Sunday, September 26, 2021

Ride Bikes, Hail Satan

I don't know if its the change of the seasons or that the end of the 2021 cycling season is quickly approaching but I feel like I have to get out there are ride outside as much as possible. There's always things getting in the way like family, work, and rest days. For some reason, I am dreading getting back on the trainer and riding Zwift for some reason but to stay in shape its a necessary evil.

The week started with a Riding Club Ilumenati ride on a Monday. With Scott D slowly coming back and not quite there yet to join us, compiled with Corporate Tax filings that are keeping the accountants in the group busy it was just Matt, Todd and I again.  We visited the scene of Todd's crash a couple of weeks ago.

I was behind Todd and Matt on Eden Hill that night when I saw lights on the deck and pointing back towards me. Someone went down on the deck and this pothole was the cause. Being near the side of the road and underwater, it was obscured and it caused Todd to double flat and fall. Thankfully, the bike was OK, although Todd thought at first the fork suffered some stress fractures but turns out it wasn't the case. Oh, and Todd, was OK, too, just a little road rash.

This ride marked the last day of Summer. We had intentions of stopping at the creamery for ice cream, I even brought a scooper but since we started later than we intended and the weather app was predicting rain to start commencing around 9 PM we headed back to Easton. The rain started at 9:15 PM as I was driving home.

It rained hard Monday night going into Tuesday but it stopped around noon as predicted and when I headed out after work it was nice but still very humid, like Summer just couldn't let go.

I wasn't really following any particular route but I ended up chasing down a few more roads to add to Wandrer list, and discovering a new dirt road called Kipp Lane. Unfortunately, it's a dead end so it's never going to be included on a future gravel ride. I also ended up riding Nettleton Avenue off of Elm Street, which is a short dirt road, that I knew was dirt but never ridden, and I pass by all the time.

First day of Autumn still feels like summer - still humid as hell!

Thursday, I went out for a solo ride after work on a course that I planned that had me ride a little more to the east so that I wouldn't get rained on. It had been raining on and off all day but the radar was showing the precipitation moving more to the west of Norwalk so I started out riding north up Newtown Turnpike and then worked my way over to Cannondale. I brought my fender, just in case.

I climbed up Olmstead Hill and then rode down Nod Hill and then back up, back down and back up again. Those are some tough hills on road gearing. Eventually I worked my way over to Lewisboro to Silver Spring Road, that was part of the an Ilumenati ride a couple of weeks ago, going down it was much better this time around. Halfway down, I turned onto East Street, another dirt road that took me to Browns Reservoir.

The climb up from the reservoir was torturous but then it seemed it was all down hill for the next 7 miles which was a welcomed relief. What was particularly interesting was the lack of cars. On the Ilumenati rides, we ride through Easton, Monroe, and Newtown and while Easton doesn't have a lot of traffic after sunset, Monroe and Newtown do.  However, the north part of Wilton and New Canaan seem to have very little traffic.

Towards the end of the ride there was a Greek Food Truck on Glover Avenue that I stopped at and I was hoping they had some Greek Fries already made that I could grab and go but they needed 5 minutes to make up a new batch so I declined. It was good that I did because as I was riding back up to the office parking garage it started to rain.  I did enjoy this Just the Haze non-alcoholic beer from Samuel Adams along with a Subway sandwich that I had gotten earlier in the day but didn't eat.

On Friday, after work, I knocked off a little earlier than normal and headed out on a bigger ride, 50+ miles.  It was a glorious fall afternoon. The sun was shining brightly, there was a little breeze out of south that made the temperature perfect for riding. 

I headed up to Lake Waramaug on the Waltly because the fastest way entailed riding a few dirt roads along the way. 

I rode Mygat Road and found that it's still unpaved. I chatted briefly with a guy who lives on this road to ask when it will be paved and he said the town of Washington is doing it themselves and dragging their feet on the project.

The rain this week really had the rivers flowing. I never noticed New Preston Falls before and today it was raging.

In the interest of time I decided not ride around the lake as the sun was starting to set when I got to the lake.

I headed up Whittlesey Road and down into Romford to ride a dirt road that I had never ridden before and what I found was truly a scene from heaven and used for the cover of this post.

At the intersection of Hinkle Road and Sunny Ridge was this view looking to the south west where the setting sun illuminated the clouds in such a way that gave them an orange hue. It was breathtaking. Sunny Ridge turns into Nettleton Hollow and it was all downhill from there and plunging into the night.

Saturday morning was New Jersey Day!
A cyclist that I follow on Instagram gave me the idea because he made a post about getting new valves for his bike and called it New Valve Day. I got this Pearl Izumi red jersey on the bargain rack the Bicycle Center. It has a good fit and you can't go wrong with red - it's lucky.

The irregularly scheduled Saturday Morning Ride to OOF was pre-empted due Scott wanting to join us but didn't have the endurance for our speed, even after we offered to let him set the pace. Scott, injured himself a few months ago ride and is slowly coming back.  We did Gavin's Poverty Hollow loop only to find that the Redding section of Poverty Hollow was closed due to bridge construction.  Well, the bridge was still open and we were able to continue with out ride.

On Sunday we did ride to OOF and another Lunartic, Marshall who injured himself at work, is just starting to get back on the bike and joined us for two hour ride for coffee and pastry.

Scott joined us for the roll down Glenn Road but then headed back to meet a friend of his that was riding more to Scott's speed right now. Later in the day I met Scott at Newsylum Brewing to celebrate Oktoberfest.  Their Marzen beer is the best.

I got this cool magnetic sticker for the back of my car that says:
Ride Bikes, Hail Satan


Unknown said...

Mark, Love the blog. Can you give me some intel for gravel rides around Roxbury? Matt

Mark said...


On the main blog page, do a search for Roxbury or Roubaix or Gravel Grinder and you will find posts with maps for the various routes that I have ridden through there over the years.

The other thing you could do is click on the Roubaix to Brew tab, which opens my dirt road map. Make sure Western CT layer is turned on and then using RidewithGPS (it will also show you what roads are dirt when you put route on a particular road) lay out a route.