Thursday, April 30, 2020

30 Days of Biking - Day 30

I rode all 30 days!

My watch said it was 54 degrees when I was leaving the house but as soon as I started riding and felt that wind coming from the south I knew it was going to be a lot colder. The rain had stopped around noon but I wasn't sure how dry the roads were going to be so I fendered up. I was wearing my Fitzgerald Cycles Merino wool cycling sweater and it didn't want to get it dirty, either.

Riding by the big stone cock at the top of Taunton Hill I thought about how far and long I wanted to ride. I never recharged my light from Saturday's ride and I forgot to put it on the charger earlier so I only got a half an hour of charge on it. I wasn't worried about the Garmin and it didn't take long to charge the helmet blinky. It was just the main light that had me concerned it I was going to go on a longer ride.

One discovery on today's ride was Taunton Road finally got paved but I couldn't tell how old it was. I know I have ridden this route before I would have noticed new pavement but I couldn't recall noticing it before.

Seven thirty in the center of Newtown, CT and it's dead, thanks to the Pandemic.

When I got home the beer fairy came through with two six packs of Jack's Abbey House Lager!
The last time I rode all 30 days for 30 Days of Biking was 2011.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

30 Days of Biking - Day 28

Finally, some nice weather!

Headed out on the Sex Machine this evening after work to test a few things out. I put new brake pads on, straightened the hanger and tried a new seat pack. Not a new pack, one that I have had for while that I have used on different bikes in the past.  Right off the bat, this seat pack wasn't going to work because my thighs were hitting it when I pedaled.

The temperature was 60 degrees this afternoon and I went out in bib shorts and a jersey.  I started out by first hitting Pond Brook Road and then headed over to Collis P Huntington State Park

I rode the carriage road from the Dodgingtown parking lot down to the bridge at Hopewell Road.

Along the way I stopped at Huntington Pond

Sun was going down

From Huntington I road over to the back side of Mt Nebo Road and then climbed up to Ox Hill. Felt pretty good to bomb down that but I noticed my right brake lever has a little more pull than the left. I think an adjustment, along with a different seat pack is in order.

It was sundown by the time I hit Beaver Dam and the temperature was dropping. 
At Deep Brook, I stopped and put my riding jacket on because I was freezing.

Riding on Elm towards 302 I met up with a fellow Newtown Lunartics cyclist Scott Davidow.
We chit chatted for a bit. Then I put my headlight on and headed home.

Monday, April 27, 2020

30 Days of Biking - Day 27

Zwifting some more

Still no legs from Saturday's ride.
Didn't want to ride but did it anyway for the challenge

Sunday, April 26, 2020

30 Days of Biking - Day 26

200 Miles for the week!

Went shopping today and scored some toilet paper! Bought some beer, too, $20 for 30 pack!  That's $1.50 for a can of beer.  Can't beet that. 

When I looked at my miles for the week I saw that I had 174 miles so I picked the flattest route on Zwift Watopia and road that while listening to a book on tape.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

30 Days of Biking - Day 25

Socially Distant lunch with my Father

After a dismal week of cold and rain a beautiful spring arrived this Saturday and there were many cyclists out. I made plans earlier in the week to ride down to New Canaan, where my father lives, and have lunch with him. Of course, it would have to be 6 feet apart. Leaving my house, the average temperature according to in Newtown was 45 degrees but by the time I made the climb to the war memorial it felt more like 60 degrees in the sun.

With this ride I wanted to add more miles to my Wandrer total, it's a website that tracks your road coverage and everything you have ridden, captured on a GPS. For today's route I rode through Bethel and then the back way into Danbury to Wooster Heights which over looks Danbury Airport. I was wearing my neck gaiter for when I rode near walkers and other riders, because there were a lot of folks out today with weather was so nice.

I rode up to Ridgebury, a hamlet that gets its name as the combination of Ridgefield and Danbury. Riding along George Washington Highway you can see remnants of a raised bed that was the old Ridgebury Trolley which connected this area to Danbury. 

I stopped for a snack and sadly it was my last Layla Bar.

It was delicious and the perfect snack for what was to come.

Riding through Ridgefield has its ups and downs.

Riding from Ridgebury to Peaceable Ridge and it felt like I was climbing the whole way.

The view from Peaceable Ridge in Ridgefield was outstanding, although getting to it is a wall climb. I think the hilltop right after the house is Ward Pound Ridge Reservation and the last range way in the back could be the ridge line that includes Bear Mountain.

The ride down through Lewisboro and then around Trinity Lake had wonderful rollers and some epic climbs.  When first starting out, if you have a keen eye and are a train buff like me you will notice the old railroad bed that parallels Mill River Road in North Lewisboro. A friend of mine and amateur Railroad Historian, Rich Coffee did a blog post of the never completed Ridgefield and New York Railroad. Along the way I got a lot of waves from cars and few beeps in solidarity - also could have been that I was wearing my Westchester Cycling Club jersey. Ironically, however, many of the cyclists I passed thought they were too pro to wave (not).

When I got on Trinity Pass Road I was in familiar territory again and now three roads away from my father's house.  From Trinity Road, I turned south on Ponus Ridge which until Greenly Road has some great rollers and fast descents. After Greenly Road there is a big climb.

Ponus Ridge passes by the Laurel Reservoir. I heard that during last year's drought the Laurel was so empty you could see some foundations from the town that used to be there.

After making the climb and passing Wahackme Road there is Phillip Johnson's famous Glass House.

After all these years I don't think I ever saw anyone inside of it.

I stopped at the Chief Ponus, sachem of Rippowam. The Chief ruled over the Rippowam Tribe that inhabited New Canaan before the settlers came. According to my family's genealogy, some of those settlers were my relatives. 

According to the New Canaan Advertiser this marker was erected in 1897. I have know it since 1979 when I moved to this neighborhood.

Eventually I arrived at the famous white fence that has stood on Jelliff Mill since the 1930s it front of the house I grew up in was built. Of course, its been redone and repainted numerous times through out the years since we moved here in 1979.

My dad made lunch and we caught up on things, like Memorial Day plans, our future fishing trip and whether Trudeau will open the border or not in time for it. Our guess is he won't since our country's leadership has mishandled the Coronavirus Pandemic so badly that I think America is going to be isolated for awhile. Fortunately, we have a back up plan.

After lunch I headed home. I skirted the village of New Canaan but still had to contend with folks walking and riding around the old Thomas Watson Estate that the town took over as a park. From New Canaan, I rode back into Lewisboro and found some really nice roads, especially around the lakes and there were again, a lot of people out walking. Then I cut back over to Ridgefield and cut north on an angle heading down Florida Hill - what a cool road!

Crossing Route 7 I headed up Old Reading Road and there was quite the climb, too.  Also in Redding I took the back way up Lone Town Hill, which I think is even steeper. To get the mileage to work out to 80 miles I had to add Cherry Grove and Brushy Hill to the route. I think next week, provided the weather is good I might have to go for a full Century.

Friday, April 24, 2020

30 Days of Biking - Day 24

Big Girl mixed Terrain Ride

After 75 miles on Zwift this week I was burnt out from riding indoors.  I decided I would just ride in the rain but when I headed out around 6:30 PM, the rain had stopped and it was kind of nice out. I was going to ride the Sex Machine but the rear hub was loose so I threw a fender on Fat Amy and headed out.

I first rode down towards Pond Brook when I noticed some new wood crossing over this little brook. Someone removed the bridge and put in this piece of crap, probably done by some hiker.  I will give them B for their effort but it doesn't line up with the trail properly.


Then I headed down to the Newtown Boat Ramp on Lake Lillilonah and found the gate wide open. There was a couple sitting on the dock and I asked them about the boat ramp gate and they said it was this way when they got there.  

The water was like glass!

From the boat ramp I headed back towards my house but then I decide I would take a ride down the gas line aka old New York and New England Railroad bed.

I got on the bed from Echo Valley and cruised down to Alberts HIll and then I cut through the Winery and ended up Walnut Tree Road. I road up to Lester Road because its dirt and then headed over to Black Bridge Road.  I was able to mount my 400 lumens Serfas bike light to my bars so I had plenty of light. I walked my bike across Black Bridge and then headed up to Sandy Hook.

From Sandy Hook I headed over to Mile Hill and was going to cut in behind the National Guard Military Working Dog Facility but the gate was closed so I had to climb the 9% grade up the hill instead. That sucked. Then it was the usual route home from Fairfield Hills.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

30 Days of Biking - Day 22

Zwift again

Work and bad weather still keeping me inside.
This was a great ride with Team RWB (Red White and Blue)

Monday, April 20, 2020

30 Days of Biking - Day 20

Night Time Quickie

I saw a post on FB Monday saying that various state parks in the area were closed due to over crowding of the parking areas and most made it sound like these locations were now closed. So, after work I headed out on my mountain bike to check things out to see if that was the case.  It was getting dark and I didn't have a light that was either charged or would fit on the outside of my Jones H Bars except this little one I have had for years from Blackburn. It was fine on the road but on any rough stuff it slipped down.

Well, it's kind of blurry but due to the low light but I think you can make out that there are no saw horses or cones indicating that he lot at the Pond Brook Boat Ramp is closed.

Similarly, I was able to ride right up to the CT DEEP sign at Echo Valley Road parking lot at Upper Paugussett State Forest. So no closure there, either.  I was tempted to ride through the forest and do a loop around on the Poly Brody but I didn't think the light would handle it so I headed home.

The outline of my route from the Velographic that I made reminded me of Venom's second album called Black Metal.

And, I still have the vinyl album that I bought in 1982 at Johnny's Records in Darien, CT!