Monday, May 21, 2018

Bloomin Metric double header

My father, who is 75 years old has been riding the Bloomin Metric every year for the past 20 years! That's longer than my riding career, which started 13 years ago.  Granted, I rode a lot in college but afterwards not so much. 

I have always wanted to ride down to Sherwood Island from Newtown, ride with my father, and then ride home.  I have never done this before because I was always tandeming with one of my kids or letting a relative borrow the tandem for the ride.  This time, however, I thought I was going to do it. That is until I woke up to a rainy, wet morning, that prompted me to drive down to Sherwood Island.

If I was riding from my house, I would have ridden the Voodoo, however, since I was riding with my dad and didn't need to worry about speed, I brought my new gravel bike, the REI Coop ADV 3.1.  Kind of a stupid name, so I call the bike the Sex Machine, because riding gravel is kind of like sex. I can be dirty, slippery, fast, bumpy, hard, and it's a lot of fun.  

Also, I wanted to try riding with my new front trunk. It was made in Korea and supposed to arrive at the end of the month but it came 5 days later from when I ordered it.  I put on my front rack to hold it. For the Bloomin Metric I put my rain jacket, rain pants, and a pair of gloves in it for the ride since it was supposed to rain and it did for about 15 minutes.  I only used my rain jacket and then afterwards I used the top tie downs to hold it for the rest of the ride.

From the pictures online the color of the bag looked like it was going to match the color of my bike perfectly but it doesn't. Its close enough.

I have been riding through Westport 2 or 3 times month, and quite often along Hulls Farm Road where this picture was taken.  Only this time I noticed this plaque and it says that this location was where Richard Rodgers lived, of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame.

Towards the end of the ride the sun came out and the day went from cold and crappy to warm and lovely. I think my dad was eager to get back to Sherwood Island so he pulled almost the whole way.


And yes, my father is a total Fred.  I told him to take off his helmet but he didn't want to.  I picked up some good swag from the MS Society table.  Got a hat and some cycling sox.  Stopped in at the LOF Booth to say hello.  The Lake to Lake to ride is just two weeks away and I can't wait because this will be the first time in two years that I will be able to do the ride once again.

Since we still didn't have power at home, my wife planned to meet up with one her girlfriends whose kids like to hang with my kids, so I took this opportunity make it a double header.  It was so nice out it would have been a shame not to enjoy the nice weather after such a horrible week.

I tried to ride the causeway between Sherwood Island and Compo Beach but found it gated off.  So I rode out on Greens Farm over to Hills Point and into the Compo Beach area.  I used to fish off the jetty for snappers and black bass when I was a kid.

After the beach I rode up 136 towards Cross Highway and then across the top of Westport.  I have ridden most of this before but then I found a stretch of road, still Cross Highway but not as highly trafficed and kind of bucolic, that goes into Fairfield.  I made my way over to Rt 135 and then over further till I ended up Bridgeport and the highlight of this ride, Aspetuck Brew Labs.  Not a true Roubaix to Brew ride because it was all pavement except for the a little dirt at Sherwood Island, but there was still a beer stop.

I had my favorite beer, the Cosmic Siesta.  I also happened to have my 32 oz hydroflask with me so I got a fill of the Cosmic Siesta, too.  Although billed as an IPA its more of a New England IPA. A little juicy and hoppy.  I love it. I struck up a conversation with the guy sitting next me.  Turns out he used to work for GT and coached a BMX racing team in the area.  He is also a mountain biker who knows Trumbull like the back of his hand.  We exchanged info and plan to meet up sometime at Trumbull to ride.

I headed back on the bike route towards Sherwood Island. This ride was kind of a first because it was the first time I wasn't following a route.  I forgot to load the route and decided to just wing it.  I had to stop a few times for bearing checks till I got to the brewery.  Afterwards, it was easy peasy.  However, by the time I got Southport the Back Teeth were Floating and I stopped at Sasco Beach for a Papa Romeo (Personal Relief).  When I got back to Sherwood Island and loaded the bike in the car it started to rain again but it was a quick shower. It felt really good.

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