Monday, September 6, 2010
TdT for Labor Day
The Tour de Talcott is a classic central Connecticut ride that I've babbled about from time to time in the past. By tradition it is ridden on Father's Day, but due to my own stupidity, it had to be postponed. This weekend I had the pleasure of riding it with one of the largest groups I've ever ridden it with not to mention one of the strongest.
The distance of our ride varies depending on where you get your data. Garmin Connect says one thing, while GPSies says another. GPsies also has a climb rating system that puts the TdT on par with the Col de Joux Plane. But no matter how it was recorded, it was the longest version of the TdT I've done to date (about 34 miles if you didn't clicky the linkys). It was also the fastest, which wasn't surprising considering the company I was keeping.
We left my house and hit the West side of the Res, including some newer trails there that only Kerry had previously ridden. Took the pavement to the back of res.6, to the trail out to 185, crossed into Pennwood (the happiest place on Earth), headed along the ridge on the west side (yellow trail) to the back of the park and went the hard way, a route I won't take alone, over the back to Wintonberry Rd.
My modest technical abilities abandoned me for awhile on the last section which left me hanging off the back. After we saw Craig, friends, and "the Rocketman*" (who would have preferred joining our group) at the overlook, I got hung up on the most non-technical technical. Again I found myself off the back. But then the group was completely out of sight. Was I that slow? One technical bobble and I'm completely alone? When I got to the chimney where we planned to turn around still nobody? Did they descend into Tarifville to go to the store? It was too early for the bar to be open. I heard church bells but I doubt they headed over to St. Bernard's for mass. Wait! those bells are my phone! James had called me. They took a wrong turn, had heard me pass them on the upper trail, and were on their way.
The way back we took the Wilcox Park trail back to Pennwood, but went down to the picnic area to refill water bottles when we got back into Pennwood. We then took the dirt path that parallels the road back to the trail head. If I realized we were on such a pace, I would have pushed for us to go back up to the yellow, because not only is it more fun than a bike path, it would have added another 10-15 minute to our ride. But with my family commitments for the day, it was probably better I hadn't wrapped my mind around that.
We finished the ride hitting the East side of the Res.
Josh and James then went to Mo's. I was hating on them.
One thing that struck me was the diversity of the bikes on the ride. There were some similarities, but every bike was unique in some way.
Josh was on the classic 26" Ti hardtail
Brian's ride was similar, but with grown-up sized wheels
Kerry probably wins the "most individual" award with is Maverick equipped singlespeed 69'er
Doug was sporting the all plastique, lighter than air, Wunder bike
James was on what I consider as the Workingman's Race bike; light, fast, reliable.
Of course I was riding BlüSteel, my Singular Swift the choice of discerning riders.
You might notice I used a "file photo" for BlüSteel, as I never thought to actually take a picture of my own bike, even when I was standing around at the chimney, one of my favorite picture sites, waiting for them to find me.
Great ride with a great bunch of guys, on one of the most perfect riding days you could imagine. Doesn't get much better (it actually did as I had birthday cake at both my Sister's and Sister-in Law's houses in the afternoon).
*Rocketman is Craig's dog