I usually try to ride Mt Riga once or twice year to prepare for some really dirty, climby event. However, this year everything got screwed up with my back injury and I haven't been riding much gravel. However, my ride gravel ride last month on Father's Day was enough to prove that I am ready for some harder rides, now.
With the long holiday weekend coming I reached out to Will to see if he would be in the area and wanted to ride Mt Riga and he was eager to do so.
I purposefully created this route to try some dirt roads, or roads that according to RWGPS were dirt but when you looked at them on the Satellite map they were clearly paved. I didn't have them recorded on my Wandrer so I added them to the course. The first climb was Oxbow Hill and it's the 3rd hardest climb of the 6 that RWGPS identified. It's a tough climb right out of the gate and way better than Sunset Rock.
The original route said First Dirt would be on the MA side of the Oxbow Hill descent however that road was paved but when I saw the No Winter Maintenance sign on Phillips Road on our right, it was time for an audible.
It turned out to be new Wandrer miles, too, so win/win!
When the road turns back to pavement there is a great view of Catamount and the Jug End.
With the rain earlier this morning the dirt roads were great condition.
Turning onto Townhouse Hill it becomes dirt again.
Looking back towards Catamount and the opening to the Jug End.
After some more pavement and crossing over the AT we turned onto the dirt portion of Bow Wow Road, another road that I have been meaning to ride but never quite worked it into a ride yet until today. I always favor coming in from the Jug End where there is a dirt road at the AT trail head and then taking Curtis Road.
Then came the closed portion of Giberson Road which didn't really look too closed but someone probably just stole the signs because there were some big puddles.
Then we were on Foley Road and riding along the Taconics with a fog enshrouded Mt Race in the background.
Nearing the bottom of Wildcat Hollow I stopped to see if these mountain bikers were OK. They said they were all good and they asked for directions. Apparently, they went out into the woods behind their house and got kinda lost and then came back on the road and found this one and then were curious where to ride next. I told them about some pretty good mountain bike trails that come off Between Lakes Road. They thanked me for the tip.
Stopping at the Falls Village Steel bridge we observed that the Housatonic was nearing flood levels. It was also a great time to fuel up for the next round of climbing on Briton Hill.
Briton Hill is paved but it's also steep.
Coming back onto Salmon Kill and looking eastwards there were some dark clouds but fortunately they were heading away from us.
We stopped in Salisbury behind the town hall for to fuel up for the next big climb and why we were doing this ride in the first place.
Too bad these clouds weren't headed our way, a light shower while climbing up Mt Riga would be welcomed.
A bough from this old maple tree broke and it looks like someone in the town cut them to make them look like they are coming out of the ground.
This is a great place to stop because across the road from the sign is a natural spring that's potable.
And the water is cold and refreshing. I drank this whole bottle, too.
Then we were climbing again!
I drank a lot of water at the brewery before having just one beer.
It was an awesome ride!