Monthly Archives: October 2009

Crandall Park – DAS

Ride 1:  Crandal – Sue, Jill

Ride 2: DAS/Quinebaug Velo Ride -Don, Ben, Liz, Chris, Quin, + 4 or 5 more riders, Jill

Wow, 2 rides today!  But who could resist on such an unexpectedly perfect day?  Not me!  Yesterday I suggested a mountain bike ride at Crandall instead of our typical lunch road ride.  John forgot his mountain bike but Sue had hers so John ended up riding with Dave J. and his brandy new road bike and Sue and I headed over to Crandall.  My bike was so happy, it remembered every rock, root, climb, and descent.  Although Sue probably lives about a mile away from the park she had never mountain biked there so it was a treat for her to ride some new trails.  I only lost her twice….  Wow, I’m going to get a bad rep for losing people on the trail but the first time it was only about 20 seconds, the 2nd time was at the end of the ride and I swear she was right behind me!!!!  Anyway, all was well – we both made it back to the car.  We were both so excited to be out riding on such a beautiful day that we couldn’t stop smiling.  Thanks for coming out with me today Sue, it was a blast! – Jill

At the end of the day I realized I could squeeze in a 2nd ride and thought about heading over to Mansfield solo but I remembered that DAS has a Tuesday night mtb ride.  I gave them a call to confirm the ride and start time and headed over there after work.  They meet and ride right out of the DAS shop in Danielson.  I think there were about 9 or 10 riders total, a mix of singlespeeds, hardtails, fs, 29’ers and one 65lb’er.  The crew was very friendly and made me feel welcome.  After 5 minutes I had no idea where we were but it didn’t really matter.  We rode trails along the river, mostly flat in the beginning but a pretty quick pace.  Everyone on the ride started out with a light but at least 3 or 4 of the riders lights died within the first 15 minutes of the ride.  It didn’t really inhibit anyone though, they just rode in front or behind someone with a light.  I’m going to shamelessly plug my “Danolite”, it’s an 18 gram headlamp, 160 lumen and has a tiny battery pack that uses 4 rechargeable batteries and it’s made by a local rider in CT:  http://www.danolight.com/.  This light is awesome!  The temps were perfect, the trails fun, and I loved discussing the pros and cons of 29 inch wheels, singlespeeds, wheelies, and all the new bikes out on the market.  The ride ended with a near wreck of my bike and Quin’s , then I lent my phone to Don to call for a pizza.  That was a first, ordering pizza from the trail!  I didn’t stay for the pizza but I would love to join another one of their rides.  Thank you for the great ride Don!  – Jill

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Jamestown Classic

I was in the Jamestown Classic road race on Monday, October 12, 2009. It was my first race, ever. It started out insanely early, waking up at 3:00 am. We met our traveling group in Wethersfield, drove 2 hours to Jamestown, found good parking spots, got my one day license. Parking is definitely at a premium and the lines for licenses was already long an hour and a half before the races started.

It was a cold morning, in the 30’s. My feet never warmed up. The hardest thing prior to the race was getting my feet clipped in. I was very nervous and my feet were numb. I didn’t notice there was any wind until the race started and we rode by the harbor. The race was counterclockwise around the island. Every time we went by any water there was a stiff breeze. Although my times had been improving throughout the month prior to the race, I fell way short of the other women. I had the group in my sights for maybe the first mile or so, but never did catch up. I rode the rest of the 18 miles solo.

The hardest section was heading out to the lighthouse. It was a headwind all the way out. As I was headed out, the rest of the women’s race was going back in. We had traveled with some of the CVC team and they all gave me shouts of encouragement. Karen Franzen, Donna Davis, Mary Lynn Hadix, Laura Mulally and her three daughters, were all very supportive that morning and helped me get to where I needed to be. I thought once we circled the lighthouse and came back, the wind had to be behind me, but it wasn’t. Not sure how that works. I had been told that the course was flat, except for a hill at the end. It was not steep, but it was the longest hill of the day (when you’re riding alone you notice the other hills that no one mentioned) and since it came after fighting the wind for 5 miles it was a challenge.

I finished 21st out of 26 riders. I rode the best I had done all year for the first hour. The first 20 riders had completed the course within an hour, while I was on my way back from the lighthouse wondering why I was still fighting the wind.

I learned a lot on Monday about all that happens prior to the race, how to prepare, how fast everyone else is. Also I appreciated all the support other racers give new folks and along the course the folks standing at the end of their driveways cheering everybody as they go by. Although the day started way too early, it was a wonderful experience and I’m glad I participated. I’m already planning for some more races next year. – Carol

Arcadia

Riders:  Andy M., Steve, Tom, Marilyn, Mary, Randell, Glenn, Garth, Jerry, Jill

I checked my email at 6:45am just as I was about to leave the house and read an email from Garth who wanted to switch his plans and do the Arcadia ride instead of the Great River Ride.  So I grabbed a couple of extra Oreo’s and stopped by the Bean residence to get Garth and off we went to RI.  Did I mention how cold it was????? 35 degrees!  My winter gear isn’t even in my car yet!  All I really made sure I had was an orange jersey because its bow hunting season at Arcadia.  Oh well, I’ll dig up something in my bag.  Pulled in to the Browning Pond lot to a full crew of riders, only half were ours, there was another big crew getting ready to leave at the same time.  Great to see so many riders for such a cold morning, some of the crew was from west of the river so they had quite a hike to get to RI.  Our plan was 20 miles, reduced from the original 30 because I had to work at 3.  That pesky part time job, what are they thinking scheduling me on such a beautiful, clear, fall riding day???  Halfway through the ride I did not mind that we were doing 20 instead of 30…Ok, the actual ride – Conditions were really perfect and dry, not slick like Mansfield was on Saturday.  The first couple trails on this route are pretty technical so it took a little bit for everyone to adjust (to the cold and to the trails!), after that we were a pretty well matched group.  Nobody was too far off the front or the back.   Andy led the ride so I couldn’t even begin to tell you where we went, some kind of mixture of the last RI Nemba ride and a combination of trails that Andy has been riding forever.  But it was a great mix of all Arcadia has to offer, nice techy rock gardens, windy pine forests, and challenging climbs and descents.  This was the first time at Arcadia for almost half of this group and I think they all fell in love with the trails.  Fun, fun ride!  – Jill

Mansfield Hollow

Riders:  Rick, Jerry, Steve, Andy M., Jill

It was kind of strange to have a 10am start.  Usually our rides are at 8am and I’m always rushing to get out of the house so it was kind of nice to relax a bit in the morning and unhurriedly sip a cup of coffee.  The late start time was requested by Rick so he could run over at MCC first, I think everyone appreciated the later start for a change and it also gave the rain a chance to clear out in the morning.  It was super warm out so shorts and short sleeves for everyone, very nice temps for the 2nd week in October!  The trails were still slippery though from the overnight rain so though we pushed the pace at times we still had to be a little conservative.  Strangely I haven’t ridden at Mansfield in forever too so I especially enjoyed riding all my favorite trails again and being able to share them with Jerry and Steve who were riding there for the first time.  And of course I did my favorite loop and nobody complained…over to the lollipop across from the boat launch, around the lake, the transfer station loop (or dump loop), over to Schoolhouse Brook and up to Wolf Rock where the trails were finally drying out and we reminisced about the spectacular fall Stockford had there, his 2 ensuing flats, and how we rode out in the pitch dark last spring…A couple diggers through the rock garden then up to the fast, rocky stretch out to the road and the ride was over way too quickly.  Off to work! Thanks for the great ride folks. – Jill

Grayville

Riders:  Andy M, Jill

Originally we were going to hit the EMS ride at Case but I suggested we switch to Grayville and Andy agreed.  Good decision!  It has been well over a year since I’ve ridden there and quite a while for Andy too.  It was a cool, clear, fall evening, perfect conditions for a 1st fall night ride.  We decided on our traditional route and rode the lower windy section first then started the climbing.  This is my favorite route at Grayville because at the end you finish the loop with about 30 minutes of almost non-stop downhill.   There are some new stunts since I’ve been there last.  Andy rode everything but I wussed out on most of it blaming the dim conditions.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!  I’ll do it next time….  Anyway, we have to get out there more often, the trails out there are fantastic.  Good ride!  – Jill

Nerac Earth Turtle B’Day Cake

Sue made a delicious turtle cake for my birthday!

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Ashford Metric Century+

Slide show from today’s Ashford Metric Century+. Mother nature decided to help us out this year!