Summer hours started officially today and when I went to get ready to ride after work I discovered that the Bondeye had a flat tire. So I came up with an alternate plan which was to take the CAADx on a dirty thirty adventure into Roxbury to ride the lower section of the Shepaug Rail Road bed. The only legal approach to it is from a single track trail off of Minor Bridge.
As you might imagine the trails in Roxbury Land Trust are hardly sustainable and very mountain bike unfriendly. There are fall line climbs and descents, little to no armoring on stream crossings and in a lot of places if you can imagine a worse place for a trail to go most of these trails are doing just that.
The closer you get to the old ROW which leads to a field and then another cart track to the railroad bed do the trails get better but until that point it's a Napoleon's Death March.
I have bread new life into the CAADx and riding it once again. I used it primarily for commuting but now that I am working from home for the foreseeable future I riding it more as a mountain bike it seems than anything else. Fat Amy is at the shop and could be that way for some time due to the fact that repair parts are kind of hard to come by right now.
The closer you get to the field the buffer the trail gets. After you ride around the edge of the field there is a short descent to the railroad bed and then you are off to the races.
At first you can't really tell its an old rail road bed
But when you get to the bridge over the Shepaug River it really opens up.
Except of a fisherman and two runners there was no one on the trail
Coming out at the Blue Barns on Botsford Road I rode up to Weller's Bridge and then turned south on River Road, which turns to dirt. It's dirt for half the length of the road but near the end is a little road called High Bridge Road. It has a punchy little climb but its dirt.
Then the climb up Flag Swamp Road.
It's a challenging climb that starts out paved but then a quarter of the way up the hill turns to dirt where it gets steeper.
After crossing the 4 way intersection the road turns into West Flag Swamp Road and comes out by this old water tower that was part of the Southbury Training School complex.
When the road changes to paved so does the name which is Cassidy Road. Riding down it I looked to the west and saw some ominous looking clouds. There was rain in the forecast but it wasn't supposed to start till 9 or 10 pm.
Before heading up Peach Orchard I rode down Spruce Brook looking for the cows but they were too far away to get a good shot of them.
Then came the descent on West Flat Hill and then I made my way over to Fairfield Hills.
I rode the dirt roads that lead to Old Farm Road and then up Old Farm Road to Queen Street.
Stopped off at the Packy next to Carraluzzi's for a couple of PBR pints. Started drinking one in front of the store when the store manager told me I couldn't drink them here. I asked for and he gave me a brown bag so I could hide the fact that I had an open container.
I rode down the back way over to the bagel store where I knew there were some chairs and finished drinking my beer.
The funny thing was, and I never noticed it before, but during the whole time I was enjoying that beer there was a police car parked across the street! He/she never came after me, though. I did however, put the other can of been in my back pocket and then headed home.
Turning onto Echo Valley Road I felt some drops of rain and by the time I was on Sanford Road it was raining but when I got to Hanover Road it was pouring! I wasn't sure what the total mileage of this route would be but it turns out it was 30 miles, and dirty. Also, wet at the end. Rain came a little sooner than the weather people predicted.