Monday, March 8, 2010
Saturday I did the Tour de Talcott, or Father's Day Ride so I could map it out for a possible non-sanctioned, unauthorized non-event.
With the temperate weather forecast, I headed out at 6:30 AM to insure the trails would be solid. Even so, I decided to ride the East side of the Res. on the way out since it gets the most traffic and tends to be sloppier. Apparently this was the case, because it was already heavily rutted.
The further North I got the better the trail conditions got.
Usually I take the fireroad at the back of Pennwood to the trail head at Wintonbury Rd in East Weatogue, but I decided to go for some Man points and rode the broken tarmac up to the blue trail on the North side of the park. This was the first time I had rode this section of trail on a singlespeed from this direction. I rode it North to South once, or rather walked my bike on it from North to South as it's climbs from that direction are above my strength and ability on a singlespeed. I doubt I'd fare much better with a 20x36 granny either. It's effing steep!
But from South to North it was mostly rideable. The first section of trail off the tarmac I had to walk, and another short valley wall, but other than that, it was a go. Probably the highlight of the ride. It's inconvenience keeps the trail pristine, and it's technical nature kept things interesting. The descent down to Wintonbury Rd is one of those steeps where you need to get your butt behind the saddle, with your chest resting on it. I impressed myself by not chickening out since I didn't have an audience and peer pressure to perform. I almost lost it at one point as my junk got caught behind the saddle. From now on this is the route to T'ville.
Which brings me to "Blue Steel". My technical abilities seem to have taken a step forward since I built the Swift up. For trail riding this has been a great thing. I can only hope this will be true on the race course too.
When I got back to the res. Things were beginning to warm up nicely, but the West side trails I hit were still snow covered. Heavy, wet, refroze and now melting snow. No fun. I pulled the plug and headed down the fireroad without hitting all the trails I planned.
Since I didn't complete the loop, I hit the trails I missed early Sunday morning so I could over-lay Saturday's ride and have the non-course mapped. I wore the shoes I've been commuting in because I'm pretty much over riding in my heavy Winter boots. Well I guess your cleats don't really need to be in very good shape commuting, because every time I tried to make a move I'd pull a foot out of my pedals. Of course at the worst possible moment.
A great deal of melting happen Saturday, and the ruts were there to prove it.
It could be fun.
"Blue Steel" on top of the North Trail