Saturday, November 13, 2021

Litchfield Hills Roubaix

There's a bunch of roads and trails in Litchfield that I have been meaning to ride, I planned to meet Mike on Sunday, November 7, at the Roxbury Town Hall. The weather was spectacular for a fall day and perfect for riding gravel.  We hooked around to Hemlock Road, bombed down the gravel and then climbed up Spargo to Judds Bridge. We then turned onto the dirt section of Sentry Hill, which was the easiest way to get to Davenport Road and that's where pain began.

Although it's paved, Davenport Rd is a serious, 1.6 mile climb up to Painter Ridge. There are other ways to get up here that use more dirt roads but it means having to tack on more distance but I wanted to get over to Litchfield as fast a possible.

We turned onto Two Rod Highway, which makes the third time I have been on this road this year having never ridden it in the past.

We worked our way towards Bethlehem, first by descending Calhoon Hill. That last time we rode up this hill Mike cramped on the last climb, which maxes out around 16%. Going down it is so much better. However, to continue our easterly route we had to climb up yet another hill, West Mountain Road.

It's a lot shorter than some of the other climbs on today's ride it's still a wall and when you first turn onto the road it's very disheartening.

It's steep!

Mike was in good spirits at the top.

On the bucket list was Arch Bridge Road. Like Two Rod Highway, I have ridden by this road numerous times but never had the opportunity to ride it.

If you know the area, it's the bastard stepchild of Paddy Hollow and Still Hill, which are two nearby dirt roads that have grades over 20% and signs warning trucks not to go this way.

At the end of Guilds Hollow there is this wonderful looking pond

that made for a good place to stop, adjust some clothing and fuel up again.

At this point, we had ridden 15 miles and climbed 2200 feet.

On the eastern side of Bethlehem there are two roads, Franson Rd & Bryant Rd, that are dirt but don't show up on RWGPS being as such. I knew about them because I have them on my Roubaix to Brew dirt road map.

As we worked our way around to the main event which was Pitch Road, I noticed a gate for what was obviously an access road that probably led down to the Wigwam Reservoir. Looking at the topo and satellite photos, there appears to be a dirt road that you could take to get add more adventure to your next ride through here.

This is an awesome dirt road along the Morris Reservoir

with spectacular views of the lake.

We came upon some horseback riders and stopped to let them pass as then continued up Slab Meadow Road. 

Little Pitch Road split off at this point

but since it was closed to traffic Mike wasn't feeling adventurous so we continued on Pitch Road

which became a two mile uphill climb, half of which was dirt on this detour.

While bombing down Camp Dutton Road, my light which was mounted at my fork flew off. 

Turns out the mount broke. This was the same mount I had on my REI gravel bike so I think it lasted a couple of years.

We passed Little Pitch Road as we were riding back on Rt 63 and then turned onto Webster Road, which is another road that has been on my bucket list for quite some time.

We popped out on Whites Wood Road and then hopped on one of the old carriage roads for White Memorial

These are some great trails that are probably more suited for mountain bikes but would be incredibly boring so perfect for a gravel bike!

After cutting through the main complex we took a trail that would take us to North Shore Road. We as getting really hungry so we detoured to the Bantam Market and ate lunch.

More roads on the bucket list included Senf Road, which I call Mustard Hill because Senf is Mustard in German


Then we climbed Turner Hill

and then descended down into Romford where picked up the Shepaug Railroad bed

Rode through Hidden Valley

Then through Steep Rock
There were a lot of walkers out and I called out On Your Left to this one couple who moved left causing me to turn right at the last second to get around them. As I rode by them I told them they are supposed to move right. The woman called me an asshole just as Mike was riding by and he had some not so nice words for them.

We made it safely through the Tunnel!
Someone did a Short about this tunnel and throughout the whole film I kept expecting a bunch of gravel riders to come blasting through.

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