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.

As I was riding down Alberts Hill, thinking I would ride down through Sandy Hook and then climb up Bennett's Bridge and explore more of Monroe an alert came up saying that it was going to rain in the next 10 minutes. Checking the radar it looked like the rain was going to be concentrated over Newtown, so I made the decision to ride north into Roxbury.

I headed up Purchase Brook to Spruce Brook to visit the cows since we didn't see them on Saturday's ride. They were all down in the lower paddock. Leaving there, I climbed to the top of Spruce Brook and then headed down Brown Brook towards Roxbury.

As I started to climb towards Roxbury, on South Street, I noticed that it was starting clear up and that the clouds were moving south and it looked like it was about to get sunny.

I can't ride to Roxbury on a road bike and not ride Painter Hill so up I went with the sun starting come out.

It just going prettier and prettier as I climbed

Looks like the latest batch of calves are being separated from their mothers

They didn't look happy

You can't beat the view from Topland Farms

Looking South by Southwest, just off the right of the third sylo on the left you can make out a hilltop which I believe would be Pine Mountain in Ridgefield. 

I read somewhere that it is known as being the highest point within 10 miles of the Atlantic Ocean up and down the entire coast. It's elevation is 1,021 feet above sea level.

If you ride through this area a lot, especially on the dirt roads you will note that one of the roads is named Dorthy Diebold, who with her husband bought this farm from a family back in the 1940s.

It's funny but the other day I had to go up to New Milford Hospital for an appointment and I noticed that the Cancer Center is named after Dorothy Diebold. Did some more digging on the interwebs and it appears that Topland Farms is part of the Dorothy Diebold Trust, thus making it a non-profit entity, which kind of seems like a tax dodge if you ask me, but what do I know, I am just a cyclist.

Continuing east along Painter Hill I stopped and asked a neighbor who lived next to the farm whether Davenport Road was open yet and he said no.

So looking at the map I was going to have to ride down Painter Ridge to Nichols Hill and then back to Roxbury on Rt 199. Not my favorite road in these parts. Similar to Rt 109, kind of narrow and winds in and out with limited site lines. Very high chance of getting buzzed by inattentive or stupid drivers. 

Before I got to Painter Ridge I heard the throaty sound of an engine for what only could have been a biplane

Looked like Five O'Clock Charlie was on a bombing run for Roxbury International

What a stunning day this turned out to be!

This cloud mass looks like it was dropping virga and probably what the weather boffins picked up on the radar

and it looks like it tracked northwards, too, but I never felt a drop

Turning east onto Nichols Hill the leaf color on the side of the road was spectacular! There are some nice rollers on this road but then there is a steep descent to the intersection with Rt 199, which I am not a fan of.  Turning south towards Roxbury I took Rt 199 to Rt 67 and along the way I got buzzed a few times. Not my favorite road to ride but the only paved option.

Riding down through Roxbury Station and after the Blue Barns I turned onto Old Turnpike Road East to get off Rt 67. Even though Rt 67 has a very wide shoulder and an easier grade, Old Turnpike takes you a bit higher and then turning onto Second Hill Road there are some great vistas looking west.

Right before Quarry Road, which is the back way into Mine Hill, on the left hand side there was a steel sculpture of a wolf.

Then there's one of what only could be a rabbit. Further up, there is another wolf that looks like its running and in front of that is another one of a rabbit and it is definitely running.

Then there is this bear watching the show

He's probably waiting for the kill so he can scare away the predator and take the meal for himself

Up on the hill, a fox is anxiously awaiting the outcome

I found this fable on the Interwebs that I wonder whether its connected:

One sunny day, a Rabbit came out of her hole in the ground to enjoy the weather. The day was so nice that the Rabbit became careless, so a Fox sneaked up to her and caught her.
I am going to eat you for lunch!", said the Fox.

Wait!", replied the Rabbit, "You should at least wait a few days. I am just finishing writing my Ph.D. thesis."

"Hah! That's a stupid excuse. What is the title of your thesis, anyway?"

"I am writing my thesis on The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves."

"Are you crazy ? I should eat you up right now! Everybody knows that a Fox will always win over a Rabbit."

"Not really, not according to my research. If you like, you can come to my hole and read it for yourself. If you are not convinced, you can go ahead and have me for lunch."

Since the Fox was curious and had nothing to lose, he went with the Rabbit into her hole. The Fox never came back out. A few days later, the Rabbit was again taking a break from writing, and sure enough, a Wolf came out of the bushes and was ready to eat her.

"Wait!", yelled the Rabbit, "you cannot eat me right now."

"And why might that be, you fuzzy appetizer?"

"I am almost finished writing my Ph.D. thesis on The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves."

The Wolf laughed so hard that he almost lost his hold on the Rabbit.

"Come read for yourself, you can eat me after that if you disagree with my conclusions."

So the Wolf went to the Rabbit's hole and never came out.

The Rabbit finished writing her thesis and was out celebrating in the lettuce fields. Another Rabbit came by and asked, "What's up? You seem to be very happy."

"Yup, I just finished writing my dissertation."

"Congratulations! What is it about?"

"It is titled 'The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves."

"Are you sure? That doesn't sound right."

"Oh yes, you should come over and read for yourself."

So they went together to the Rabbit's hole. As they went in, the friend saw the typical graduate student abode, albeit a rather messy one after writing a thesis. The computer with the controversial dissertation was in one corner. On the right there was a pile of fox bones, on the left was a pile of wolf bones, and in the middle was a Lion.

The moral of the story is: The title of your dissertation doesn't matter. The research doesn't matter. All that matters is who your advisor is.

The climb, pictured above is gradual most of the way for the first mile then starts getting steeper and then the last 800 feet gets really steep that includes the max grade to the stop sign.

It was worth the effort for this view

and then came a 6 mile descent down to Lake Lillinonah

Hoping to get in a few extra miles that would see this ride end in at least a 4 handle I rode over to the Newtown Boat Ramp at the end of Hanover Road

The sun was nearly set but the water was like glass.

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