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?"

His answer:  "Monday!"

Mike, Scott and I met at Norbrook Farm Brewery for 50+ mile mixed surface ride aimed at riding the dirt roads south of Route 44, however, to get there I wanted to hit a few dirt roads north of the brewery that hadn't ridden before.  One of those roads was Phelps Road that was First Dirt on today's ride and wouldn't you know it, someone got a flat!

Once that was taken care of we continued down Phelps Road until it turned back to pavement and then followed that until turning off onto Mt Pisgah Road, which turned into a nice dirt road climb.  This led us all the way to the Colebrook General Store.

It was still early and there was no reason to stop so we pressed on towards Winstead where more new dirt roads awaited our tires.

Of course there were cows that needed their picture taken

A little dirty cut through on Bricklemaier Road

Then onto Lowsaw Road

 which I thought was longer but it wasn't

still, a nice dirt road

The first really big climb was on Platt Hill Road

The view from Platt Hill State Park was great

Turning onto Chapel Road we came across this interesting mailbox holder. Kind of overkill for just your mailbox.

Further down the road it turns to dirt

It's a yo-yo. Ride down

and ride back up again

After a short break at the Gazebo in Winchester Center we headed over to Old Waterbury Turnpike

We didn't take this sign seriously

Because it was indeed flooded

Have to come back this summer and see if we can get through

We detoured around

And picked up the route again.

and in doing so missed a really big climb

Old Waterbury Turnpike was pretty nice

till the Old Danbury Cemetery

The cemetery has graves of soldiers that fought in the Civil War

As well as the American Revolution

after the cemetery the road turned to crap

It got crappier the further we rode on

and even more crappy however it was still rideable, just a slow, pick your way up climb

and then it turned to a hike-a-bike

Then it started to descend, however
still crappy

There was surprise on this boat, it had a built in toilet.

The road got better

and there was a nice wooden bridge at the bottom

however someone crashed on it

He was like Otis Campbell from Andy Griffith Show

After the bridge I discovered that we were crossing the old Central New England Railroad right of way. Looking west, it appears rideable

Not so much westerly

It seems to change names somewhere along the way

While I didn't get to ride the CNE roadbed where it crossed Old Danbury Road

We did get to ride the section that is now called the Billings Trail

It's not very long.

not even two miles,

but still a thrill for me

because I love riding old railroad beds

but all good things come to an end

You have to take a little bit of single track because the road bed heads into private property

Eventually we worked our way towards Great Forest but there was pretty significant hill to climb first

The road gives way to dirt

and stays that way for quite some time

and there is pretty decent climb in the middle that forgot about

Then we hooked around and headed back towards Norfolk

We had lunch in Norfolk

I wanted to ride to the top of Haystack Mountain but as you can see, the clouds were moving in and according the weather report it was supposed to start raining at 2 PM.

Riding up Elemore which was chip sealed we turned on east onto Webber Road 

Webber turns to dirt and it's a long climb, too. Turning onto Barry Road, which is nice to ride initally

turns to crap

and gets crappier as we continue

there were Moose tracks but we didn't see any

the road continued to get worse

and worse

Scott and I were able to get down this

but it was tricky

Then we got on some nice Massachusetts dirt

Second to last dirt road was a bust

and around 3 PM it started to rain

I got 36 new Wandrer miles out today's ride, too.

Then it was beer and food back at the brewery

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