Thursday, June 28, 2012

21 mile day

Ok let’s get back to riding! The weather subsided and Wednesday was a ride day. I sent an invite to Colin for a Hale morning ride and he was game so we met 6am and got cracking. The trails were in very good shape after all that rain despite the pools of water at the entrance. We hit the other side of the road and began sucking wind pretty quick after 7 days off the bike. I was an absolute mess as far as my technical game; every stupid thing sent me to my feet. Everything else came together fortunately as we pressed on for a solid 10 miles of trail. The weather was absolutely perfect, a really nice breeze just felt so great. Did my work thing after the ride and was wondering as the day went on if I was sending myself into doom since I was committed to a quick ride that evening at Shenipsit. With a red bull under my belt I was hoping to keep up, I did that barely while I pedaled at the back of the pack. We had 7 people and rode the crap out of snip, it was a good time for sure and trails were good. It consists of a lot of dirt roads and wide ATV track and some single track. The eclectic mix was welcomed and at time had smooth level offerings. I got my butt handed to me but had a great ride and will be back there soon to do some more. Added up the mileage and hit 21 miles which is a good start to a ride week for me so great!

Good as it gets

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Snip goods

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Goody good stuff

Great weekend! No riding since Wednesday but that’s no big deal since I whored my bike out previously. Lost power at 4pm Friday as a powerful storm rolled in caught me UN prepared as I had no gas for the generator. So when I arrived home after escaping the darkness and the power was not on I was really kicking myself. Slept a few hours and was awake most the morning since it was uncomfortably hot. Fan kicked on around 4am and we were extremely happy! Surprisingly we left the house about 8am for our planned boat trip to Candlewood, had a really great time out on the lake with our dogs and each other. LuAnn is doing so great and handled the boat like a champ and so did our little baby boy. Last night we washed our mounting pile of baby clothes that has accumulated already, really really excited to meet this little guy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lucky Number 7! I made it, with legs to spare too it's crazy. I may have ridden 7 times in a week in in Utah and not noticed since I would do double rides from time to time but I know now this has been officially 7 days straight of 90 minute + rides of pleasure. Each ride was great and unique in it's own way. Thursday was Hale with a group, friday was Hale solo, saturday Middlesex with a group, sunday at Case with my buddy Bentley, monday a ride at Crandalls for 1st time, tuesday morning Hale at 6am, wednesday Mansfield Hollow for 2nd time. I plan to keep going I guess, as long as time and opportunity continues. Todays ride was obviously heated but found water time to time and dunked myself in it. Wow I look back and every ride was great in it's own way, not one felt like a chore. So maybe 7 rides and 66.89 miles doesn't sound like much, but when you ride a rocky, hilly, rough and tough CT you feel every turn of the crank. Happy to say as well I have shed 10 pounds in the last 2 weeks and unsure exactly where it went to but the scale says so I will take that. Hit my heaviest weight this year at 194 and had no idea how it was getting put on. I love you biking, keep sharing your passion with me! I won't bother posting up every map of my ride so feel free to go to and enter driverfound337 in search if you feel like it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's a BOY!!

Yea I found out last thursday but haven't gotten on yet to describe how happy I am. We arrived at our 21 week ultrasound and after many many images of his organs and stuff we found out that my wife made us a healthy boy. I am so excited to meet this little guy, we got some good shots of him on the monitor and I could not believe my eyes. I can't wait to introduce him to all the fun things we can do together, I especially always imagined living out in Utah and taking him to all the amazing sites and sounds of the backcountry. On friday night he was kicking up a storm and I got to put my hand on her belly and feel his movement, what an amazing feeling that was. When I got home sunday I snapped a few pictures of stuff we are accunmulating good times! Oh yeah six days straight of riding, loving it! Going for no. 7 sometime today.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Strong Like Bull

Finally a weekend full of riding! I must say not one of these rides was I tired or not completely into riding, it was great. Friday I rode Nathan Hale after I got home from work. I was back on the Dawg since I like to put a beating on it while my new bike gets more reserve time. The difference is pretty huge but at the end of the day it does the trick right. I did another new loop at Hale and really was a great way to kick off the weekend. Saturday I joined John and Pat at Middlesex. I love these trails; they are really great and offer a lot of work and payoff. I was nervous to join this ride to be honest, but I was on my game and felt really good keeping up with the pack. I was on the Tanuki this ride and was enjoying the smooth operator that it is. At about the 90 minute mark I heard a clunk and then heard some racket and before I looked I knew what happened. There the derailleur hung mashed into the spokes… pretty spokes suffered some scrapes but luckily my hanger did its job and snapped. The cable was pretty chewed up but I am so thankful it appears my XT derailleur is ok. Looks like I need a $20 hanger and a bike a case of beer and I should be back rolling. I walked to the road just 50 ft luckily and waited at the car for the fellas to finish their ride. Sunday Sunday I was soo sooo lazy and after eating a huge meal of steak chicken and rice I was feeling eager to do some exercise to keep loosing a little bit of weight this summer. I chose Case and got a 6pm start with my buddy Bentley at my side. I hit the dirt and my legs felt great, could not believe after 4 days straight riding they felt unscathed and ready for more. It was a really nice afternoon to ride; it was cool and felt amazing to be out. We took a big loop out and dog was hot on my tail pushing me to go faster. By the time we got near the water he started to go nuts prancing around like a queen and running in front of me asking me to get there faster so he can swim. This was not my plan to let him swim but how could I deny his ambition. A few throws and back off to the car. Extremely good riding. Peeled 3 ticks off dog when I got home. Monday location to be determined but will be riding for a 5 day streak, love my life!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Finally the rain stopped and I got the chance to get out on a ride. I was really excited to ride and the weather was just sooo nice. As I pulled my bike out I saw the wash bucket I left out from washing the car and saw it had like 4 inches of water in it! Expecting a mud show I was very surprised as to how well Hale soaked it right up. I took Bentley with me and was hoping desperately the frontline I put on hours before the ride would keep the ticks off of him. It was awesome having him by my side as we took a strip of trail that connects to the main trail area. I was not sure if I was joining the other guys for their weekly 6pm ride, I had 30 minutes to make that choice so I eventually decided to join those guys after getting in a quick 2 miles. This is a fast moving group for sure, had me in the back of the pack the whole ride for the most part riding a comfy pace with my dog. Bentley was a fire cracker, eager and polite of a trail dog as can be. He has only been on a handful of rides this spring since he is a tick magnet and I don’t want the poor feller to get sick or get us sick. Onward we pressed up some real greasy trail, made it near impossible for me in locations to get traction even with my 2.5s I really need to ride more sitting down but I just can’t feel the power I do when I am standing up. Lots of rocks were slick and roots and every single one of them nearly wiped me out, I was not very graceful or flowing last night but I was riding and I was happy. Got home and went through the dog and found one creepy crawler and then an hour later found three more……Little jerks Grrrrrrrrrrr. This weekend should be filled with rides, LuAnn is studying like mad and if I get work finished early enough I shall ride before we go see a show “The Man of La Mancha”. Saturday we celebrate father’s day so should squeeze one in that morning and then Sunday I shall repeat.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mansfield Hollow 1st Run

Yeeeeeeah fresh meat! So Mansfield Hollow lies just 20 minutes from my house and little did I know I was missing out. Luckily I had Pat clearing spider webs and giving me something to follow as we went from trail to trail. At first things were very wide, very smooth and pretty uneventful, things narrowed slowly and started to feel more like a Mountain Bike trail. Got through the thick stuff and peeled that stinkin tick off my leg as he was trying to make a new home and then continued up one steep mother of a hill. I felt like I was climbing up a Park City ski run trail in the summer....siggghhh The singlespeed was an absolute crapshow, I had a chain that was extremely tight due to my laggin lazy bike mechanics. Come to find out about this problem which I have had with every chain was due to my gear ratio setup which left the chain always very loose or very tight regardless of EBB. The front brake was dragging and the rear as well. With this triple threat it felt like I was dragging a wakeboarder behind me uphill. Despite the bike issues Pat luckily put up with my whining and whimpering and still showed me the way. This palce was great, especially as we were headed back there were some great very quick steep climbs and roller coaster rides. I will surely be back to explore some of the stuff I saw as we went by and get to learn this place better. The sun had set on the last trail which was especially memorable as it hit through the trees over the lake, pretty good stuff. Dunked my head in the lake which made the entire evening.

Mansfield hollow 1st

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Monday, June 11, 2012

One Fine Day

Great weekend, unfortunately it did not consist of Mountain Biking but a good time was had without it. We decided to celebrate our halfway mark in LuAnn’s pregnancy so after hearing a few things here and there about this Cliff walk in Newport Rhode Island we went on a small adventure. It was just under a 2 hour drive and as we got over the bridge I started to get excited, just the drive over the bridge was pretty spectacular. We drove through a very busy downtown area that was very nice and then on to Narragansett Avenue where we got out for our walk. We found the coastline and it really was as beautiful as everyone said it was. Unfortunately it was just as crowded as everyone said it was as well. Snapped some pictures and walked a good 1.5 miles and then turned around. On the way back the sun popped out and lit up the coastline, I could not believe how nice and clear the water was compared to Connecticut’s nasty Long Island Sound. It was great to be out on a stroll with the two of us, I mean three of us since our fifth family member is in her belly! We then made our way The Fifth Element restaurant where we had a great meal. It really was a great day and very happy we got to spend it together relaxing on such a great day. I look forward to getting back there and hope it’s sooner than later.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wow what a great last weekend, we were very lucky and appreciative of a good friend for loaning his family’s vacation home in Stratton VT. We arrived on Friday and got settled in and were really happy and looking forward to a great weekend with LuAnn for our three year wedding anniversary. I was feeling anxious to get out into the thick green forest after we got there so bought some light hiking shoes for $50 and headed to Grout Pond. I wanted to make the loop around the pond and we accomplished just that after an hour of walking at a nice pace. It was muddy in some sections and had a few down trees but we managed to get it done. The mosquitoes were terrible but nothing our bug spray couldn’t fend off. The views of the Pond were scarce as the sun was going down and never got a great picture of it I was pleased with. By the time we got to the car it was just about dark so we called it a night and went home to rest. The next morning was ambitious, I had heard about a hike to Stratton Mountain which sits just a few hundred yards form the peak of the ski resort from a friend and set in in my mind to do it. We arrived at 10:30am and started walking up the trail. It was a beautiful day, sunny and very warm. The shade of the trees offered plenty of shelter from the sun rays. It was so great being out with my family, Bentley and Bowie were doing great and LuAnn was doing awesome as well. The trail rose at a constant but comfortable climb through lush green woods and trail it was truly a good time. We kept at it as things began to steep but was surprised when it was shortly mellowed out after a ¼ mile. The hike offered one view on the way up of Somerset Reservoir which was a small window which was better than nothing. We reached the top really quick, the hike called for 5-6 hour round trip and we were up top in good shape after two hours. Some scouts up there welcomed the dogs as they ran around introducing themselves to everyone and seeing if they had food to offer. I climbed the tower and took some pictures, the views were great! Tallest mountain in southern Vermont. Some lunch was had and we were zipping back down. Bowie was doing great, I was really expecting to have to carry him but he made it up and down with ease, good for you little buddy! Got to the car for a total of 4 hour round trip! This was great since we had more plans later that day and had more time to relax. LuAnn did and absolutely great job carrying her little one in her belly and I give her lots of credit. Off to Equinox Mountain later on that day. Mt. Equinox is one steep mother of a hill and put a working on the car on the way up. We hopped out of the car on the way up and took in some great views and pictures to prove it on the way up to the summit. I had plans to catch the sunset from a viewpoint but the mosquitoes were in full force and despite bites because we had bug spray on they was just buzzing round us looking for trouble so we dipped. Then we took out time going down not to over heat the brakes. What a way to end the day as we headed home to the comforts of the house and give my 4 month old hot pregnant wife a good rest. Our only adventure the next day was to make our way to Hamilton Falls at some part of the day. Luckily LuAnn was game and we headed off on our 45 minute journey down some great back country roads. It absolutely amazes me how many really nice mid size houses are down every road. I wonder what all these people do for a living, whether they are vacation homes or part time live there, locals I dunno………… Either way I am very jealous. We arrived at the falls and went to the closest trail we could find and it was right off the parking lot. I regretfully did not bring shoes for either of us and this became a problem. The trail to the top of the falls was mellow and offered a small view at the top pool before it took the plunge which was not visible. I could see that a steep trail lie below and I talked LuAnn into going down with me in our sandals. Bad idea on my behalf but we did make it down. The falls were incredible, really steep as usual and carved quite a bit of rock.