Thursday, June 30, 2011

Black Ledge To Case

So thursday rolled around and the normal thursday night ride was a go! John had posted up a ride starting at black ledge. We set wheels down with a solid group of four people, Alex was borrowing Johns Kona and started flying down the trail and I found myself in back trying to catch up with these 29ers. Luckily my good old boy Bentley hungout with me in the back so it was all good. We rode some really fun trails in Gay City Park that I have never rode and I think they will be excellent for taking my wife to. We were ripping through the woods and my heart was pounding but it felt good. We ended up climbing out of Gay City and crossed birch mountain and got into Case. By now a significant amount of climbing was had, but I was still feeling good and keeping up with the fellas and so was Bentley. The Dawg was feeling slow as normal but was paying off on the downhills with the modest 5 inches of suspension travel. We did a good loop into Case and soon was back across the road and heading down the ribbon trail I believe it is named. This trail I have always liked, probably built for mountain bikers by mountain bikers. Ended up back at the car 90 minutes later and had really enjoyed that ride that I wish didn't have to end. Turned out to be the 5th day straight riding and going strong, we will see what the weekend brings :)

Black ledge to case

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Couples Ride

Today was a drag at work, it was tough keeping moving, a splitting head ache was not helping the situation but it did not stop us from getting on a ride tonight. I asked LuAnn if she was interested in getting in a ride this evening and she happily agreed. So I got home a little after 4:30 and we gathered our stuff and headed over to Case. We got wheels down and started pedaling up the gravel path which is smooth but has some some steep to it so it's a great ride for my wife. She did great and made it all the way up to the summit with no walking. We then cruised over to the summit lookout and enjoyed a nice breeze. It was the perfect way to end the evening being together and enjoying the moment that we had together away from her stressful days at school. We soon headed down and took a narrow little trail she has not ridden yet and we both enjoyed it, I wish it was alot longer because it's cool. After it emptied us into the pond pine trees the scenery was changing into another great adventure. Shortly we were back at the car packing up to get home and get some rest from the day. I had a really good time out riding with my pretty girl and we look forward to the next time we get to!

Couples ride

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Sweet Day

I awoke this morning early as usual about 6:45 with LuAnn as she got ready for school I got ready for the day. Being my day off it is not usually spent lazily sleeping in or excessive amounts of time on the couch especially when the sun is shining there is no day to waste in my opinion. So I decided I would start the day by taking the dogs aka kids to the park. We hopped in the car around 7:30 and were off to Sand Hill Park. It is a great place because it is pretty big and has nice manicured gravel paths and even a dog park which my dog's don't frequent ever due to other peoples dogs. So we got off walking and it was a really nice morning beside the mosquitos buzzing around my head. We were half way around the park when I came upon a baseball in the grass that happened to be right next to one of the baseball fields and I knew it was a sign that came from above that Bentley deserved some fetch. So I walked them into the huge green ball field and set them free off their leashes since it was so dead in the park and they were fenced in. As usual Bentley went nuts and started begging me to throw it which I did. Bowie was showing interest so I tricked Bentley on a few throws because he takes off on the windup which allows me to throw the ball the other way and watch the little fluffy bunny chase the ball and then fail to bring it back but I sure love to watch the thrill in him when he runs for it. I was so happy to be with my doggies and they were having fun which brought joy as well. I soon leashed them and off down the trail we went and then getting home to plan out the day.

I got on the and found a fellow rider that was looking for company on a ride. I figured this would be a great way to check out a new location since all the choices he listed I have never been to. We worked it out and decided on Chatfield Hollow in Killingworth CT. This location was about 40 miles from the house and I had a clear schedule for the day so I happily made the drive down. We were meeting at 11am and I had arrived 30 minutes earllier so i decided to explore. Which is where most my pictures came from so they don't do the place justice. After pedaling the pavement and finding one purple trail that was quick enough to stay close and get back to meet. Time flew by and began to head back in meet the fella I would be riding with. We met and talked a bit and turned out to be a real nice guy and shortly we were pedaling uphill and I had to put foot down soon into the ride. The review had rated it pretty technical and it sure was. We got climbing and things were great, hit a few spots that even with second attempts was not getting close but my team mate was pedaling up them, definitely had the up skills. We soon arrived to the top and had some nice sections and got to a nice technical down and a hairpin. Walked a few spots but it really wasn't as bad as I had thought. The pace was not very fast with my heart rate and all the tech sections but it was a good time. Eventually my riding buddy's tire went flat, he had wore through the side wall of the tire with his brakes. Shortly after the repair it let go once again. We rode down mountain and knew it was on borrowed time so we finished off the purple trail and hit the car. It was 1:00 and I was still feeling strong so I figured I would hit not one but two new locations today! I am going to miss not having tuesdays off in a way since I have been putting them to such good use.

Chatfield hollow

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I made my way up to Millers pond from Chatfield and it was about a 20 minute drive. I did not know much about Millers other than there seemed to be a lot of posts about group rides at that location. I arrived to the parking lot and hopped on the internet to try to find a quick loop since I was short on time and I saw a read trail right next to the lot and looked like a good place to start. Shortly after I started riding I came upon feature after feature and the palce was awesome. I believe I rode it backwards since 90% of the features were facing the other direction. The trail had a really good mix of rocks and smoothy and lots of features. I was flying through the woods since I was short on time. I eventually hit a fire road and shot down it and caught back up with the red trail and got me to the pond. Took the white trail which was a mistake since it was a narrow root filled trail that bordered the perimeter of the pond. Got myself off that as soon as I could and then had an easy ride to the car. The place was great and can't wait to go back. It was a really great day and I think I used it pretty well. I want to ride tomorrow morning but I think I am going to get some rest since I am on 4th day riding.

Millers pond

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Lazy Ride

So my intentions were great but this ride just didn't pan out well. Needless to say I got a good hour of riding but my mood was just not there. I had a long week and weekend waking early at 6am every morning, On saturday I joined john on a morning ride that had me on 5 hours of sleep and this one was going to put me on 4.5 hours of sleep after an already lack of sleep prior. I have been more motivated than ever to ride but I took it too far. I awoke 4:30 monday morning and made my way out of bed and was on the road by 5:00 and got a 5:15 start. The trails was slightly dark and creepy as usual, surprisingly moist since the ride from saturday. Started pedaling up Case and felt achy in the legs and not enthused about the hill ahead. I arrived at the summit at a very slow pace and wimped out on deciding to make a small loop. Which was a good loop and at the end of it I contemplated extending it but I decided the lack of sleep and energy would beat me down so to the car I went. Disappointed in my performance but still very happy I got out and rode, tomorrow is the day off I wonder where it will bring me.

Oh yea and by the way I pulled the trigger on these bad boys!


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

De Case

The weather as you all know has been junk but on saturday the weather took a turn for the better, the clouds opened to blue and the sun began to shine in the afternoon and while I was thinking of a ride, I was enjoying an afternoon nap after work and being with my wife too much to get out on the dirt. I decided that the conditions would be good for sunday morning and that would be the day to ride. John posted up on that he would be riding case at 8am which was a bit early since most my days start at 6:00am and the night before I got only 5 hours of sleep and it was going to be another night of only 5 hours of sleep but you know that can't stop me. So the 6:15 alarm rang and I sat up in bed questioning my sanity. But low and behold after some couch time I found myself gearing up for the ride and into the bedroom I went to grab the lazy pooch off the bed which I had to drag off and then watch him stand there in confusion and then drag him into the living room. You all may see him as a wild hyper dog but don't be fooled, at home he is one lazy lazy dude. I can tell he wasn't amped for the ride but when we got to the pond lot he was fired up. I met with John and off we went. Up the mountain and down and through we went, quickly we arrived at the bridge which hung a right at and then onto a trail I have been on at Case! I couldn't believe I had not ridden about every trail in the joint but it was very nice and smooth and it was a nice change of scenery although it was a bit short but it emptied out at the bottom of the reservoir which was great. Around the reservoir we went and then over to the west side and started climbing. I was especially low on energy wether from the lack of sleep or lack of something but it was great to be out pedaling this morning. We went up and up and eventually ended up on yet another trail i had not ridden I could not believe it. I had an idea there might be a small network of trails up on this hillside but I had not been that adventurous to get up there but I was glad we did because it was a rewarding downhill. We ended back at the reservoir and then climbed up towards tinti and eventually on tinti. Bentley was tearing it up he flew so fast on the downhills and it was sooo great to have him by my side. He was focused the whole ride to be right next to me and I was sure to give him some space to ride next to his pops. I was sure to give him some pats on the head to let him know I appreciated his enthusiasm. We enjoyed yet another rewarding downhill to the bridge and then got climbing again and had some more fun on some very tricky wet roots and rocks. I was really low on evergy and my belly was empty but I kept chugging along trying to catchup to John. Eventually we got to the top of Case and began our decent and enjoyed it greatly. I couldn't believe how fast Bentley followed me down he was right there the whole time. Got to the car and parted ways for a great start to a busy day. Incredibly great ride as usual as the sun and fog and clouds really made it a unique weather ride but was a goal accomplished. Lets see what tomorrow brings.

Tough morning

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Sweet Find

So last week me and LuAnn were fishing around Homegood store looking for a fathers day gift and came across a real piece of art! I was soooooo extremely happy when I found it because it illustrated the beginning of all of our experiences on a bicycle. Since I am such a bike nut I instantly had to have it. It now resides in our living room next to the tv where it constantly reminds me of where things started. I would like to start finding some more cool bike related objects and I have asked LuAnn with some of her time off from school this summer to do some paintings and drawings for me since she is and extremely talented artist. She has a gift that I am very envious that I do not have and I hope she can make some cool stuff for us to put up on our walls.

Things taken for granted

So after my big ride on tuesday we got a significant amount of rainfall the next 4 days so I was forced off the dirt. It was a tough week at work but I am happy to say I will be leaving VW and moving onto bigger and better things which is great! I am so thankful for my little family and days I get to spend with them and can't wait to see what our future holds! Life is about to get pretty busy with summer in full swing and moving and going to Utah which I cannot wait to do! Hopefully with my new job which has a little over an hour commute each way and can hopefully allow me to get out before work starts and also will get me into some new ride locations! It is officially my favorite hobby that has turned into an full blown obsession and I am so glad my understanding wife can cope with my passion for riding. Speaking of riding, I have been doing so much of it that both bike are beginning to take a toll, it terrifies me thinking of not being able to afford the simple costs of maintaining a bike and we are trying to work it into our budget and I have had great luck with both bikes but on tuesday the raleigh crank finally told me it had enough. It needs a new crank desperately and I am ready to pull the trigger on one but with the upcoming expenses of vacation and other things it is going to be a tough decision. The raleigh is in the shop right now getting the brakes looked through and getting wheels trued, the bb5s have become quite challenging for me to work with and in frustration I plan on getting some bb7s real shortly. But first I have to get this crank, tires, grips, chain to get through this summer without anymore hiccups. When it's all said and done I hope to be riding on an Niner Air 9 next summer but that's a ways away and I love what I got right now and never plan of getting rid of it! Rode the kona today and had a few issues with the drivetrain but nothing too bad, john noticed the rear cassette wasn't rotating smoothly on it's axis so I may have a bent axle. Another thing I have got to look into which make my backup bike a questionable reliable ride....... I will continue to tear it up until it refuses to allow me to pedal. So hopefully this week of riding goes smoothly and I have no bad news to report.

FSA V-Drive SS crankset

WTB Exiwolfs 29x2.3
Ergon Grips
KMC Chain


370$ worth the damage I will be doing this summer which might not be much to some people but is to me, thank goodness for this new job!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Salmon Forest to Grayville and back

Well today started off as any other tuesday would, since it's my day off I was primed and ready for a chance to get out on the bike to ride some new trails. I found myself set and planned to ride Day Pond down in Colchester which is about 30 minutes form my house. I got an decent start from the house which was about 9:00 and I arrived at the planned parking lot 9:35. I got geared up and headed across the river to find the blue trail, which I did find about a minute later and saw not much to my surprise a NO BIKING sign......ughhhhh this threw me way off since where I parked allowed me one decent way into Day Pond. I checked some maps and decided to head back to the car and rethink my strategy. I checked Salmon Forest maps and saw there were some possible routes that would get me into the forest from my location. I pedaled a mile up a hill and at the end of it turned to a double track that looked somewhat promising which a little further down the trail it was. I was heading north towards a rail trail and although I had trails splitting I planned the best route I could figure that looked most traveled. Sure enough about 20 minutes later I was on the rail trail and gained back some of my bearings since I had ridden the area once before. My plan was to do the west side of the loop and drop down the trail that ran just east of it. With some getting lost and trail searching I found myself climbing fast up a nasty muddy wet buggy double track road which lead me to big open fields. I looked at my gps and it was labeled airstrip and I scratched my head but I could see how dead straight this meadow was I was riding in. Which lead me to believe that it actually might have use to have been an airfield but obviously hadn't been for a long long time. The weeds were high and were rubbing quite a bit on my legs so while I was taking pictures I felt things walking on me, sure enough about four were about to have a feast on me but luckily I caught those jerks and ripped them right off. This added to me blowing through the clearings since I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. I was cranking fast since the incline was not great and the ground was smooth I made it into the forest and to a familiar trail I had been once before. I headed down and took a few different routes on the way down throwing me into confusion once again but it was no big deal because the riding was soooo good! I ended up back on the rail trail making a pretty quick loop so I looked at more maps and saw that Grayville falls park was not far down the way and I could link through the rail trail. This was great so I pedaled east to Grayville. The rail trail was smooth but welcomed. Before I knew it I was trying to find my way into Grayville and it was a little tricky and I was trail searching once again but when I hit the parking lot I knew where I was since I had been to the area once before. So I sped down the road and went into the woods for a quick loop in the park. I found my way around and rode some really really good trails, I must say that my favorite trails were on the south end of the park which offered some great single track. I got myself stuck on the other side of the river and no great was seen to cross so I decided to simply walk through it in my shoes, it felt great. I felt like going for a swim but I had already been at it 3 1/2 hours so I was looking forward to getting home. Shortly I was back on the rail trail and pedaled back to where I first found it this morning and dropped down another unfamiliar trail which led me to the trail I took in the morning and then to the road and then the ever so rewarding car. This was an awesome ride and I had a great time exploring and riding new trails.


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