Thursday, May 23, 2013

Royal Moistureness

After a tornado watch and nasty thunderstorms passed through after Tuesdays ride it was looking questionable what was going to happen for Wednesdays ride outlook. The skies opened up in the late morning and out poppped the sun and what felt like a rising humidity. I began to realize today could be a go day to ride and kept it in the back of my mind as I knew LuAnn probably preferred me to be home to help pack for our expedition. As it got nicer out the bike whore in me started to hint I was interested in a ride, and sure enough she eventually told me to beat it so I did so. I decided to ride Hale since driving was going to kill time I did not have. I popped into the woods knowing I was going to sweat my face off and proceeded to do so shortly. My trail has grown in nicely, hard to believe there is even a track considering I ride it once a week lately. As I entered the main trail system I was pleased to find no soft spots and this ride was a go! Set off on a fast loop since I had 90 minutes to shred. Rocks and roots were just plain sketchy as it usually is after rain and humidity, I must have popped off the bike 6-7 times in these ICY conditions. None the less it was nice to be out although the sun rays were now gone and I was watching a storm cell NW of me on the Doppler on my phone. I decided to end my pedaling by completing my favorite section known as Al's trail. Almost halfway in, I came across tape which the loggers had put up to close the trail. I got so bummed out, as you might have seen from last Thursdays ride the loggers had saved the trail and coming just feet from ripping it to shreds so I was in hope they might leave it for the recreation peoples, but I just don't know. I guess when I get back from vacation I will find it gone or re routed or help do the re route who knows. It's sad to see them clear huge areas like that and whether they really benefit the forest I don't know but it's pretty sad to see a thriving forest turned into wood chips but I know they recently did a big survey of the health of the forest and it needed some work removing invasive species and restoration. Either way I am sure they know what they are doing. So three rides completed this week and I can end on that note. Well that's it, no more riding for the next 11 days so enjoy the woods suckas! I'm out

Hot mess hale

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Beat Old Dog

Oh boy, Tuesday another ride! With a last minute ride location with crosshairs on a Gay City State park start to Case and back and only itinerary was to hit ribbon trail on the way back. Loaded up the dog and I was pedaling wide highways of dirt until I crossed into Case. Looks like humidity is here to stay, this morning was exceptionally warm and humid and it sucks I hate it but whats a homie to do.... carry on. Riding SS I felt capable of today's duties, I took blue and made my way to Dragons back or Lions back whatever it is, it was nice to ride down it for a change, most the time I walk it while going in other diorecton up since I have no one to impress right. Tried to put together a certain loop but fell flat on my face in the middle of case since I have yet to figure out the spaghetti trails completely. None the less after missing a turn which for the better I missed I made my way back to Gay City in no fancy order. This is when Bentley started to fade quick, I noticed he has been not very quick on rides this year, I hate to think he is getting slower at only 4 years of age but it could be possible. He is not a high energy dog really, a very happy energetic dog when you come in the door but other than that he is a door mat. I felt pretty bad as he really started to fade on the ribbon trail. I stopped at every stream crossing to allow him to quench his thirst but he seemed uninterested, he really isn't a thirsty dog even in the hottest of weather. So with nothing left to do but truck on. It was pretty uneventful from ribbon to the car, soaked in sweat and trying to keep my dog within eye seeing distance. Great ride, was expecting 15 miles but 14 will do just fine :) Hope the weather holds for tomorrow, I would love to do a double feature but one would be more than great! Keep holding strong weather give me one more day to squeeze!

Gay to case

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Monday Ride

Mansfield Hollow to School House Brook 1st attempt was made yesterday. I have never set tire in Schoolhouse Brook so I was hoping for a smooth pass through. I set off at my standard start point at the Mansfield Hollow park and did my favorite and best to my knowledge trails leaving out just a short piece which I cut to add some extra time for. I was on gears and feeling super slow but was happy to have it on the hills. I made my way to the top of the highest climb and set off on new to me trail until I hit the road and crossed. I had seen a few maps that looked like I could pickup the trail again on spring hill and luckily I did so. I was still on Blue and looking to get off it quick since I think the Nipmuck trail is off limits to us but not sure. Not long into my new trails I was hopping me and my bike over massive blow downs. I got off blue and got on a beaten down grown in trail which I wondered was the right choice but kept trucking on after more blow downs. Soon I came to a post that had a named trail on it, so I got on it pronto! Kept finding more named trails and was kind of lost but in a small area but sooner or later would reach the ideal goal. I took a few trails that went to backyards which always sucks when your short on time, I wish people would not build super wide trails right to their yards, I understand clearing and making it great 90% of the way but as soon as its within view of the main trail just leave nature as it left it so I don't end up in your back yard. After more roaming I hit a road and I knew where I was and it was close enough to shoot down to the pavement and make my way to the car. Next trip out I will make this a lot smoother through the new section since I can better navigate. Schoolhouse Brook could use a few trail gnomes, there were so many trees down and so many spots that need trail maintenance, the place looked like someone once cared and then moved out of town and things went to turd. Considering how many trails markers and parking locations I am surprised the town and users have not gone in with chain saws and khakis. From here on out, every trip I plan to clear or improve what I can to revive this place. I had to use stupid ass Strava yesterday cause everytrail app was bugging out, it worked but whats up with not being able to zoom all the way out. I refuse to use it other than in this case an emergency.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Breathtaking video, how amazing the scenery and riding

I want to ride

I guess I was expecting to ride my bike Saturday, I was healing very nicely but read up on recommended down time and decided not to risk the progress I had made so I was sidelined. Stinks after expecting 5 rides this week but ended with three, I am still extremely happy with three rides. Wet week coming hopefully it lets up to provide a morning ride tomorrow. Leaving for vacation on the 25th for a week with my family, that entails brother and his girlfriend, my friend/brothers girlfriends brother, and my mom and dad. Should be real interesting since it's the first vacation with our newest family member. I want to get a new go pro for shooting underwater stuff on vacation but not sure if I can come up with 200$ to make it happen. Once we get back on the 1st of June, LuAnn goes back to school so major bummer. Time to ride my face off this week!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thursday night turbo ride

As I write this post after a dentist visit with 3 less teeth and a dose of codeine I can still remember all to well last nights ride. I set off on a 30 minute pre ride since the more the merrier right, met with the fellas at 6pm. We started off in quick fashion and asserted my dominance in the last position in the back which is where I am the coziest. Little did I know how much crap was going to be kicked up into my eyeballs, it was torture the entire ride, even after I found some poor strangers sunglasses on the trail which was a gift from tha trail gods I am sure, but not enough since the damage had already been done. Despite blurred itchy sneezy vision that had nothing to do with loosing the riders in my sight. Things were smoking fast last night leaving me with a good workout and realizing all the more I will never be a super fast rider, which I am perfectly fine with. On the last stretch of the ride I stopped caring about keeping up as the sun was setting in the distance and put a romantic glow on the trees around me that was inspiring. Shortly after admiring the beauty, I got buzzed by a pair c-130's aka "hercules" a large military transport,assault, etc..... right over my head. They were flying extremely low pretty much 100 feet above tree line which was cool but scary. Finally caught up with the group as they rested and then split off from the pack on my trail to my house. Good ride, well spent after just 2 hours, I was shocked when I saw my watch with the calories burned, nearly 1800 which was a record for calories burned in two hours since I got a heart rate monitor in October. I am not sure I will do group Thursday rides anymore, I debated on going in the first place as I usually do, I like group rides, but when I feel like I am racing to keep up with the group I would rather just be doing my own thing. No ride today, wanted to this morning but I was super duper tired last night, looks like Saturday morning somewhere. Enjoy the weather and enjoy the riding.

Crazy fast @ hale at EveryTrail
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meeting with Bob the builder

I got a email from Bob letting me know he was ready and wanted to meet with me and go over my frame details. I was filled with excitement and was set to meet with him the next day at noon. Rolling into his property I was greeted by a tree full of bikes, really cool. I have come across him on the trails behind his house once before but this was a my first formal meeting with the fella, and as expected a really nice bike nut like most of us. He showed me to his rigid geared ride to give me an idea of what he went for in his own build. Just hopping on my first Belltown filled me with excitement and made me pumped. We went over what I was looking for, and honestly I really have no damn clue, He knows far more about bikes and geometry than I ever will so with my little knowledge and his massive knowledge we put something together. The most noticeable thing this frame will receive will be shorter chain stays, a full 2" shorter. From what I am told, this will liven up the bike and give it some feel good. We decided to go with black cat swinging dropouts for chain tension which look really neat and will be structurally stronger than any other options. He is currently stalled on a demanding project so he said it won't take long to build but still could be late summer.He was very pleased how simple and straight forward I was with what I was looking for, he was very relieved as well. I have always purchased bikes and rode them, never tinkered much with fit and function, this has left me with little knowledge on form and fit so I know he has put me in good hands. So cool seeing all his hand made bikes laying around, they all have something that screams authentic and stands apart from any frams made over seas. So excited, I hope to have another frame made down the road.
Arriving, click image

black cat swinging drop outs

Ideal frame design

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Morning

Case Mountain Pond lot at 7am, the outside temperature read 35 degrees, seemed a little nuts but man did it feel nice and cool! Got cranking hard up blue, really nice out. Man and his machine were in sync as I made my way out to brich mountain. Walked with my tail between my legs through a few sections due to one gear, never bothers me much. Pretty un eventful really, left the doggy home since he was slow as could be the other day from riding and playing ball. Really good ride with lots of miles, about the only place you can get 12-13 miles in two hours. I looked at my heart rate monitor and spent more time in fat burn than cardio which was great considering I need to burn fat. So happy to be out riding, next saturday I will be on vacation for a week and then two days after we get back LuAnn goes back to school for six weeks. She will be leaving the house every morning at 8:30 so my morning rides are gone until mid July. I will probably end up riding nights which is fine by me a long as I can pull off 3+ rides a week I am pumped. Where to ride tomorrow and when? Ride with a group or go solo somewhere else, depends on the mood I guess, solo rides are good therapy. Ride on broskis!
Frosty summer case at EveryTrail
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A pause for celebration

On saturday my in laws came into town from Utah, it was really good to see them and to let them have a go with the boy they have not seen in some time. They were in town for my wife's graduation form Uconn. I am so proud of her, she has been nipping away piece by piece at getting through school these years and this semester she won an award for excellence in her degree as well as an A in organic chemistry. She still has a hard road ahead of her with dental pre req. science courses but she well be achieving her ultimate goal by next summer when she gets to decide where we are moving for her to go to dental school. Will it be Utah, Arizona, California, CT? We just don't know, for now we are only guaranteed to remain in Coventry for another year. I was very proud to watch her graduate, she has really worked hard and will continue on the long road ahead. My in laws left on tuesday morning and when LuAnn returned I snuck out on a nice 90 minute ride over at Crandalls. It was super nice out, it has been really cool here lately and is extremely welcomed! The SS got it's first ride on the new chain and ring and it felt nice and smooth. Pretty standard loop was rode, legs were nice and strong and all worked out at the end. I could of spent two more hours out there but I was anxious to get home and spend some time with LuAnn before I headed off to scouts.
Yummy crandalls at EveryTrail
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Sunday, May 12, 2013


Snuck an hour ride out, trails were in good shape despite the rain, thank goodness. Suffered the wrath of allergies when I got home, no biggy. Bring on the rain! Friday shorty at EveryTrail
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sun up to sun down

Tuesday morning brought another beautiful morning ride. I debated the 30 minute ride to Shenipsit forest since I would loose a little riding time with the drive but I went for it anyway. I decided to explore some of the interior of the loop of what I knew. I did pretty much the standard start and once I got to the base climb of Bald Mountain I took a dirt road heading south and it climbed a bit and got rough and had no clue what I was getting into. I caught a glimpse of a trail to my right and as soon as I turned onto it I knew it was fresh new MTB trail oh my. Good section was ridden for a mile of up and down and plenty fun. The trail popped out right on another dirt road that I have been on twice and apparently not noticed this trail existed! I headed back up that road and passed the trail I just rode and took a fork to explore some more. After some more rocky double track I caught eye on another section. Niceeeeee I found two new sections already, this section was on the short side but welcomed for sure. Trying to coordinate my loop I rode a section of known trail to me and then the section I have eyed the last two rides but not had time was about to be ridden. Another short section but worthy of tires. This was a solid ride, legs worked well luckily and I got to learn pretty much the last tid bits of the northern section. Now one day I get to put together a larger loop with Bald Mountain which is probably solid 2+ hour ride. Stoked to be riding and stoked on the weather.

Dayrlight is getting more plentiful and lately after Landon goes to bed at 7:00pm leaves some light in the day to ponde extra free time. I am usually gone biking enough as it is so I try not to leave my wife with the little bit of time we actually have alone without the boy. She would be studying for her exams through the night so I decided to head back into the woods. I got geared up and was pedaling by 6:45 at Nathan Hale in my recently fixed Kona Dawg. Turns out I was successful doing my very first housing, cable, and adjusting/installing derailleur. Wondering if the drive train was going to stay in tune I pedaled on as things shifted nice and smoothly. I was charged up and was really pedaling in fury and fun! It felt so sooo good to be riding, the trees are tremendously green and made for one heck of a background. I lvoe this time of year it is absolutely spectacular, truly inspiring. I am so thankful for the seasons but mostly spring! I put together a nice loop and was pushing darkness by the time I popped out at my house. Turns out I cranked a good 90 minutes. Whata bonus! Another double ride I can't believe it! 3 hours and 14 miles I was ready for more, I guess I will wait until Thursday to get back cracking. Be sure to click the pictures to see how nice it was out.

New trails w out bald at EveryTrail
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Hollowing Monday

Undecided still by monday morning what location to ride, I made a last minute decision to keep the new flavors coming fro Mansfield Hollow was the beverage of choice. Pedaling by 6:50am it was nice and cool out, super duper welcomed by me of course. I found myself forgetting the routes I took last year and had a few head scratches but I am working on that. I love this place, especially the trail that rolls the hills east of the lake and offers some nice scenery. Looks like some official trails are now up in Lions memorial park, names bridges and all. It was a pretty nice trail while it is a lollipop it was still nice to find new stuff on a ride. Other than that I was riding what I knew and all that I think is out there. Made my way up that big ol hill across the road and wanted to head out to schoolhouse brook park and try to make a loop back to the car. I have never ridden schoolhouse brook but I believe they can be linked since blue runs to it somewhere nearby. I hate how we can't ride blue blazed, I agree in some places bikers should be off limits to the blue trail, but most places it could easily be shared users. So I started on the blue trail from the summit and started to see where it went on my gps as I rode, with a little fear of running into a elderly man in khaki shorts and a walking stick. I turned around shortly and played it safe and took the standard way home. I checked some gps maps and turns out I was on the right path and having to violate the blue trail for a 1/2 mile is a risk I will take next trip out to make to get the schoolhoiuse brook trails. Probably my 5-6th trip to Mansfield, I love it, I always say I need to go here more. Sun came out half way through the ride and it was glorious, another amazing spring day, life is good.
Mansfield hollow dank at EveryTrail
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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saturday N. Snip/Hale

Hoped to make it back the Snip this weekend and I made it happen! I had about 90 minutes to ride or so I thought so I stuck close to my previous route. Another perfect day here in the east, a bit warm but not humid so consider it welcomed. Pedaling by 9:45 I was hitting my first climb and damn my legs were done. I guess you could describe them as dull and dead so climbs were tough with not much relief in sight. I took a few slight different roads and trails which lead me to the decision of sticking with previous ride trail choice. I am still a newbie here and it shows, but I love exploring and building the map in my head and a little adventure so big whoopy. I made it up Bald Mountain quite slowly but I did make it so count it. I checked off a few more trails I had question marks about, I have now two more that I will check off the next visit. I don't know how I am so good at calculating ride length, no matter where I am I always reach my car withing 5 minutes of when I expected to at the the beginning of the ride. This one I got there 90.50 minutes so not bad ehhhh. Really great ride despite heartless legs. I got home and LuAnn had already took off with the boy for a run so what's and addict to do, get his chores done such as wash a car and mow the tall grass patches and go ride again. I put down a 40 minute ride at Hale and got home before my lady so win win double feature! So 11 miles and 2.10 hours of riding instead of 7 miles and 90 minutes. Saturday was the bomb! bring it on Monday morning I am ready for ya. 2nd rip at n. snip at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Connecticut Hale quicko at EveryTrail
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Friday Crandall

Well it took me longer than I would have liked to recover from my little sickness so I got to it by Friday afternoon at 6pm. It was weird riding on a Friday night, I felt kind of bad leaving home but LuAnn understood I needed my fix. Lucky for me I have a loving understanding wife. I had the dog with me since Crandalls is not heavily wooded and he should be free from ticks by the end of the ride if all went well. Started the climb on TVA and did all the trails in good order and cranked hard and fast on the SS feeling pretty strong. Really need new pedals since the wellgos are beat, it's been on my mind a long time now and I really should just buy it but other bike injuruies are adding up. So far this season I have replaced numerous parts on numerous bikes, lets start with, fork, deraileur, hanger, cable housing/cable, cassette, chain, ring, two spokes and I am sure I am missing something. All this took place in the last 5 weeks and a toll has been taken. A good chunk of bike fund got lost but luckily time is on my side with a frame still 3-4 months out. Anyway, the ride was good, the woods are unbelievable, so nice and green and filling in. The temperature and skies have been un real. By far the nicest spring I can ever recall with any of my years in CT. This winter was so bad, I almost lost my mind I tell ya, it was not lack of sleep from the baby either trust me he sleeps extremely well from birth but it was just a nasty winter and still stressful adjusting to my new life. But the sun has rose and this spirit is soaring! Rides are plentiful for now but they will always be on the up and down but as long as rides are existing. Here I go again, ok on target now, ride ended bittersweet, I wanted more but 90 minutes did the trick and off I went with a tick free dog and home to a loving wife. The woods are bone dry, poor dog need riding glasses, time for a sprinkle.

Gimme moarrrr

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Crack of dawn

Slept like a champ monday night luckily so by 5:40am I was well rested and ready to rock. Look out the front porch and snap a nice sun rise picture and off I went. I miss seeing the the sunrise on my morning rides but as we lose light later in the summer I will be kicking myself for saying that. Trails are starting to bloom amazingly, I really thought this winter would never end. Allergies are mild so far and thank goodness cause my first year moving back from Utah two years ago was a crap show. As I began to pedal I felt lazy, just did not feel like putting the effort in to be honest, there are those days from time to time.I startled a owl that was chilling on the ground and he flew to a nearby tree. I think owls are so cool, I rarely ever see them that close so cool beaners. I met up with Colin and got cracking for a good ride around Hale. I am getting a little tired of riding there sometimes, I am trying to keep it once a week ride there. There are other places nearby within 20 minutes but none across the street from my house. Straight forward ride with nothing crazy. I noticed the soles of my feet are hurting after rides I am not sure whats up with that but probably the amount of pressure they are getting from pushing flats as hard as I can. I was set to ride Wednesday morning but I woke up at 2:30 and felt really sick and ended up barfing which is extremely rare for me. I began feeling better but still not all well so wednesday morning ride is canceled. I am thinking if I rebound from this quick enough I could ride tonight.

Hale sunrise

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