy.

There was maybe an inch of snow on the Poly Brody Forest Road to start but the deeper I got into the forest the deeper the snow got.  I kept my eyes open looking for the bear but I didn't see her nor any tracks.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Dirty Croissant Gravel Grinder

While I had planned for a really big ride today, when I got on the bike I just wasn't feeling it so I set out to ride some familiar dirt roads in Southbury and maybe try something new without straying too far.

Cutting through the vineyard I headed over to Black Bridge Road and what I found was a war zone.  Ravaged by Nor'easters and past hurricanes.