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. 

Prior to leaving the brewery and debating whether we ever had as hot a day on a D2R2 ride over the past 10 years we decided upon making two stops, Falls Village and Salisbury for more fluids. 

Leaving the brewery at 8:10 am, we headed out to Black Grocery, rode by Pigasso Farms.

Picked up the Harlem Valley Rail Trail that would take us to North Mountain Road and to Sunset Rock.

We were sweating pretty hard just climbing up to Sunset Rock

This road is a wake up call because it starts out at 7% and then a 1000 feet in it ratchets up to nearly 15%

I am not sure RWGPS does this climb justice because my Garmin Climbpro has showed me grades exceeding 18% when you get into the switchbacks. 

Whatever the pitch is, it's a brutal climb and in this heat even harder. My rule of thumb is that if you can climb this you can climb anything you find at D2R2.

When I got to the top, which also happens to be the Massachusetts State Line I was drenched. Fortunately, the descent down Mt Washington Road dried things out and cooled me down.

Descending Mount Washington Road is hairy. It's rough and winds through a ravine but comes out onto some nice black butter. I used to turn onto Jug End Road but rather than give up all that momentum to make the turn I continue past and turn at a road called the Avenue. It has a pretty good climb on it just like the Jug End but it's shaded and on day like this any shading from the sun was much appreciated.

Where Avenue Road meets up with Jug End Road it turns to dirt and is a great descent down to Curtis Road North. When Curtis Road crosses Rt 41 it turns to dirt until Bow Wow Road.  This part of Bow Wow is paved but watch out for the potholes - this are like craters. Bow Wow turns east and Giberson Road takes over and it's dirt.  

Crossing over Berkshire School Road the closed portion of Giberson Road starts but I noticed all the closure signs were no longer there, on both ends of the road. This was the first time going down this road and finding it absolutely dry.

After Giberson there is some more paved road and then we turned onto Foley Road which was really rocky

It was tough

Reminds me of the time Will and I were in Idaho riding along the Blackfoot Reservoir and the gravel road was so bumpy that Will said to me, "I could really use some pavement right now."

It was about a mile before it got better

I noticed the gash on Race Mountain and inquired about what it might be with the locals.
One person said it was a rock slide. Seems too defined to be rock slide.

Crossing into Connecticut we rode the dirt road between the lakes and the climb there after was not welcomed but we pushed one

I bombed down Wildcat Road

Will took the descent a little slower

Then it was primarily downhill towards Falls Village

In Falls Village we stopped at the Falls Village Cafe and split a cookie and had coca-colas

Crossing over the Housatonic and then we climbed up Briton Hill

Descending into the Salmon Kill valley we passed a dirt road that I thought I recognized but the name wasn't coming up. Checking the map I saw it was Dark Hollow and I knew that went through so we took it instead of the intended route.

It was a short hop over to the old Central New England Railway bed

We stopped in Salisbury for a Gatorade and a bag of Salt and Vinegar chips

Then began the climb up Mt Riga Road

In this heat it was grueling

The road was really dry and watch out for the washboards while climbing

The cloud cover made it much more pleasant but when the clouds got dark it started to rain

We were soaked 

and skunk striped

The last climb of the ride, up West Road to Sunset Rock.
It's steep but paved.

At the state line I tightened my brakes and hoped I had enough brake pad to get me down the hill

The view of the Harlem Valley looking north was spectacular

Got a nice dirt tan on Mt Riga Road

At the brewery I got my two favorites:
Morrison ESB
Cheese Curds, Fries and Gravy

I bought the metal cup because you get a $1 off future beers.
Going to have to plan another ride from here in the fall.

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