Sunday, September 29, 2013

Thirsday Night Regular

I was pretty bummed to miss another Thursday ride I though most the day, But I had got two rides in the days prior so that was a way better start than last week. As I drove home from the grocery store with the boy, I stopped at the lot where the riders were gathering and asked what trail they were riding since maybe I could join them them 30 minutes into their ride since I could get home and put him to sleep. They said another ride was running late so I could meet them in the lot at 6:30. Excitement fillled my body as I ran home and accomplished the tasks I needed and then I sped off into the trail on the way to the lot. We sat for 15 minutes or so waiting for them to arrive which was kind of a bummer since I was anxious to ride but they eventually showed up and off we went. I was feeling pretty strong riding, I was on the Belltown and feeling pretty good. On a tiny little downhill I soon found myself ejected from the bike and landing on my shoulder and hitting my head pretty hard. I got up and my neck felt a little funny, but I quickly did a shakedown and got back to riding. I was trying to replay the crash and figure out what happened since I normally do but this one happened at supersonic speed. I chalked it up being too far over the front wheel standing while on a 29r which is usually a common close call without ejection. From then on things went just fine, it was 80 minutes or so when they ended the ride and I was desperate for more trail but filled my glass. This week darkness falls earlier so let's see what happens on solo rides, I might have a partner for Monday night ride let's see.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Powa hour

Put the boy down at 6:15 and I took off into the woods to get an hour ride and finishing in the darkness. I was not looking forward to spending too much time out there in the dark by myself but I was more comfortable than other solo rides. I guess I just stayed focused on riding and not the dark, I still would love to get a two hour ride but I have not gotten that brave. I will take anything I can get right now. Good spin on the Belltown, still very unimpressed with Shimano Zee brakes but maybe they will get better since I just installed the new rotors. Power hour at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Connecticut

Got one

Been 8 slow days without a ride, last night I sacked up and went out solo at 6:40 after I put the baby down. With no cloud cover I could get a good 45 minutes without creeping myself out too much maybe an hour. As I rode I realized it was going to be hard to pull me off the the trail due to darkness. With 30 minutes under my belt I crossed the road and decided to stay close to see how much more riding I could get in before pitch darkness. Turns out two riders were suiting up in the parking lot and I got brave and asked if I could join them which would allow me to have company and get more riding in so we could all fend off mythical creatures we might encounter. Well it was slow going since one was recovering from a broken foot injury. While waiting up 15 minutes into trail with them, two lights came down the trail and stopped at us and I realized it was Nate and Tom. Two well paced fellers I ride with on Thursday nights, this was perfect since the two I was riding with were slow moving. I felt kind of bad but they offered me to join with my Thursday night homies so I did so. From there it was a great ride, I could not believe how I struck such luck to find people to ride with. I hope I can get so lucky tonight when I go out to man up in the dark as long as I can. Love fall riding weather but the loss of light is tough with my schedule. Bout time at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Connecticut

Monday, September 23, 2013

7th day of rest

Well the riding has hit a wall, things have gotten serious with LuAnn's studies so I am on ride hold until a window opens or until December. For a ride monkey like me it has already been a tough week but I know once this semester is over riding will open up big time. Yeah I am missing all the nice Fall riding weather in a way but I found a way to combat looking at my bikes, which is going on walks with my boy. Being home with a nutty teething baby all day every day by myself has been causing me to lose my sanity, so if I can't ride trail well there is no reason I can't walk them! The weather has been incredibly pleasant lately and for the next 7 days it is about as good as it is going to get. So we headed to School House Brook to investigate more trails and check other things out on foot. It is so peaceful walking through the woods with my boy on my back, he is extremely mellow when he is with me out there, not the raving lunatic running around the house. Today he dozed off for a few, we walked for a good 90 minutes and explored some new trail and also found an old DH trail with some impressive hits but in need of major love since it probably has seen no tires in 3-5 years. Later that evening I went out into my backyard, Hale is just across my street so it's always convenient and calmed the little guy down for an hour long stroll in the glowing orange sun. I look forward to more walks and plan to until the weather gets out of control, it's nice to slow things down off that bike pace and just take in the woods and take in all their beauty. I love it and while I long for my Mountain Bike I know with time rides will come.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I need a new All Mountain

I got the Kona Tanuki in a box in Utah at my inlaws which is a pretty good bike but not the tool I want and need. The Tanuki will remain with me for a long time in my future but I need a new rig for moving back to Utah, I can get by with 130mm travel around here in CT but when I start descending big lines and jumps I need more bike, so my birthday is next month and $3400 is a lot of money but it would really be a great present for me, I'm just saying :) Why are mass produced bikes coming with dropper posts? Convenient I suppose but having to maintain two shocks is enough stupid dropper posts......I would sell that thing as soon as it hit my door step. I hope I can find a pro deal in the next few years as I start to save for maybe one day a 150-160mm All Mountain rig.....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Uvex XP CC

Let me just start off by saying I have bought quite a few helmets since my last run in with Uvex and I absolutely loved it and regret buying always what was on sale. My last visit to Utah reminded me while I was pedaling those 106 miles how dang much I liked it, it sat on my head perfect, since it was snuggly secured in the Uvex 360 degree tensioning system. It did not take long to know that I was going to retire my Kali helmet shortly after getting home and going back to Uvex. I had a bit of trouble deciding between Xenova, Ultra etc.... I ended up buying The XP CC since their newest aggressive Quatro has not been released yet. It arrived on my doorstep the following week and I was extremely excited since I had worn out pads that were leaving me with rough part of velcro rubbing on my forehead during rides. I strapped it on and nearly banged my head against the wall as I have been so stupid having not bought another Uvex sooner! The tensioning system did exactly what I expected like the Supersonic, it felt like nothing was there, also this helmet felt like it was half the weight of my Kali which was nuts! Now when I am throwing back flips I can whip my head faster. Even when i got the light mounted up it was still very light and far from awkward like on previous helmets. I am one happy guy, I guess I learned one thing from all this, you find something good you try to stick with it. I look forward to more of these in my future and I desperately needed it since the funk works it's way into my clothes and no one wants to ride behind a stinky dude. Thanks Uvex your tensioning design in superior! At the end of the day I wish it had a little more coverage on the back and sides but I never need a helmet so ppssssffftttt.

Helmets in review

Just about every year I need to buy a new helmet, I apparently develop enough stank in my helmet to force me to lol. There is a lot in the market these days, I have bought helmets that look cool, helmets on sale or just somehow ended up in my hands. The most recent two helmets I have used I was pretty unpleased with.
Uvex Supersonic served me well, it was a great fit, Uvex usesa fantastic tension system which does not just push the helmet against the front to keep it on, it has a circular tensioning system which holds your head 360 degrees which makes it feel like nothing is on you most of the time. This helmet also ventilated very well and is semi retired at my in laws for when I visit Utah. I should have never stopped buying Uvex brand it is German mad and engineered and it shows!

The fox flux, it fit like crap and felt like crap but it was a big name with a nice agressive lid piece, that's about the only way I figure I ended up with it, would never buy another.
Ended up with a Luis Garneu Edge model which was among the last few a good purchase, a good fit and lots of venting. Bit of a funky helmet but solid stable fit. Another one I had to retire after helmet funk in the muggy North East riding.
Luis Garneu Robata was on sale and bought on short notice, this was a small fitting helmet that saw very little use, also has very little dome protection, I would not recommend compared to others. I still keep this helmet around sicne it saw little use and works good for a backup helmet since it's still in good shape.
Kali Avita, I was pretty happy with this buy from, I liked the looks, I liked the fit somewhat, seemed like it was a great fit and would last me. Once it came into full tome use the padding began to melt away and replaced it with the spare set after just a few months of use. Then I wore through those pads and I was left with a loose fitting helmet that felt just like the Fox Flux garbage. I really wanted to buy another one of these in the begining but after less than a season of use it was time to go.

School House Brook recon

So from time to time I loop School House Brook to Mansfield Hollow which is a great fast combo and sections are well fit for good rides without having to cross the road. Also there are a few trails I have been meaning to get to know better in the south end of Brook. I did a little recon studying before the ride on Strava and Google Satellites to try to find new trail. So I set off bravely into the sunset up to Wolf Rock and found myself taking the other way around Wolf Rock and then spotted a little trail before the stream that I rode which was really cool, completely different than the blue trail just on the other side. Filled with pines and rocks it climbed out of the ravine and then I spotted a beat up trail that was blazed with green paint. Soon there was no paint at a fork and I went left and made the right choice as I finally got my bearings and ended up across the stream onto blue. I guess I was always in such a hurry I never noticed the log crossing on my left. Good to know now, I headed down blue to make a loop, as I rode Blue I have always seen two turn offs and once I finished the loop I went into the same loop again and took one of the turns, led me into a horse farm unfortunately, It's too bad because there is very good potential for more trails up by the power lines. I still wanted to explore the other trail but I knew not to push it since I still had limited time and light. On my way crossing the power lines I saw a turn off to the right, sweet this was good burned in trail and can't believe it was another trail my eyes never found. Then I got into the flat fast section I have rode once before and it then grew dark and I turned my light on. At that time it began to rain and a breeze kicked up which threw me into creeped out mode since I am a big baby when it gets dark solo in the woods. Luckily it was just a tiny bit of rain. I questioned whether I was going to handle myself in the creeper woods and was it worth it. The answer was suck it up dude, others can, so I can. It was not too dark yet as I tried to make right trail choices one after the other. I drew some question marks in my head and wanted to ride more of the unknown in between my loop but to be honest I don't think there is all that much worth it there. Back up to Wolf Rock and across the road further down to make it more of a loop, here is where it got fuzzy but I knew white so I climbed it and past the DH trail since I was on SS and not wanting that obviously. I took Oak Ridge and then onto the DH trail on the mellow part of it anyway, then I knew I could hit blue and I could make a good loop. I was pretty relived to have made it to car without being ripped apart by a man bear pig, I wanted to ride more into the North but I got a lucky 90 minutes of good ride so the earlier I got home would be just fine. I rode my Raleigh this ride to ease the Belltown and realized more that it's not half bad, it rode nice, certainly not better than my Belltown though!
Brook recon at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Connecticut

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Crandalls Tear

I was not sure Saturday was going to come together for a ride bu when it did present itself just shortly before 5 I jumped right on it and was out the door in one minute. I was anxious to get out with the temperature cool down which felt amazing. I also needed to get out to make up for my body failing me on Wednesday. I was armed with a stealth black ripper Belltown device and sped off with dirt on my tire and a smile on my grill. There is a new trail at Crandalls, I was anxious to check it out since anything new in the spaghetti network is gratefully welcomed. It was incredible out, early fall, light breeze, sun starting to go down lighting up the spaces between the trees. I was pretty happy to be out enjoying the fantastic weather on my bike, I planned on riding the new trail when I cam across it so I just rode a loop I was starting to like. I love descending red, it's a solid down hill, while a rigid is not a preferred tool for the job, I still have a blast on that sucker. Now at the bottom of the hill I headed out to knickerbocker and found the new trail on my up, stuck with the decision to climb or descent the new trail i chose to climb it since I could get a good study on the way up. As expected it was a very rough draft of a trail that had me stop a few times and try to pick it back up. It was also soft and covered in leaves and begging for a skinny rake or more tires before fall comes fully in. I was pretty impressed with the new trail, it was a solid smooth climb, a very good addition to the other great trails in the tiny location Crandalls is. With the new trail complete I now had to head out further for a pretty straight forward ride down Whale trail. I then stopped on my way to take a few pictures of my "other lover". Knickerbocker was the descent and now Crandalls can be ridden without having to double hit a trail. I was hoping the new trail could add some more time to my ride since I normally like 2 hours on a ride but I ended up at the car in 90 minutes as standard. I love Crandalls it is a good close location with 90 minutes of fantastic trail and I cannot be more happier about that. Bring on the week! Could be tough as we loose light and LuAnn has exams, I got got the Ergo carrier all ready to get out in the great outdoors with my boy if it calls for it. I do look forward to the cool weather since I have avoided walks with Landon since we overheat together. Full pull at crandalls at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Connecticut

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Off on another ride with John and found myself reaching for my old trusty gears n squishy dawg, due to the humid slick woods. I realized shortly it was a poor decision when the drive train took on a mind of it's own and spit the chain off the rings and ghost shifting on the rear. I still have not changed the free hub and things seem out of tune as well despite just returning from the bike shop. decided to take another chance I guess. Oh well I was riding whether the bike like it or not. It was nasty humid out but I had a chance to ride so you know I took it happily. Wasn't long and I was struggling to keep up with John up front but he never got too far into the distance so I was not holding him back much. I was feeling low on energy, by the time we began to climb up high to the ridge I was not feeling so hot, I was really worked and not sure what was bringing it on. I slowly but surely got up high and tore down the hill letting my frustration out and in the process something went wrong, probably free hub and made a mess of my chain and tore the rear deraileur cable. Surprisingly I was still able to shift but after that it was still pissed off so I chose a gear and left it there for the remainder of the ride. Down Bi polar and then climbing back up the road I got super winded, light headed and just a sick feeling so I stopped right before the start of the next single track and took a minute to breathe and try to regain control. I can't remember feeling like this in a long long time, it was pretty scary at the time but once I composed myself I got rolling, until after a few minutes of steep climbing it came on again and once again I stopped. By now I was definitely holding John up and felt bad but the way I was feeling was very unusual and I wanted to ride out and not be carried out. Once that trail was complete I felt a load of my chest but still limped through it. Still not feeling well but continued on through wiggle and then pavement to the house. The only thing I can link the onset of sick is either my lunch a hot sauce filled grilled chicken buffalo sandwich or dehydration or energy packet thing I tried before the ride. Neither seem plausible so I am going to call this a fluke and look forward to getting back out and regaining my composure. For now the gears are out, so SS only, the way I like it anyway. Oh yeah a box came the other day, my father in law works for a company that manufactures energy packets, I got to abuse these while in Utah and never would buy them but hey they're free! I never notice much gain with them if any, but I am not hurting anything unless I did on my last ride when I got sick. Haled at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Connecticut

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Never turn it down

I love to ride Monday's since it's the beginning of the week and I like to start it off on the right foot if I can since I never know what weather or speed bumps will come up later in the week. I was filled with joy when my dear wife offered to meet her at school and swap vehicles and child so I could snap a ride in before dark so I jumped on it. I knew I could get a solid 90 minutes at nearby Hollow in light and maybe just maybe and extra 30 in the dark if I was feeling brave. The darkness in the woods just creeps me out when I'm riding solo, it always has and likely always will. Earlier I sent a message to John to see if he would join me on 2 hours and fun and when he opted in I was pretty happy he was going to join the ride. Me and John use to ride quite a bit together, mostly with a great Tuesday night crew we use to gather that has seemed to quietly disappear the last two years. We set off into the woods right at 6 and I had a tough choice of using some of the new trails I found or doing the fun big loop, looking for fun and not confusion I went for the big loop since I had company. The Hog felt fantastic as it had previously, I was working a bit harder with John at my heels with a fully suspended 29r. I rode pretty quick and cleared two sections I normally don't due to 32x22 which felt nice. But the flats were tough keeping my wheels spinning with no gear. We were all the way around the lake before light started to fade and I was impressed how much good light we actually had so far in the ride. So on went the lights and down to the river and up stoned hill. It was kind of nice riding it in the dark since there was not much visual on the steep grade which meant less fuss waiting to hit the top. Then it was a quick ride downhill then a few wrong turns and back tracking due to my poor navigating and disoriented to darkness, we were at the car finishing 15 miles of riding. Was a mighty fine evening and thankful for John's good company and to my wife for allowing me to feed the need!
Big ol hollow at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Hartford, Connecticut

Monday, September 9, 2013

First ride new whip

Saturday I spent most the morning traveling and working on finishing the new bike so by the time I was done I had to head home to help out with the boy while my wife did her homework. I was torn that I might not ride that day but I realized the boy had another nap coming up around 3pm so I knew that would give me a safe hour of riding. So I suited up and headed out on a bike that just felt so damn good! I think I know why people run fattys up front and skinnys int eh rear cause the 2.4 Ardents provided stable handlebar and clawed over rocks and the skinny 2.1 Ignitor rear put the power down in narrow speed. The best part about the bike for me was how solid it was, all parts were in tune working in a smooth fluid motion especially the drivetrain. I assume the rear hub has more engagement points and chainline is spot on so it really pedals perfect! I am so in love with this bike! I really felt a nice difference with 32x22 and cleaned a tough steep climb I have never got through so that was cool. I did not want to stop riding but I had no choice. I love this thing, I hope I never have to ride another SS again. 1st ride new bike at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Hartford, Connecticut

Sunday, September 8, 2013


This thing is a beautiful piece, Bob really did a stellar job on the bike. I arrived and drooled over it until every piece came together came to life in front of my very eyes. It's been a long road, over a year since I could budget the bike build and it was obviously worth the wait, a one off hand built steel piece. Bob is a super great guy and it was great getting to know him though the build and look forward to another build in the near future. After a hour rip at Nathan Hale is felt absolutely spectacular! I could not be any happier and now want to build another one just so I can always have one ready to go for life!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Iron Legs

Well the Raleigh front wheel was in the shop getting trued out so I was back on the squishy for a Thursday night ride. I got on my normal 30 minute pre ride, the sun was shining and the air was nice and cool and I was enjoying the fresh air. The leaves are slowly gathering on the trail with the loss of sunlight and cool down. This is an extremely nice time of the year for riding, the transition between Summer and Fall. The Dawg was shifting like poop and just not working right, I think the freehub is starting to crap the bed, along with a drivetrain needing a tune despite just retrieving it from the bike shop. I met with the homies and we were riding just after 6:00, shortly into the ride the chain pops off at the link somehow with hardly any pedal action. Forgot my link so I just put it back together and caught back up to the rest of the guys. Still things were popping and ghost shifting but I was going to keep trying whenever possible finding gears that worked best and barrel adjusting. Luckily I seemed to figure things out and I could focus on hammering once again to keep up with these fast dudes. It was off to 40 bumps and then a climb up a steep tech trail that I cleaned perfectly only cause I was "AHEM" gears.... I am a proud singlespeeder for sure but there are some trails sections out of my reach so this was kind of a good feeling. Got dark from there and lights went on and groups split up, I ended up on the longest ride of the night and found the rest of the dudes in the lot doing their after ride thing. I hit home and saw 13.9 miles was rode and was pretty shocked for just over two hours of riding. I did put a beating on my legs and felt it at the end of the ride so it is good to keep pushing the body to try to keep up with fellow riders. Iron legs at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Hartford, Connecticut

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Parts are in

Parts are in and bike will be painted on Friday so it will all come alive this weekend! The plan is for Saturday but could change to Friday or Sunday so stay posted!
It was a stormy few days, the humidity has been insane, after one last band of bad weather moved out Tuesday I was itching for a ride. I rarely have Tuesday nights free since I am with a scout program and since it was canceled I was hoping to ride. Once I got the word that my lady was going to be home around 5 and she was going to spend the last 90 minutes with the boy so I could ride! I sent and invite to Colin last minute and he was game to meet me at Schoolhouse Brook for a 6pm start and lights for the end of the ride. I was on the Dawg and it felt pretty cushy as usual, with slippery trails the extra rubber on the tires and gear options was graciously applauded. Colin took me down a pretty nice downhill which I mever knew existed. From there we made our way out to Wolf Rock where we found some new trails. There were quite a few forks but we rode a good section, pretty flat mellow XC but very soft from lack of riders. Come fall this is going to be horribly difficult to follow so I hope to get back and help break it in. After we did a lollipop I was faced with the decision to stay in the Brook or hit pavement to Mansfield Hollow and I chose to cross the rd to get in a nice stretch over there. I was pretty beat on that roller coaster trail but kept at it as lights went on. I snapped a picture which was the nicest sunset I have seen all year. Fog sat in the hills vaguely reminding me of what the REAL mountains are like after weather moves in/out. We had to make our way back to Schoolhouse which I have never done mid way so Coling guided us. It was pretty uneventful mix of trail and pavement until we crossed back into Brook. Once there a wrong turn was made so we pedaled pavement back to the car and no big deal. This was a good ride, I love finding new trail.
Brook hollow w new trails at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Connecticut

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Saturday at Case

The weather outlook was grim Friday night, but I knew if it was not too bad I would get out and get a crack at it. So when I woke up to a foggy humid morning I held in tight and did my fatherly duties and once the boy went down for his nap I went on my way to Case. By then the fog had lifted and plenty of humid air remained in place but a dudes got to ride! I got the pedals moving and felt quickly the work I did on them Thursday night. I found the trail pretty dry and rocks not slippery so I was pumped I was going to survive without ice. I twas kind of nice being back at Case, it has been two months since my last ride and it felt good to give it that break. I am so lucky, I have 6 fantastic riding locations just 30 minutes from my door step, riding in CT is extremely good! I missed some of the new trail that skirts blue and while it is a pointless trail I still feel obligated to try to ride it. I had a route in mind but knew it was risky since Case inards still confuse me. I gave up eventually and headed up to Mountain Rd to hit that hillside of trails. I swear more trails keep popping up here and my old route I can't seem to consistently find which I feel pretty lame about with my mapping skills. No big deal because all ways lead down. Then it was around the reservoir which was something I had not done in a while as well, was nice skirting the water and being soaked in sweat had me wanting to jump in! But I was short on time and on a mission with still 40 minutes of trails ahead of me. Up Misty Mountain trail and then NUT trail and I was on the home stretch. I rode 2:02 minutes and got 14.5 miles which is fastest I have made it around Case ever, I guess my game has been stepped up this year, I can feel it on the trail and it's welcomed. My technical on the other hand had me touching down more frequent than I would like but that is SS rigid for you..... Good ride, can't wait to get out and do it again. Monday is looking tropical, they're already talking about tornadoes. Bike should be coming this week, also a very good friend of mine Brent, is coming to Boston to visit his his brother so he should be shooting south to say hello and show hims some rough N tuff CT trails. Stoked. No pics lately, I can't keep my phone in my shorts without it pulling them down and no belt loops. But losing 6-7 pounds is extremely great since I have tried all year to get it off. Ride on Not humid at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Hartford, Connecticut