Monthly Archives: June 2009

Keith Berger Memorial Criterium, East Hartford, Pro 1-3, 35 miles

I decided to do the Pro 1-3 race in East Hartford. My training has been going well and the schedule of races made it easier for me to do the Pro 1-3 rather than the masters or the Cat 3 race. We started 72 riders and it was pretty quick. We averaged 27.5 mph for the 35 miles. The course is a dead flat 4 corner rectangle with 2 long and 2 short sides with the finish about 200 meters from the last corner. There was a decent cross wind on the long sides that made it difficult to draft when it got strung out. A couple times I was at my limit for a couple laps, but then it would slow down & I’d recover. There were numerous breaks, but it was all together the last 5 laps. I had managed to stay in the top 20-30 the last 5 laps and was around 15th with 1.5 laps to go. At that point I should of worked a bit more to get to the top 5, but I was trying to stay out of the wind and hold on to my last bit of strength. On the back stretch on the last lap it was still kind of bunched up. I made a good move between the 3rd & last corner to move, but came out of the last corner too far back. I managed to pass a couple guys in the sprint and ended up 15th. They paid the top 10 so I was out of the money. I’m pleased with my form though and it was fun to ride in a bigger field with the younger guys. Enjoy what apears to be summer coming on. -Dave

Norcross Scurry Trails in Ashford

Riders:  Maria, Garth, Mike S., Dave F., Jill
I shot over to Bolton to pick up Maria and we impatiently drove over to Garth’s house after being traumatized by the vision of an almost naked beerbellied road rider on route 44 in Coventry.  Sadly no munchkins to play with at the Bean house so Garth made a few last minute adjustments to Maria’s bike and we rode through Joshua’s Trust over to the Boy Scout Camp.  It’s a good thing I didn’t try to come out and find the trail that Garth cut last week on my own, I never would have found it!  Today was the first day in many that we had some sunshine and the trails were actually in pretty good shape despite all the rain lately.  We hopped onto the new Boy Scout trail that leads to the gravel pit then headed up to the entrance to meet up with Dave and Mike.  This was Mike’s first mountain bike ride and he was borrowing Dave’s old K2 hardtail.  At the very least I’d say this course is extremely challenging but I was guessing that he would take to mountain biking as quickly as he did to road biking.  And he did.  This time we started at what will be the Root 66 race start and rode the entire course.  It’s a 4.7 mile loop but feels much longer with all the technical challenges and climbing.  The new section still needs a little work and the racers are going to be challenged right away as the fast start gives way to a windy climb.  It was a great brainstorming session and ride and we discussed what flows well, what doesn’t, which logs and trees still need to be removed and also decided on a rerouting of one of the hills on the North Woods section.  I’d say we are in pretty good shape, the entire course is cut and rideable and we still have 2 whole months to make improvements before the race.  Good job folks! -Jill

Video from ECHN Bike Connect

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Tuesday AMC Ride

Riders:  w/Agatha’s group:  Dave F., Sue, Brian, Jeff, Rob, Jill – w/Ed’s group:  Dave I., Alan, Andy C. and Rachel – and Maria with the 25 mile crew.
Please wear your helmet and carry id with a current phone contact on every ride.  Last night we had a wonderful ride with Agatha leading.  Everyone behaved, the weather was great, there wasn’t much traffic, and the route was fantastic.  I got to meet our newest member Rob and say Hi to Jeff and a bunch of folks who I haven’t seen since last year.  And it was great having so many of our members out on the ride.  I was a little nervous as this was my first time hitting this ride since last year and wasn’t sure if I could hang with the group but Agatha lead a nice steady ride that started off slow then ramped up to a nice pace and with a couple sprints thrown in we had a great time.  About 10 miles from the parking lot I heard somebody yell “crash” behind me.  Not something you ever want to hear on a ride.  I turned around to see several of our yellow jerseys crouched over a figure lying on the ground.  My heart stopped and I rushed over to see if I could help.  It was not one of our riders but it was an older gentleman I recognized from last year.  Sue talked to him while I looked through his bag for id, another rider called 911 and yet another called his wife from the number we got off his id card that he was carrying.  The ambulance, police, and fire truck were there within minutes and gently put him on a backboard and carried him away leaving the rest of us standing there stunned.  We regrouped and headed back to the parking lot, a somber crew contemplating what had just happened.  This was nobody’s fault, there was nobody around him when he fell, he braked, his rear tire skidded and the bike went down.  So please be careful out there, be kind to your fellow riders, and please carry id and wear a helmet that fits snugly.  This gentleman’s helmet broke into 4 pieces.  It was an older style helmet and may have been brittle.  If you have ever crashed with your helmet, replace it.  Or if it sits in the car all summer baking in the sun it may be brittle and need replacing.  Ride safe out there folks.  -Jill

Pictures from the ECHN Bike Connect

Alan Grant sent us the pictures that he took at the ECHN Bike Connect last Sunday of our members.  Click on the picture to launch the slide show.

Nerac Earth at the ECHN Bike Connect

Nerac Earth at the ECHN Bike Connect

State Bike Ped Plan – Public Meetings

Don’t miss the upcoming public meetings on the Draft Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and Map Update. There will be a series of 4 meetings with one in our region (Mon. June 29 in West Hartford) – please plan to attend. (I will be out of town, so I am counting on all the bike and ped advocates in the region to be out in full force, in my stead!) Following is the CTDOT press release on the meetings. Go to to view the draft plan.

Newington, CT – The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) will conduct four public meetings to present information and gather input on the Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and Map Update. The meetings will be an opportunity for the public to review and comment on the Draft Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan and Draft Statewide Bicycle Map. The study team will be available at all meetings to gather resident and traveler input on the components of the 2009 Plan and Map. After the public meetings, the Plan will be finalized and presented to CTDOT for adoption in the summer of 2009.

The public meetings will be held on the following dates:

• Wednesday, June 24, 2009 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Southeastern CT Council of Governments, 5 Connecticut Avenue, Norwich, CT

• Thursday, June 25, 2009 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Litchfield County Cooperative Extension Center, 843 University Drive, Torrington, CT

• Monday, June 29, 2009 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Elmwood Community Center, Auditorium, 1106 New Britain Ave, West Hartford, CT

• Tuesday, June 30, 2009 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Fairfield Public Library, Rotary Room, 1080 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT

All meetings will have the same content and format. Each will begin at 6:00 PM with an informal interactive open house session. A brief presentation will begin at 6:45 PM, followed by a discussion period. CTDOT and members of the study team, led by Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut, will be available at each meeting to discuss the Update and answer questions.

Directions and parking information for the four public meeting locations are available at

Additional information and the DRAFT Plan and Map are now available for review and comment at Other questions or comments may be directed to Mr. David Balzer, CTDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, via email at or phone at (860) 594-2141.

Sandy Fry
Principal Transportation Planner
Capitol Region Council of Governments
241 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06106
860-522-2217, X220

New Britain Crit-Nutmeg Games-CT State Champ

I did both the Masters 45+ and the 35+ at New Britain Crit-Nutmeg Games-CT State Champ

Masters 45+ 15 miles
Pretty quick all in all, but I felt pretty good. I think we averaged about 27-28 mph. I looked down few times and my speedometer said 32 mph. I wasted a bit of energy going for a $50 preme with 5 to go, but at least I was near the front at crunch time. Came down to a field sprint and I was a little too far back with a half lap to go. I was on the right side of the road and had to wait to start my sprint until about 150 meters to go. I had a good jump (went right by my buddy Mike Norton) and was gaining pretty good on the first 3, but they were side by side & I had no place to go & ended up not really going hard the last 50 meters. I ended up 4th. I looked at the photo finish and Steve Gray beat reigning National Champion Aubrey Gordon by about 4 or 5 inches. The top 5 were all within about 2 bike lengths at the finish. I was the 2nd finisher from CT and it was the CT State Championships as well as the Nutmeg Games, so I got a couple shiny medals as well as some cash.

M35+ 20 miles
Not much to say really; a break of about 12 guys got away before halfway, we picked up a few, but there were still 8 or 9 guys up the road at the end. We were going pretty quick the last 5 laps and I thought we might catch the break so I stayed near the front, but with half lap to go it was clear we wouldn’t so most of us sat up in the field.

All in all-a good day of racing for me. I was a little tired in the 35+, but still had some zip in the legs after what turned out to be 51 miles for the day for me.


The Beans Hit the Trail!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

MS Ride

Riders: Tony, Dave H, and Jeff doing the 100, Dave F, Dean, Garth, Andrea, and John R doing the 50. Someone said that they saw other NE members but I’m not sure who it was. Emma and Shawn were riding for Ride Monkey who had quite a turnout.

Dave H. Blog of the MS Ride

The weather was perfect for the event today with little humidity and clear sunny skies. The numbers for the event were record breaking according to a volunteer. John, Dean, Andrea, Garth, and I started towards the back of the field and it took 5 or 6 miles to get past slower riders and break free from the group. Dean was keeping a hot pace for the few miles he has ridden this year….which was 13! We got into a pattern of riding ahead fast to a rest stop and waiting for everyone to come in, then racing to the next. Garth said it best IMG00009-20090607-1104when he commented that it was like the Tuesday night ride with rest stops. After the second stop I got separated from the others and had a blast when I fell in with Team Alstom who was flying along nicely. I met up with the others at what I think was the 25 mile stop and took some Gatorade and food in. We waited too long at the stop and got a little stiff when we started up again. John and I left there and took turns pulling to the firehouse stop at 35 with the goal of staying ahead of Garth who was using us as the rabbit to get some good sprint work in. We held Garth off but John said that he exceeded his longest mileage so far this year and was starting to fade. We left the firehouse with 15 to go and I was feeling on fire. When 5 guys from team CANNIBAL VELO past me I jumped on their wheel and absolutely flew the rest of the way. They were finishing the 100 with a goal of under 5 hours so they were riding with a mission. It was a pleasure riding with a team that is so strong and smooth and they appreciated the help after 90 miles. I got 4 pulls in during the last 10 miles and it felt so good to work hard going that fast. I finished with those guys who did 4:45 for the 100. I talked to Dave H after to find out that his group were the first 100 team to finish with an average over 21. They were screaming into the finish with Dave in his NE kit, arms held high in victory. Good job to all NE members today. This is a beautiful ride with some of the best roads and scenery in CT. What a great day.
Dave F.

Broadway Time Trial

Riders: Sue, John, Jill

So first thing Tuesday morning Sue suggests a time trial at lunch. I try to ignore the email by not responding but I think about it. My last TT was the end of March, and I have been running trail races almost every weekend and trail running 3 or 4 times a week with a little bit of biking here and there. Do I really want to TT? What if my time is worse than March???? I get the fever though and at 1pm I demand a 10 minute head start, tell Sue and John I won’t speak to them ever again if they catch me and off I go. The weather was perfect, no wind, around 70 degrees with just a touch of humidity and the sun trying to poke out a little. I also took my blinky light off my bike, removed my chain tool, extra co2 cartridge, and my multi-tool from my seat bag. So riding light with just a tube, one co2 and nozzle, and a half full water bottle. I should have left the water bottle – I never even took my hands from the bars for a sip! The climb up Broadway is slow and painful as always but I just try to spin it out and tell myself I’m home free once I get to route 31. This isn’t quite true but it keeps me pedaling. Things go smoothly until I get to Crandall where the headwind makes me struggle along with my burning legs. As I take the right that leads up to route 195 I catch a glimmer of yellow jersey about 300 yards behind me. I’m not sure who it is but I think it is Sue because we staggered the starts and she left after me and John left after her. I figure I might be able to hold them off until the climb up 195 to Nerac from Goose Lane so I chug up the last of the hill bang a right onto 195 and pray for green lights. I get caught at a red light and I’m still not sure who is behind me but I get passed by the bank and it’s John. He isn’t even breathing hard! He slows down by the gas station and I tell him to go, go, go. Who knows where Sue is! So up the final hill by Tolland Bike and Sue catches me on the way up. Oh well, those 2 are crazy fast. I took 2 minutes and 38 seconds off my March TT, yay!!! I guess John’s 3 week hiatus from cycling did not have a negative effect on his riding! So despite my initial reservations I had a blast TT’ing, now I have to figure out how to take 2 more minutes off next time! – Jill