Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!


Continuing the Christmas tradition I went out for a ride Christmas Day. It was exceptionally cold today and I wore ski gloves with the bar mitts, a thermal hat, and started riding with the socks on the middle setting. By the time I got to town I was sweating but then it cooled off later when the sun went away and my gear choice was spot on!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

12 Hills of Christmas

... and ugly Christmas Sweater Ride


I got this idea from someone in my Tuesday night ride group who rode 12 hills last Christmas. I knew there were quite a few roads in Newtown with the word Hill in their name so I went about identifying all of them. Turns out, there are 38 through roads and three of them are dirt. I mapped all the roads out on a Google Map called Newtown Hills and then came up with a route.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Black Beard Ride

In anticipation of some snowy weather moving into the area Gavin, Scott and I decided to ride from Gavin's house on the Housatonic Rail Trail.  It was also Gavin's inaugural ride on his up graded gravel bike that we have yet to see him ride actual gravel on.

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Tour de Oof and Trampy's valiant return


Steven, aka Trampy, Tramposh (r), one of the founding fathers of the Lunartics was in town over the weekend and met up with us on our weekly ride to OOF.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Superdawg Gravel

 


This was my last ride in Chicago for 2022 and why not ride more gravel and visit a Chicago institution along the way. This was to be third trip to Chicago in the past two years and I still haven't ridden the greenway trails along the North Branch of the Chicago River.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Cranksgiving


I have been here nearly three weeks and I have yet to see Lake Michigan during the day so I rode south from Northbrook to the Baha'i Temple.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Macht Schnell!


Today's temperature was going to be 60 degrees at lunch time so I headed out hoping to get lunch at Schnell's Brauhaus in Palatine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Suburban Dirty Thirty


Temperatures are starting to climb and today, after work, I headed north on the Des Plaines River Trail. My plan was to ride north on the DPRT and then cut over to the Middlefork Greenway riding south and then through a bunch of neighborhoods to get more Wandrer miles.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Des Plaines River Trail Ride


After 5 straight days on the trainer I had to get back outside and Sunday there was a break in the cold temperatures for me to take advantage of it.  Granted, it was 27 degrees when I headed out but it warmed up to 34.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Mom's Joke of the Day, revisited


I met up with the Monday night riders again in Lake Bluff because this was going to be my last outdoor ride for the next week because there was a cold front coming in where the highs weren't going to get over 25 degrees for then 6 days. After my Show and Go ride on Saturday I found a CycleOps dumb trainer on Craigslist for $25!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Suburban Gravel

 

The definition of a gravel ride in and around Chicagoland invariably means riding crushed stone paths. That is what I found when I joined this Meetup in Wheaton, IL called the Adventure Bike Club. If you want to ride real gravel, I am told that you need to head out towards Sugar Grove or head up to Wisconsin.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Wheeling Wheelmen Show and Go


Found a Meetup ride for Saturday and it was going to be a good test for the booties that I bought at REI earlier in the week. The Wheeling Wheelman have a ride that starts from Willow Stream Park in Buffalo Grove. I decided to drive to the meetup point only to find no one there. Then this couple, Dave and Eva show up and I ride with them at leisurely pace for 3 miles until Paul catches up to us and I get on his wheel for a more demanding pace.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Free lunch at Superdawg


I took a rest day on Veterans Day, Friday, and headed over to Superdawg for a free lunch. I usually don't look for freebies on Veterans Day because I like to just take the day off and go for a long ride.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

The Brat Stop Revisited


Last year I rode to the Brat Stop on the recommendation from my Dermatologist and I decided to make it my big ride destination of this trip. Since Veterans Day was in the end of the week I decided I would do this ride on Friday, however, the weather boffins said Thursday had a predicted high of 75 degrees, which Friday was supposed to be 45 degrees. I switched my day off to Thursday.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Mom's Joke of the Day


Meetups are a wonderful thing. I found the Bicycling Collective of Lake County who puts on a night ride in Lake Bluff every Monday night. They meet at the Heinen's Grocery Store lot at the corner of Waukegan and Rockland. They have an A/B ride that goes out for around 18 miles and a C/D ride that does around 12 miles.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Cow Dung in Carlisle


I started following a route that I created but knew I didn't have enough time to do the whole thing. Heading away from Dickinson College I rode west on Rt 641, Newville Road, and the wind was brutal. 

Heading West


I have two bikes on the rack and enough riding kit for 10 days as I am headed first to Pennsylvania to visit my daughter at school. On Sunday, I am driving to Chicago for three weeks to dog sit, visit friends from school and have Thanksgiving with relatives.

Friday, November 04, 2022

Is Winter coming?


This weather keeps getting crazier and crazier. It's November, it's 74 degrees and we are riding in bib shorts and short sleeved jerseys.  

Thursday, November 03, 2022

SOMP Big Ring Circus


Another RC Ilumenati Tuesday night ride on Thursday and it's 52 degrees on November 3rd! Since this was going to be my last group ride with these fine men we started from Archie Moores in Fairfield and the route was contained South of Merritt Parkway (SOMP). 

Monday, October 31, 2022

Climb or Treat

 


It's Halloween and it's almost 70 degrees! That's crazy and you would be crazy not to be outside this day enjoying this weather.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Re-OOFed


This yoyo fall weather we are having is getting crazy. Originally we were going to ride Ovens of France Saturday morning at 8 AM but it was a bit too cold for everyone's liking so we pushed back to 11 am and it turned out to be lovely day and cold enough for bib shorts.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

And then she's gone


RC Ilumenati's Tuesday night ride on Thursday was somewhat of a let down as we rode out to visit to Hopewell Hannah only to find her already gone. I would have surely thought she would make it to Halloween.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Hopewell Hannah is back!


It was such a beautiful day today I had to get out on the bike for a few miles. Scott met me in town and we headed south towards Easton.  As I was driving home last night past the Hopewell Cemetery the creepy doll is back. A friend of ours rode Poverty Hollow this morning and mentioned it in his Strava post so we had to see it for ourselves.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Delight


My original intention for Sunday was to go on a big ride but that meant waking up early and instead I decided to sleep in. I procrastinated all morning: updated my blog detailing issues of riding this past week, drank a lot of coffee, and put away some laundry. Sometimes, you need to do just that. Finally, I headed out at around 2:30 PM after making some final adjustments to the Jamis - I decided to go with a Fizik road saddle.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Bouncing on pavement

 

I headed out Tuesday on the Jamis for a little test ride after finally getting around to installing a few upgrades, namely an 11:34t cassette and a Shimano 105 medium cage rear derailleur. I also picked up a new front blinky that I got that mounts between my garmin and the GPS mount.

Saturday, October 08, 2022

2022 Fall Foliage Gravel Grinder

Judy Behrens & John Blye on Fred Snow Road

The Fall Foliage Gravel Grinder, or F2G2, is back after a 3 year break due to obvious reasons and you couldn't have asked for a better day for this ride. Will's wife dropped him off at the start point as she was heading up to Boston.  Originally, Will and I were going to ride with John and Judy (pictured above) but they headed off at 8 AM. Will and I left the Tyringham Fire Department at 8:30 AM.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Red Sky at Night 3 Handle



As it turns out September was going to be a big riding month where I it will be second the time I have ridden over 900 miles in 30 days. I also did it in May of this year and as of last night I bested that month the night before.  I was planning on riding after work today and Scott said he was swinging by house at 5 PM so I kitted up and we headed north into Bridgewater. He was just out for a quick twenty but I wanted to get a 3 Handle (30 miles) which would put my total miles for the month at or over 950 miles at the conclusion of tonight's ride.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Maple City Gravel Grinder and the Three Bears


This year's Maple City Gravel Grinder was a blast despite the weather. Leading up to Sunday we were nervously watching the weather forecast as each day it kept changing and the predicted rain for Sunday moved earlier and earlier. There was no doubt it was going to rain so you just had to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Today's ride marks Will and I's second visit to the Maple City Gravel Grinder, the last one was in 2019. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Tour of the Dirty Litchfield Hills


Today's ride in Litchfield was an exploration of sorts and follow up to my last ride dirt road ride in Litchfield, The Litchfield Dirty Thirty. Accompanying me today was my friend Leslie who lives in Litchfield and is no stranger to some of these roads but like many of my exploration rides we're bound to find some dead ends, hike-a-bike, and probably a Napoleon's Death March. 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sympathy for the Devil

 


Don't you just love it when your wife wants you to go for a ride? That's how this ride came about. We had Will's apartment keys from when my daughter spent a few weeks this summer cat sitting and brought the keys home before going off to school. Sondra, Will's wife, thought it would be great idea if we got together this Sunday so I could hand off the keys. Our wives conspired and here we are are!

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Ralph Pruitt's 40 mile Gravel Grinder

You might say Ralph Pruitt is somewhat of a legend in our area. He is a prolific gravel rider and I have had the pleasure to ride with him a few times and kills everything. Before he moved the south the last time I rode with him was back in 2017 where we did a 70 mile gravel ride to the Barrington Brewery. Prior to this ride I had a made a few suggestions to get a few more dirt miles in but Ralph really wanted to hold the route to 40 miles so I decided to do his ride in three parts:

  1. Ride to Gaylordsville and along the way meet Mike and ride a little dirt along the way
  2. Meet up with Ralph and his crew from Pawling Cycle and do his route
  3. Ride home and hit some gravel roads in Newtown and perhaps stop at a Brewery

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Litchfield Dirty Thirty

Climbing Blakeslee Road

Last fall, Mike and I rode what I called the Litchfield Hills Roubaix in which we rode from Roxbury to Thomaston and then back through Litchfield and we just scratched surface of all the dirt roads between Roxbury and Route 8. I decided to come back and try a few more.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Good day for the beach


Since I didn't get out Friday to ride because I was helping a friend of a friend who is a cancer survivor and can't lift anything, carry anything heavy or walk very far rearrange her house a bit and take things to Goodwill I decided to ride down to Compo Beach in Westport. I had to leave before noon because I had to help pack my favorite daughter's and wife's cars as she was heading back to school today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Scott, is that an ice cream scooper in your pocket or are you just excited for Ferris Acres?


This week's RC Ilumenati's Tuesday night ride, which happened on Wednesday, was without Dear Leader. The consensus was let's ride lightly traveled roads and stop at Ferris Acres for ice cream.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

2022 D2R2 115K Ride Report

What a hot day! I think this was the hottest day of riding Will and I have ever ridden at D2R2. We rode the 115K route with a few routing changes because I didn't want to lollipop the northern section. The course had three new climbs for us, River Rd, Stage Road, and Pennel Hill, which to me has to be the hardest climb in the area.

It's a good thing we left early because we got to lunch early and from what I heard by noon the lunch stop at the Covered Bridge was fairly picked over. Some other highlights include meeting and riding with Joe Bamburg from New Jersey, cramping on the Patten Hill climb and getting back while the sun is still up.

Friday, August 19, 2022

2022 D2R2 Pre Game


After checking in at the main tent, I got my camping pass and drove over to this year's camp ground where I met Todd. He picked out a good spot although we had to carry our stuff in but it was a lot flatter than there other places. We set up our tents and then had a beer, or two.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Broken Pedal Metric


I met Marshall at the Newtown Flagpole with the intention of riding to Ridgefield for some kind of Nosh and then riding back for around 40 miles. After climbing up Castle Hill and heading towards Birch Hill my foot came off the pedal, or should I say the pedal came off the spindle and then it disengaged from my food.  Good thing we were only 4 miles from my house and it was mostly downhill, so we rode back to my house so I could put on a new set of pedals.

Friday, August 12, 2022

OOF with Gavin



I think after a couple of days and being extra careful around my wife, wearing a mask, and staying away from here as much as possible and not having any symptoms I think I have dodged the COVID bullet. Gavin and I decided to ride to Ovens of France Friday morning. Since the Jamis was in need of a gearing overhaul I replaced my rear tire on the Waltly with a replacement that I bought while I was in Chicago but had it delivered in CT by accident.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Greis-n-sprinkles


Heading out Thursday morning I checked the weather and it said no rain in Newtown so I decided to ride the reverse way to Greisers for a little Greis-n-Shine, a delicious egg, cheese and bacon sandwich with a cup of coffee. Greisers is a Lunartics favorite breakfast ride destination because it makes a great jump off point if you want to ride down to the beach or just ride back to Newtown and still get a 40 mile ride in for the day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Save Weed Street!


Woke up early Wednesday morning with no tell tale COVID symptoms but I did have a scratchy throat, not sore, though.  I headed out on another 30 mile ride instead for riding with my night group this evening. The Ilumenati asked me to stay away from them, too, as some of them don't have the best health insurance. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

COVID in da House

 

After taking a rest day on Monday I rode to my local polling place to cast my vote in the Democratic Primaries and then proceeded to ride 30 miles.  When I got home, I noticed my wife's care still in the garage which was odd because she usually goes to work on Tuesdays.  When I got upstairs and found her in her office and asked her why didn't go to work she pointed to a rapid test result on her desk and said that she has COVID!

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Roe Jan Roubaix


It's just two weeks till D2R2 and I wanted to get in a good training ride to ensure my worthiness to climb the massive dirt road climbs for Franklin (MA) and Windham (VT) counties on the D2R2 115K Route this year.  I reached out to my brother-in-law Will and asked if he wanted to ride Mt Riga starting from the Roe Jan Brewery in Hillsdale, NY. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Thirsty Thursday - LCCC Group Ride


Following the advice from the group at Tighthead Brewing and I found the information about the Lake County Cycling Collective's Thirsty Thursday ride from Meetup. The ride started at the Buffalo Creek Brewery in Long Grove.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Tighthead Brewing Company


I didn't ride Tuesday because it rained again in the morning and I had dinner plans with my uncle and his family.  On Wednesday, after work, I headed out on the singlespeed to ride to the Tighthead Brewery.  It was pretty hot, nearing the 90s but again the slight breeze that seems to be always blowing and the lack of humidity made riding here very enjoyable - what can I say, I like the heat.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Whole Foods has a bar?


Up until this point I have basically just been riding solo but I had been continually keeping an eye out for a group to join. Through one of the cycling Meetups I found a post from a northern suburbs guy looking for others to ride with so I messaged Darren and said that I would love to ride with you since I am in the same vicinity.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Singlespeed Tour de Chicago - Bonked


I have always wanted to ride my singlespeed through a city and today I was going to ride through Chicago.  From her house and back it was around 65 miles and despite a little early unpleasantness it turned out to be a really nice day.