Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day Maybrook Singlespeed Metric


There's a new rail trail that essentially connects from the Connecticut State Lane (almost) to Hopewell Junction that is actually a Rail with Trail. We met at the Exit 1 Commuter lot on Memorial Day and headed west on Rt 202 looking for the entrance and we finally found a way using Joe's Hill Road in Brewster. Granted the trail here is still under construction and by the looks of things appears that it's going to go to the State Line.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Dirty, cold and wet, Thirty Roubaix

The weather boffins predicted a break in the rainy weather on Saturday around 3 PM and Mike and I were batting around different ride ideas earlier in the day but didn't come to any conclusions. I started rebuilding the CAADX and just happened to check my phone at 2:45 PM and discovered that Mike and Marshall decided to do a gravel ride from the Roxbury Market at 3:15 PM.  I told them I would meet them and got hopping.  Roxbury Market is a 10 to 15 minute drive from my house.

I threw on a pair of bib shorts, a long sleeve base layer and a long sleeve jersey, grabbed a vest and my cycling rain jacket and drove like a bat out of hell to the Market only to get stuck behind someone on the road to Bridgewater who decided they should drive the speed limit the entire way to Route 67.  I got to the Market at 3:15 and was rolling in 10. I love that I live so close to some of the best dirt road riding in the State of Connecticut.

Friday, May 28, 2021

I hate Chip Seal!

We got a half day off from work to start the Memorial Day weekend early and I headed out for a ride wondering whether I was going to get rained on at some point because the weekend weather outlook was pretty crappy. 

With no goal in mind I rode towards the War Memorial and then climbed up Sunset Hill, a through road, between Hanover and Currituck that I had been meaning to try. Then I headed to Tower Road in Brookfield, another road that I haven't ridden yet. Both roads gave me an additional 2.2 miles to my Wandrer total.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Singlespeed Night Ride

This Illuminati ride started from the Gaelic-American Club in Fairfield, CT and again a little earlier due to the pending weather situation - strong thunder showers were predicted for the early evening hours. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

When the pavement ends the fun begins


There was a post on the CT Gravel Grinders Facebook Page about someone looking to ride gravel between Mohawk Mountain SF and Mountain Tom that Mike alerted me about.  I posted up that I was interested and wondering if the ride leader had a route in mind. He did not so I drew one up on RWGPS using my Roubaix to Brew dirt road map. I have ridden a few roads in and around the forest but I knew there was more to sample so I started looking at the USGS Topo and the State's Map of the forest and found some additional roads to explore.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Jackson Hole Gravel Adventure

I have always wanted to do some sort of epic ride but never found anything that I felt comfortable enough with.  That is until my father offered up his condo in Jackson Hole in early May to me and my brother-in-law, Will, to stay at and do some riding. After buying our airline tickets I did some digging for Gravel Routes in the area and poured over satellite imagery looking for dirt roads. I found some in Jackson Hole but in neighboring Teton County, Idaho, there were tons.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Gros Ventre Gravel Grinder

Our last ride in Jackson Hole

Fitzgeralds recommended this ride as well.  It's an out and back that you can do for 45 miles up the Gros Ventre river valley but we opted for 20 miles because we wanted to do a little shopping before we left and we had to pack out bikes, too.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

I could really use some pavement right about now

Will said to me after we climbed out of the Reservoir basin, "I could really use some pavement right about now." From the start of the Blackfoot Reservoir access road to this point, we had ridden 15 miles of some of the toughest gravel road in our lives. Granted, we have ridden everything from singletrack, dual track, old farm roads, and rights of way, but none of that compares to the roughness the gravel on this road.

Sometimes you would find a smoother patch and ride that or in the shoulder but that was more than not sandy and worse to pedal on. At one point I was riding trail that paralleled the road for a bit but that didn't last long, either.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Susie's Nipple Gravel Grinder

Fitzgerald's also talked about riding in Teton County, ID, the valley on the west side of the Tetons. In the words of the shop owner, they have a shit ton of gravel roads over there because it's all farmland. In my pre planning stage I had seen that and drawn up a few routes that looked fun.

In looking at some of the routes that the bike shop suggested the thing that stuck out in Will's mind was riding along the state line. The Tetons are completely in Wyoming and the state line runs up the east side of the Idaho Teton County valley so I incorporated those rodes with my own route that focused on Susie's Nipple, a small hill top on the western edge of the valley to come up the with Susie's Nipple Gravel Grinder.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

The Dirty Grand Loop


The Grand Loop is where you ride from Jackson on the Cycleway parallelling Highway 89 and then into the park and up the Jenny Lake, turn around and come back, only once leaving the park, you head down Moose-Wilson Road and then loop back into Jackson.  Since Will and I were on Gravel Bikes I thought it would be fitting to expand the route to hit more dirt roads along the way and this would be our first big ride of the trip - 80+ miles.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Hoback Roubaix

The Grand was finally visible at the start of our second ride of the trip. In my internet reconnoiter of I came across a road called Falls Creek Road and the bike shop confirmed there was a good section of dirt on it, too.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

National Elk Refuge Gravel Ride


Originally, I wanted to ride the causeway along the Snake River to acclimate to the altitude but found out that it doesn't really go through. There is a trail but it's on private property and trespassing is taken pretty seriously around these parts.  Fitzgerald's suggested a ride through the Elk Preserve. It's an out and back but there's a little climbing and they felt it would be a good opener, so off we went.

Leaving on a Jet Plane ...

My CAADX is in that box and this morning we are flying to Jackson, Wyoming for 6 days of gravel riding around the Grand Tetons

Monday, May 03, 2021

When did this road stop being dirt?

On Sunday's (5/3) Norbrook Farms Roubaix, the route used Westside Road, Lover's Lane, and Elmore Road, which are three main dirt roads through Norfolk, CT. We found them chip sealed.  It was a different kind of chip seal that we have never seen before. The rock material was marble sized and still gave the effect of riding a gravel road. Does this still classify as gravel?

As we were cresting the top of Elmore Road I asked the guy working in his yard, "when did this road stop being dirt?"