Monthly Archives: July 2009

Nerac Lunchtime Time Trial

I decide to drag the gps around on the time trial today.  View the time trial course statistics on

Arthur Jacques Eagle Scout Project Update

This past Sunday at Tolland Bicycle Dave Barrow, Dick Hubeny, Don Jacques, Arthur Jacques, and Keith Enderle worked on reconditioning contributed used bicycles to be donated to Little Angels Bicycles of Willimantic. This was for Arthur’s Eagle Scout project which Arthur has written about previously. Twenty nine bikes were completed on Sunday. Arthur had already completed twenty two bike surpassing his goal of fifty bicycles. And there are many more bicycles to be reconditioned at a future date.

 Pictured left to right in front of a truck load of competed bikes are Dave Barrow, Arthur Jacques, Ed Rivera (Little Angel Bicycles Director), and Keith Enderle

Pictured left to right in front of a truck load of competed bikes are Dave Barrow, Arthur Jacques, Ed Rivera (Little Angel Bicycles Director), and Keith Enderle

Castle Craig / Cervelo Test Ride

GPS data and charts from the ride for the curious…




Tour de Mansfield Pictures and Article.

Article in the local Windham/Mansfield Reminder for those of you who don’t receive it.


Sue Lucek, John Sattar, Nathan Sattar, Nicole Hildebrand and David Fluckiger prepare to ride for the Nerac Cycling Club during the Tour de Mansfield. Photo by Melanie Savage.

Flat, Flat ride, or Tour de Mansfield:

Too many Nerac Earth members to name for this event.

There were a few influences that made this an interesting Tour de Mansfield. The first was timing. It seems that everyone started at different times so there were NE members all over the course. That affected whether or not you started in the rain, or were out on the course when the rain started. John, Sue, Nathan, Nicky, Bill, and I started early so John could make it back to the kid’s race, so we didn’t hit rain till around the 10 mile mark. Like most cyclists, rain is just something you deal with as part of the sport, so we were signing in the rain as we rode along…..or something like that. Sue, John and I were commenting on how flat this felt after our Barkhamsted ride last Sunday, when Bill got a flat. Flats were the second influence as there were 6 of them that I know of just with NE riders. John and I changed the flat in the pouring rain and got him going again only to have him flat again. There was a good sized hole in the tire so Bill went inside at the first rest stop (right next to where he flatted) and was only there a few minutes when the sag bus picked him up. We started up again only to have Sue flat on Puddin Lane. While inflating her tire with the CO2, it slipped off the rim and blew the tube which sounded like a fire cracker going off. We got another tube in and were very careful to have the tire seated completely prior to opening up the inflator all the way. Again we were under way and things seemed to go smoothly from here. Nathan hasn’t been riding much because of baseball and other commitments but none the less rode strong all day and seemed to always have a smile. Nicky said she hadn’t been riding a lot but was very strong as well. The third influence of this year’s tour was the split at Mansfield Rd and Pleasant valley Rd. On the first lap both the 20 milers and the 40 milers were supposed to go straight up the hill back to the start. Then on the second lap across Puddin lane, the 40 milers needed to take a left turn onto Pleasant Valley. The problem came in where on the first lap most riders doing the 40 took a left at the sign (which was confusing) and cut out the 10 mile loop up and back from the start. That explained why our group never saw the other NE riders on the course and that everyone we talked to only did 30 miles. This is a fun and scenic ride that I always enjoy and it was nice to see so many NE riders in attendance. The sun was out at the end and we all enjoyed a good lunch before heading home.
Dave F

Arthur’s Eagle Scout Project Update

Arthur Jacques
36 Deer Meadow
Tolland, CT 06084
(860) 870-1158

July 15, 2009

One Technology Drive
Tolland, CT 06084

Dear Cycling Team Member,

My name is Arthur Jacques. I am a member of Boy Scout Troop 61. Although I am only 14 years old, I am beginning work on an Eagle project this summer. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about my project and how it will help our community. I would also like to ask for your help which will ensure the project is a success.

In addition to my strong commitment to Boy Scouts, I am an avid cyclist. I have completed five 100-mile charity bike rides, as well as a number of shorter ones. For my Eagle project, I have been collecting used bicycles. To date, I have had nearly 150 bikes donated to my project. With the help of Dave Barrow and the staff of Tolland Bicycle, my Scout Troop and other volunteers, I plan to repair the bicycles and donate them to Little Angels Bikes. Little Angels is an organization in Willimantic that collects bicycles to donate to needy individuals in our community. Some of the bikes are given to children in foster care. Others are donated to individuals who need transportation that cannot afford to own a car. You can learn more about Little Angels at

As a member of the NERAC cycling team, I know you share my interest in bicycles. My project is just one way I can share my interest and help less fortunate individuals get involved in a wonderful, fun sport. By getting involved in my project, you can help those people, too.

I will be holding several repair sessions during which community volunteers will help tear down irreparable bikes for scrap metal and parts. We will repair and refurbish those bikes in good, working condition. The next session will be held at Tolland Bicycle on July 26. Contact me at (860) 870-1158 or if you can help.

If you cannot join in the repair session but would like to support my project, you can make a donation which will be used to purchase necessary parts. Checks should be made payable to BSA Troop 61.

Thank you for your time and generosity. I hope to hear from you soon.


Arthur Jacques

Ah well-this is bike racing.

I did the Cat 3 race at Attleboro yesterday. 50 laps of a 1 km course with a small big ring hill-pretty quick up the hill because there was a decent tail wind up the hill. I usually go pretty well there & I’ve been flying on my training rides lately. Six guys got away in the first 5 laps. I chased for a lap and a half with a 16-year old junior named Evan Kirk. Evan is the son of Wayne Kirk who my brother & I raced against 30 years ago. We didn’t get too far and dropped back to the field. The break thinned out a bit and a couple times I thought sure we would catch them. At the end there was 3 guys up the road. On the last lap I was 5th wheel going down the hill with a half lap to go. I got sandwiched on both sides & taken down. I was right were I wanted to be, but I guess that’s what the other 2 guys thought as well when they both squeezed me at the same time. I had no place to go and all 3 of us swerved a bit & I though I might be able to keep it up, but then I think someone took out my front wheel & I went down. The only other rider who went down was Evan, who later told me he figured I knew what I was doing so he was following me. That’ll teach a 16-year old to follow a 49-year old in the sprint. I got a pretty good road rash on me left leg & abrasions on my tailbone & elbow, but the worst is my back. I must’ve hit pretty hard. Every time I move it hurts & I had a hard time sleeping last night. I just went for a walk to try and loosen it up & it feels better, but I was walking like an old man.

I was planning to do New Britain today-but since I can barely move that’s not gonna happen.

Oh yeah-the bike seems ok; a couple of good scrapes & when I got back to the car, the front tire blew.

Take care & enjoy the Tour.  -Dave

The Western Ct. “roller” ride!

Click for Slideshow

John, Andrew, Susan, Dave I, Alan, Steve, Tom, Mary, Randell, Michael Kodas, Carolyn, and Me.

Alan Grant extended an invitation to NE members from east of the river to come do a 60 mile Barkhamsted Reservoir ride. With the exception of Michael and Carolyn, I think we have all ridden together at some point but never on a long road ride. The weather was perfect and we started from Granby and headed north and west with a pretty good climb after just a few miles. IMG00011We learned early on in the ride that “rollers” or what we east of the river riders think of as-fly down one hill and peddle hard to fly over the next, is a totally different meaning out there. The hills are scaled a bit larger than ours in that we ride hills that are short and steep, they ride hills that go on for miles. When Alan says “we just have a few rollers and we’ll be to the reservoir” what he means is that you climb for 10 or 15 minutes to get over a hill, then you “roll” down the other side! All kidding aside the hills were fun (isn’t that why we ride) and I now know why their group is so strong. We stopped at the Barkhamsted dam for photo ops IMG00040-20090712-0951and then headed over to the Farmington River valley. The ride was beautiful and we cruised alongside the many fly fishermen working the river on a perfect Sunday morning. We stopped in Riverton to stock up on water and snacks at the general store. From there we headed towards an out and back which was a steady uphill grade along a brook which ended with a steep uphill. While waiting at the top Dave discovered he was missing 3 rollers from his chain which is why it was giving him trouble shifting. We discussed fixing it but settled on riding out. When we headed back down the out and back road, we did so in a 12 person pace line that was flying very fast. Andrew, who is a new member of the club, has only been road riding for a short time but you would never know it. He is super strong on climbs and can sprint faster than Mike Sousa! (Mike?) I was on his wheel in the pace line where he took a turn at the front and kept a fast pace. We took a turn and started a climb up a hill that resembled a short Plains road that many of you know as Girl Scout hill. The road led us to the Colebrook Dam where we took some more pics and enjoyed the view down a huge gorge. IMG00009Michael told us about ice climbing there, and Steve pointed to the ridges where they snowshoe in the winter. Tom said that they kayak here and that on some days are the only ones on the water. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, this is the part of the state to live in. Once we left the dam the climbing really started. On leaving the dam we had a long climb (and please forgive me but at this point all the climbs started to run together, and I had no idea where I was or when we would get to the promised long sweet new pavement downhill that would lead us to the cars) that led us to Rt 20. Once on 20, I knew where we were and that a nice downhill was coming up which bottoms out at the north end of the Barkhamsted Res. I also knew from riding a motorcycle out there, that there was a long steady climb back to the center of East Hartland. My legs by now were starting to complain and I decided to settle in to whatever speed Susan was turning and get my butt up the hill. I had been using Susan to pace me up the hills but on this hill she rode away like I was standing still. John and Steve spent the day at the front as John does, and they seemed to fly up the big hill. Dave was getting stronger as the ride went on and went quickly up as well. I made it to the top to find a lonely straight road with no one else for miles around. At the center of East Hartland I found the others resting in the shade so I joined them and sprawled out on the grass to recover. That turned out to be a bad decision on my part. When Michael and Carolyn arrived I got on my bike but my legs felt like lead. Once we got rolling again and got the stiffness out, it was down Rt. 20, the promised new pavement downhill section that we ripped all the way back to the cars. We had a great lunch at the Cambridge House Brew Pub which I highly recommend. I enjoyed this ride and want to thank Alan and the others for their west of the river hospitality. elevationThe scenery and country side are hard to beat. I can’t wait to ride those “rollers” again. Alan sent his Garmin data which shows 5,245 of climbing which I believe. — Dave F.

Norcross Scurry Trails at the Ashford Boy Scout Camp

Riders: Garth, Dave F., Josh, Andy M., Jill
All day Dave told me it was going to rain and I told him it wouldn’t. He was right, it started raining as soon as we got to the parking lot and didn’t stop until we finished our 2 laps. It was Andy’s first time actually riding the course after he helped build the trails, and we met Josh who plans on racing the course so I was eager to see what they thought. Garth, Dave and I have been over there riding the course through each stage of trail work, some of it quite rough but tonight would be the first time the 3 of us would ride the course after all the sections were cut, logs removed, and rock gardens made rideable. The weather made the already challenging course slippery but I could see how much faster the course was after all the improvements despite the conditions tonight. Garth has literally spent dozens of hours sprucing up these trails, even the little Beans have contributed and the trails definitely reflect the results of all their hard work. The rain wreaked havoc on the trails and added a hefty coating of mud on our bikes and legs, some huge puddles formed on the fire roads that connect the trails and there was a river running through several of the rock gardens. We finished one lap and rode over to the mountain biking building at the scout camp but did not have any boy scouts waiting to ride with us. They wisely decided to join us next week and hope for better weather. We debated about a 2nd lap and Dave decided to skip out and the rest of us decided on a shortened version for a 2nd lap. I’m looking forward to a dry ride next week! We still have some work to do on the water crossings and a few more logs need to be cut but it’s all coming together. Thank you to Maria, Sarah, Dave, Garth, and Bob who came out last Wednesday to finish cleaning up the Campsite 7 trail which is the start of the race. Tough trails today – thanks to everyone who came out! – Jill

Blue Skies or “It’s Dave’s Fault” Route

John S, Mike S, Tom and Jen, and Me- July 5th Sunday Club Ride:

Click picture for slideshow

Click Picture For Slideshow

Well we have waited all spring and early summer for this type of day. The day broke crystal clear with low humidity and perfect temperatures in the 70s. We were originally going to pick up Brian in Ellington and head across the river for a 60 to 70 miler. When the 5 of us arrived at Nerac, John informed us that Brian wasn’t riding so we were free to go wherever we desired on a beautiful day. We decided to head north and see where our bikes would take us. We started out on our usual route up Village Hill and out to Stafford lake where we picked up 19 north to Wales MA. Many of you know that section of Route 19 with it’s smooth new pavement and endless gradient….up! If you look at the profile on the Map My Ride link below you get an idea of how uphill it is. We kept a hot pace to MA with everyone pulling strong and steady. We stopped to take some food in and figure out where o go next. Jen suggested taking Monson road over towards Monson and Tom thought that was the road Dave H took them on last week. This road was one of the most fun roads I’ve ever ridden. It was truly rolling where you could keep a fast pace by pushing the small hills and enjoying the speed on the down hills and flats. Jen took advantage of her knowledge of the road by sprinting one of the bigger hills and leaving us all in the dust. We ended on a nice decent to Rt 32 in Monson where we stopped to discuss our next move. There was talk of heading south to Stafford and home but I have done a route from that point to Hampden Ma on my motorcycle and remembered it as a beautiful ride. I suggested the route (thus it’s my fault) and everyone was in. I told them about the climb but on a motorcycle it seemed a little more benign. Once you go under the railroad tracks and start up Lower Hampden Road, it’s a steady climb for a long way with a steep pitch at the summit. At the steepest part I was still feeling good, although everyone had sprinted ahead like it was no big deal, when it turned to dirt due to road construction. The others were waiting at the top and it was smiles all around for the awesome climb (I think). The decent was a bit tricky on the steep, dirt, downhill with a hairpin turn part way down. But once we got rolling again on pavement the ride and scenery were the best. The scenic vistas at the top of the climbs were worth the price of sweat and calories burned. We rolled through the center of Hampden to Somers Rd that would take us south to CT. We were only 33 miles in at this point but it was a tough 33 miles and everyone agreed it was time for bagels and coffee. Our Sunday coffee stops have become tradition (or legend) and part of the relaxed Sunday ride experience that we all come to enjoy. We happened into a great little bagel shop that had a few tables and chairs for outside dining and the others “twisted” my arm to stop.
When we rolled out of the stop I think all of our legs were a little stiff but it was a 13 mile spin down the CT river valley to where we turned left onto Middle Butcher Rd. The reality if riding out of Tolland is that you have to climb to get out of town, and climb to get back. We started our climb and I was toast. John, Tom, and Jen amazed me as they flew up hills like we just started. In the center of Rockville Jen suggested we go Mile Hill as the least of the climbing evils back to Tolland, I agreed until John wanted to end on Reed Rd and Tolland Stage. I pushed for Gehring back to Anderson and home and thankfully won. We ended up with around 56 miles but it seemed longer. It was a very challenging route and I would highly recommend it. It will definitely be on my list for a fall ride.
Dave F.