Sunday, May 15, 2022

Farmer's Daughter 2022

Today marked my 4th Farmer's Daughter and 6th Gravel Grinder ridden in Columbia County. The first time I did this ride with Will back in 2016, we said, 60 miles? Piece of Cake! So the day before we did a Sunset Rock and Mt Riga Loop and that was a mistake because the Farmer's Daughter the next day kicked out butts!


In the past, Will and I have ridden it mostly alone but I have met people we know along the way and have ridden with them a bit, but this year we actually started out with a nice little grupetto. To start we had Margaret, Mike, and Paul (former Newtowner moved to Pittsfield), but we lost Paul at the first Singletrack section.


We didn't wait for the opening ceremonies and just started from the car park. We hit First Dirt 5 miles into the course on Boice Road. I made some routing modifications to the course which bypassed the first two singletrack sections and added two more big climbs to the route in order to get more Wandrer miles.


The night before I met Will at the Roe Jan Brewery in Hillsdale for dinner and we kept looking at our weather apps and it kept changing as the evening progressed. Around 5 AM Saturday morning it rained pretty good till Will and I left from his place in Spencertown. At go time the apps were telling us now to expect an afternoon thunder shower.


We were making good time and even caught up with a couple of groups that had even left earlier. Two of the racing teams caught up with us on Jefferson Hill 15 miles into the course.


The first feed stop was at S&S Brewery in East Chatham 16 miles into the course.


I was feeling really good, too. Having taken a rest day on Saturday I felt really strong the whole day and having changed my gears to a 46t was a big bonus, too!


The sun started coming out about 2 hours into the ride but the roads not directly exposed to daylight were still a bit greasy. The Ass Saver came in handy!



It really started to warm up with the sun out


On Gale Hill this woman passed us wearing cutoffs and a tank top jersey and I wondered if that was the Farmer's Daughter?


Lunch, as usual was awesome. I wasn't sure whether or not I was hungry but I made myself eat anyway because I was going to need the  


The first additional climb was a two parter starting with Salls Road following lunch.


Everyone's GPS was showing the grade to be much steeper but mine wasn't


Will said his GPS said this part of the climb up Salls Road was 20% and it sure felt that way, too.



The descent down to 295 was wild and fast and when everyone was down we headed west to pick up the main course and next big climb, Schilling's Crossing.


There is a nice run up to the climb, with an average grade around 4% and it there is a flat spot to let you rest up a bit still you hit wall. 


Again I think my Garmin was lying to me because this had to be steeper than 17%


There were some walkers


Tunnel Hill was equally massive, however, shorter but I think much steeper than what my Garmin recorded


The next big one was Dean Hill


This hill is a grind and with the sun out it made it all that more harder


Everybody that was riding around me stayed on their bikes


Mike was not having fun. He started getting cramps on Tunnel Hill and fared no better on Dean Hill


The last part of my modified route included Maple Hill. Margaret and Mike opted for the regular route


Another uphill grind


That leads to some spectacular views. I thought Mike was done for when I got a text from him saying that he was seriously cramping. Will and I rode up to the intersection of Fog Hill and Old Austerlitz Road and I waited for Mike. That's where I met Slowpoke Pete. Pete lives in Hillsdale and rides through here all the time. Today, however, he was cruising the route on his BMW Touring motorcycle. He told me he didn't see anyone fitting Mike's description.



Will and I caught up Margaret and Mike at the last fuel stop. They were about to leave when we pulled up. After fueling up we headed out for the last bit of singletrack, Beebe Hill. 


As far as singletrack goes, it's not that bad but the 27% trail climb always turns into Napoleon's Death March.


The fire tower climb is a little better


 I have cleaned this climb in the past but today I took a bad line and almost fell over


Mike was fast on my heels


then came Will


followed by Margaret


then it was all up and down hill back to the start


with some great dirt roads


On the climb up 10 Broek Road I met with Pete Marchaud, limping on the right in the picture above. He was seriously cramping and knew exactly what he was feeling. I stopped and offered him one of my Haribo (the guys that make Gummy Bears) salted licorice candies and he immediately grateful. Once his spasming muscles calmed down he rode with us for a bit.


One more beautiful shot with cows in the background. I can't believe how well I did this time around. No cramping what's so ever! Not during the ride home, getting out of the car at home, unloading the car, or later that night. Taking a rest day prior to the ride was key.



Thursday, May 05, 2022

Hippy 4 Handle

 Power goes out at 9:32 AM with no warning whatsoever. I report the outage online and it says restoration estimate 11:30 AM. Then, I get a text alert from my cable provider that my internet is down, too.  No point firing up the generator because we didn't have a storm and will be out of power for a few days, which is par of the course with my energy provider. It's a beautiful day, let's go on a bike ride!

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Maibock Roubaix


At least once a year I try to do a ride from Norbrook Farm in Norfolk, CT and Sunday, May 1st was the perfect day.  Also, with the Farmer's Daughter Gravel Grinder just two weeks away I wanted to test my mettle to see how I would do for that ride and this was the perfect route for that.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Philadelphia Bike Path Roubaix

I drove down to Carlisle, PA Easter weekend to spend some time with my daughter at her college since she wasn't coming home for the holiday. After breakfast, I dropped her off at her dorm and started heading towards Philadelphia and it started snowing! It didn't last long and two hours later I was hunting for a parking spot in South Philly.
 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Good Gravel on Good Friday


One of the founding fathers of the Newtown Lunartics wanted to start a Friday afternoon ride starting and ending at the Black Beard Bar - which is an extra room in his house that he converted, only he forgot that he promised his better half to take her to dinner. Mike and I decided to meet at the Roxbury Town Hall and ride dirt roads to Kent Falls Brewing Company instead.

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Tour de Flanders, Connecticut

In keeping with tradition, Mike Sage-Robison and I did our own Tour de Flanders, “Tour de Flanders, Connecticut.”


Starting from Mike's house in Gaylordsville I picked the flattest route possible while trying to ride as many dirt roads as possible for a 100 KM ride. It was a variation of my Kent Falls Roubaix, only longer and starting from a different location.