Thursday, August 30, 2018

Thirsty Thursday: Jack's Abby Copper Legend

Jack's Abby does it again with another outstanding lager.  Copper Legend, Octoberfest taste really good. The only downside is it doesn't have that Märzen flavor associated with just about all the German Octoberfest beers that I have had. Still, it's light enough to be enjoyed after a hard ride or fishing all day on Long Island Sound!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

NWCT Autumn Roubaix Route Recon

I thought it might be a good idea to spend a day reconnoitering the course I designed for the NWCT Autumn Roubaix Classic to see if there were any surprises on the route. The original thought was to have an easy and hard route, so I decided to ride the hard route, of course. The difference lies in two climbs, Front of the Mountain and Kent Road North.

Front of the Mountain is a beast of a climb that starts out at a 7% grade and then doubles to 14% in the middle of the climb and by the time you turn onto Long Mountain Road your are still climbing a 9% grade. I did it without having to stop, however, there were a few sections that were really dry and I almost spun out.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Do you want to know where the dirt is in the Northeast?

Northeast Gravel Riders
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If you like riding dirt roads and are looking for routes to ride, meet other riders, or learn a new area to ride in the Northeast this is the place.

Friday, August 24, 2018


The Housatonic Valley Chapter of NEMBA's Thirsty Thursday BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike) ride series has a breath of new life.  Nick, from Waterbury, and I rode the Upper Gussy from start to finish, and we checked out the reroute that was done on the southern part of the forest, yeah the closed section. It's too bad that there are bad actors in the mountain biking community who just do as they please. Your illegal work here is just going to ruin it for everyone in the future, especially when I want to add a new trail.

It's been awhile since I was in the forest and discovered a trouble spot on the new reroute. Looks like I will need to do some more armoring but it looks like people aren't waiting at least 24 hours after a big rain for the trails to dry out and that makes me sad.

It's getting to the point in the evenings where you need lights around 7:30 or so.  Nick had a handle bar light and we were able to see reasonably well. I kept might light on low mode because I wasn't sure how much charge was on the battery.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Thirsty Thursday: Platform "Seeing Sounds" IPA

I had a couple of "Seeing Sounds" IPAs from at My Place (local Italian restaurant with an awesome tap selection in Newtown, CT) and it was incredible! It's a hazy American IPA reminiscent of a wheat beer and the same kind of hoppiness only missing that wheat beer flavor, but then again its not really a wheat beer. For an American IPA is really juicy and easy to drink one or three.  

Monday, August 20, 2018

A Rainy 156K Mystery at D2R2

The first thing we did Saturday morning was download the Long and Short Mystery Routes and then it started to rain! 

The weather report was saying rain in the morning and a midday shower. This was turning out to be the wettest D2R2 on record, for me, however not the wettest gravel grinder.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Prelude to D2R2: Camping in the rain

If you want to have the full D2R2 experience, you need to camp out before the ride. It's also nice to camp out after the ride so you don't have to cut your celebration short. This is my second year camping out and it's a blast. Especially since, I have fallen in with this great group of guys, and a lady, whom I met through one of my riding buddies, Mike.

Friday, August 10, 2018

NWCT Autumn Roubaix Classic

This fall, on September 23, 2018, Hunt Hill Farm, Northwest Connecticut’s experiential learning center of art, in New Milford Connecticut, is hosting a bicycling touring event on the scenic dirt roads of Northwestern Connecticut. The event supports Hunt Hill Farms’ children’s and emerging artists’ programs. The ride will feature three metric distances (30km, 60km, 100km) followed by a concert and cookout.

Where:  Hunt Hill Farm, 44 Upland Road, New Milford, CT
Time:    9am Ride,  1pm Cookout and Concert
Route:   Starting in New Milford, the routes will also cover stretches in Washington, Roxbury,
Gaylordesville, Kent, Sharron, Warren, Kent Hollow and New Preston Connecticut.
Cost: Riders pay $75 for 30km, $85 for 60km, and $95 for 100km.

For more information and to register for the event please go to: 

Thursday, August 09, 2018

D2R2 Primer

Need to get ready for D2R2? 
Then, let's start climbing!

Front of the Mountain
Ore Hill
Kent Road North


Start Location:  Youngs Field, New Milford, CT
7 AM

Thirsty Thursday: Jack's Abbey Post Shift Lager

Except for those fruity beers, you cannot go wrong at the Abby.  This pilsner is light and crispy that reminds me of those hot days back in Austria when we had no air conditioning and drinking a cold beer really cooled you off.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Hippy Roubaix to Brew: Kent Falls Ride #2

My company has summer hours, which means, I can pop smoke at 1 PM. When Steve Taylor, a cyclist whom I connected with through Instagram said that he would be spending another week this year in Newtown, I suggested that we get together for a gravel ride in Litchfield County. I gave him a couple of routes to explore on his own but if you are going to ride gravel up here, you really should have a guide. The one thing that had me a little nervous, however, was the weather. According to the weather channel, it looked like we could get a shower or two around 5 PM.

I picked up Steve from his Air BnB and we headed up to the Roxbury Market.  There we met Andy Engel and Ben Maxwell. We got on the road and headed north via Judds Bridge and then up the Shepaug Railroad bed, through the tunnel and on to Washington Depot. It was a spectacular day.

Riding through Washington Depot, you'd think that there was no chance or rain today but it seems to be Monsoon Season in Southern New England this week and one minute it can be like this and the next we could get a thunderstorm and then it's raining cats and dogs. 

Riding through the tunnel is fun but riding through Hidden Valley always seems to be a little more exciting. Not sure if that's because of the railroad bed and proximity to the river or the remoteness of the location. The rocks on the trail were really greasy and everyone was taking it easy.

There is one little bridge that I have ridden before but given today's conditions my pucker factor was up and at the last minute I decided to walk it but my dismount, on the bridge, was bad and I ended up going over somewhat. The only thing that stopped me from going over completely was the three teeth of my big ring digging into my leg.

When we came out onto Romford Road we got a brief shower and then as we were climbing up Whittlesey it became a light shower.  At the top, we stopped for a snack under a big Oak tree that provided some cover.

Photo Credit:  Steve Taylor
I was literally stuffing my face with this awesome homemade energy bar that Steve makes when he took that picture. He brought one for all of us and it was insanely good.  Lots of different nuts on the outside and dried fruit on the inside made for the perfect all natural energy bar.

The rain had tapered off a bit while we were riding down Rt 202.  Then we took to Flirtation Avenue and it started raining lightly again.  Passing by the town beach on Lake Waramaug the light shower started to get heavier and then rounding the bend on West Shore Road it became a full on downpour. I thought about trying to find a tree to hang out under but I was so soaked it wouldn't really have mattered so we pushed on to the brewery.

At the brewery there were some other cyclists who had ridden from Litchfield but they were much more dryer than we were which means they probably only got a light shower before getting to the brewery. It was the perfect temperature in the brewery. The rain never let up and after a few lightning flashes and a power flicker, the rain just got steadier and heavier. 

I had the Danny Boy, a German styled lager, which tasted great. I decided that is what I will be taking home in my Hydro Flask only to find out that the flask was leaking. So I treated Ben and Andy to another round! We put on our rain jackets because it was still raining when we left and started climbing up Camps Road and then climbing even more up Gunn Hill.

The hill on Camps combined with the climb up Gunn Hill is a 4% average grade for almost a mile. The pouring rain made it all the more difficult. Then we bombed down Finlay Road, cut across 202 and then made our way over to Chestnut Hill.  The climb up Walker Brook was nice and the rain actually started to taper off somewhat.  The descent down Walker Brook was a blast but the grime from the dirt road was nasty. Steve had fenders on his bike so he was pretty clean by the end of the ride, but not for the rest of us. My trunk bag acts like a fender but does nothing for the rest of the bike.

Photo Credit:  Steve Taylor
Andy suggested that we go for a post ride dip near the Shepaug and I thought I heard him say at Roxbury Pond, so we drove down River Road to the parking area. One look at the pond and I said no way am I going into that quagmire but then he said, we are going to a swimming hole past the pond on the Shepaug River.  While the water silty from all the rain it felt great! Need to remember this place for future post ride cool downs.

Friday, August 03, 2018

eBikes are not permitted on CT Trails - it's the law!

From the Bike Walk CT Newsletter:

Electric bicycle legislation (PA 18-165) was passed in July that recognizes e-bike riders as vulnerable users, and provides guidelines for where e-bikes are permitted to be ridden!

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Thirsty Thursday: Köstritzer Schwarzbier

From one of the oldest breweries making Schwarzbier (black beer) in the world is Köstritzer. I can't put my finger on the taste but if you have lived in Germany and enjoy German beer you will immediately recognize that distinctive taste. It's great after a long road ride or after some huckling and buckling in the woods, or for any occasion.

Noch ein Bier daß Ich Dir empfehle!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Gussy was Greasy

The past two days I have been putting in some long hours at work, but today I needed a break, so I headed home at little earlier than normal.  Bucky texted me to find if we were still going riding today and I asked about how much rain we got when that storm ripped through but he said it was a quick shower. Since it wasn't a soaking rain and it had been hot all day I figured the trails would be fine.