Saturday, November 30, 2019

Ride to the Beach and Lunch at the Club

My original plan for riding the Saturday after Thanksgiving with Gavin was to do the Alice's Restaurant ride from Salisbury, CT to Stockbridge, MA. However, seeing that the forecast was predicting even colder temperatures, that meant that it was going to be even colder north of here, so we decided to ride south instead where it would be warmer by midday.

Starting from Gavin's house we cut across Monroe to Rt 59 and then there came upon all this traffic. There was a line of cars going all the way up North Park Avenue, obviously to Maple Row Farm. I have never seen so many cars lined up to get Christmas trees. It could have been since there was snow in the forecast for Sunday everybody was trying to get their trees on Saturday.

Friday, November 29, 2019

OOF Turkey Burner

I opted to bike commute Wednesday instead of ride with the Newtown Lunartics to Ovens of France. To make up for my folly Paul and I rode on Black Friday and we took did Trampy's Hill to visit with the cows.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Video: Cyclist getting buzzed by Newtown, CT Police Officer

As a Newtown resident and a cyclist, getting buzzed by cars is common. The law says that you have to give at least three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist. On many of the town roads there are even signs to remind drivers of the law.

Unfortunately, these reminders don't seem to be getting through because I am often buzzed at least once every ride if not more. A friend of mine was riding through Newtown on Wednesday, November 27th when he was buzzed by someone who is supposed to uphold and enforce the law. This video demonstrates that the Police Officer not only shows no regard for the law by passing the cyclist too close, when called out, threatened to cite the cyclist.      

The police officer said he gave him way more than three feet and yet the car's left tire didn't even cross over the the double yellow line. I thought I would run the numbers and see if the officer was telling the truth or not.


1.  The width of a standard lane is 10 feet but lets assume there is also a 2 foot shoulder so you have 12 feet to play with.

2.  I am going to assume the cyclist's wheel is 2 feet or so from the edge of the road, and the handle bars extend another 9 to 12 inches from the center of the bike, so let's call it 3 feet to the outward edge of the cyclist.

3.  Add another 3 feet for the law and that's 6 feet into the lane. That leaves 6 feet remaining for vehicles to safely pass this cyclist. 

4. The width of the Ford Explorer with mirrors is 7.5 feet wide. Seeing that the tire of the vehicle is basically in the center of the road that leaves less than 3 feet clearance between the vehicle and the cyclist.

5. In order for the officer's claim of giving the cyclist way more than 3 feet clearance to be valid, the vehicle would have to be basically traveling down the center of the road. Which it is was not.  

Doesn't look like the Office gave way more than three feet as he claimed.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

An abortive attempt at a new route

Two weeks ago I saw a post on Facebook about a ride where someone wanted to test a gravel route out. It piqued my curiosity and I noticed that this section of Connecticut was blank on my Roubaix to Brew gravel road map. 

Of course this prompted me to start scouring all the mapping resources at hand to update my map and like any new route I come across I could not help but throwing in a few tweaks based on what learned through my electronic reconnaissance of the area. The ride was scheduled for Sunday and I had mentioned it to my brother-in-law, Will, but then he pointed out on the Thursday prior that it was supposed to rain Sunday and suggested that we ride Saturday instead.

Monday, November 18, 2019

When is it too cold to bike commute?

I saw this meme on a Facebook post the other day and it got me thinking of my bike commute this past Friday.  The weather apps were saying it would be 26 degrees in Newtown around 5 AM.  I even checked a neighboring weather station on Weatherunderground at 4 AM and the temperature there read 25 degrees.  Since I missed the opportunity to bike commute on Veterans Day when it was truly a warm day I decided to go for it, afterall I rode last Saturday in similar temperatures and was quite fine.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Dirty discoveries in the Berkshire Foothills

I set off Saturday morning on a scriptless, local gravel exploration to try some new stuff and explore dirt roads on the Roxbury/Woodbury border that I seldom ride. I actually had a route planned but it was much longer than what I time for as I left later than I had originally intended. I waited for it to warm up a little more. With the sun higher in the sky and the temperature at 32 degrees, I rolled out.

I took my usual route from the house to Roxbury in which First Dirt is less than a half mile Sanford Road. Headed over to Black Bridge by cutting through the winery and then climbing up Walnut Tree to make a short, dirty descent on Lester Road. Unfortunately, Black Bridge is a fun descent down to the Pootatuck River.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Dirty Apple Reprise

Since Will and his wife were having dinner with us at my wife's parents' house Will and I decided to ride some gravel before hand.  Since he was taking the train I suggested we ride the dirt roads in Westchester County and I planned a route very similar to the Dirty Apple which I rode a couple of weeks ago. Only this route had a tweaks that I wanted to explore.