Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Haute Dog Hotel Route to OOF ... sort of

Gavin wanted to do a big ride Saturday morning with the early warm temperatures we were experiencing but with my wife out of town there were fatherly duties to attend midday Saturday. We decided to part company at Ovens of France.  For some reason, I can never get the transition down when crossing Route 6 and we always wind up back on Route 6.

Nothing beats OOF on a Saturday morning, though, or any morning for that matter. The danish, as usual was out of this world. I have switched from strictly the Ham and Cheese Croissant to favoring the Chocolate Almond Croissant.  Add a cup of hot, French Roast coffee, some great comrades and it's a great breakfast.

Gavin and Mike were headed on a route that I came up the day before that I call the Devil's Poggio. From OOF you head back on Rt 6 to Rt 47 and then turn off on Rt 132 towards Bethlehem and the big climb, known to the local riding community as the Southwestern CT version of the Poggio. From there, cut through the southern section of Bethlehem and over to Magnolia Hill Road passed the Devil's Valley Farm where we saw a rough looking, chainsaw wielding woman last year.  Then bomb down Hard Hill, ride out past Quassy and then back to OOF and the yuuge route to Cover Two. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

RAW: The Haute Librarian Route

I met Steven, Mike and Gavin at the Easton Library for a RAW (ride after work) and as I was getting ready realized that I brought the wrong gloves. My hands were freezing the whole time but still managed to have a great ride.

Relive 'RAW: Haute Librarian Route'

Afterwards, we went to the Red Rooster for beer and dinner.  


Monday, March 25, 2019

Borscht Belt Metric Century

Gavin and I drove to The Great Pumpkin Cabin in Smallwood, NY early Sunday morning for 60+ mile ride in the Catskills.  We got off to a delayed start due to Gavin getting snow stuck in his cleats and he couldn't get clipped in. By the time we started rolling my fingers were freezing and I was trying to warm them up as were riding.

Photo Cred: Gavin Arneth

The night before I finally replaced my Continental Grand Prix 4000sII tires with new ones. While we rode out from Gavin's cabin I noticed a hop in the front wheel.  I stopped to check it out and found that the bead had come unseated. I had to use a CO2 cartridge to re-inflate the tube and this time it held.


When we got to While Sulphur Springs we turned onto Dahlia road and started climbing but at 15 miles in we came to a hill that we weren't expecting and stopped for a snack . It's a Class 3 hill with a max grade of 12%. Gavin led the way up most of the hill but had to stop 3/4s of the way up so I went up ahead of him.

It was a tough climb but you felt great when you got to the top

Then we had a really nice downhill descent along the Little Beaver Kill. We came out onto Old Route 17 and our route took us to Livingston Manor where we stopped for hot chocolate a the Brandenburg Bakery.

From there we rode parallel to Highway 17 and then came back to Old Route 17.  We stayed on this until we got to Roscoe and then eventually stopped at the Roscoe Brewing Company for lunch.

Gavin went for the Brown Ale while I went for the lowest alcohol beer, the Wheat Beer. It didn't have that German style wheat flavor, rather more of an American style flavor - it sucked.

Lunch, however, was awesome. We both had the 3 Chili Cheese and Bacon Grilled Cheese sandwich. 

Back on the bikes we decided to call an audible and take the fastest way back to the cabin which turned out to be almost the same distance if we had stayed on the original course. The big difference was missing the big climbs, going from the Beaver Kill river valley to the Willowemoc river valley and then climb out from there and eventually make our way to Liberty. From there we followed Rt 55 back to Smallwood.

I am glad I didn't wash my bike after last weekend's ride because today the bike just got dirtier.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Ride of Two Meals

I planned to meet Gavin at Cover 2 Saturday morning and as I was riding up Hanover I got really self conscious about what I was wearing. I had seen a graphic on the interwebs somewhere about what clothing is the best for visability and black, what I was wearing was on the bottom of the list, so I headed back to get my green jacket. 

First stop on the ride was of course to our favorite breakfast stop, Ovens of France, where we enjoyed hot coffee and the best croissants this side of the Atlantic.  

From OOF we rode north up Nettleton Hollow into Washington Depot and noticed a new mural at the intersection of Rt 47 and 109. 

If you are riding to Lake Waramug the best lead in is on Flirtation Avenue. It's always worth taking a picture with the sign, too.

While the ride up had some head winds it wasn't till we got to the lake that the wind got really bad. Up until this point it was around 40 degrees but the wind made it feel like 30.

Once we got around the like we headed down into New Preston and I kind of wanted to continue home but Gavin couldn't feel his toes so we stopped for an early lunch at the 9 Main Cafe and Bakery. We warmed up with hot chocolate and had sandwiches. On the way home, we called an audible and retraced our route back which actually made the ride longer but I think it was still faster. 

By the time we got to Southbury I was really wishing that I had started from Cover 2 because I was dreading the climb home.