Monday, August 4, 2008

A ride gone... better.

Considering that the Scruffy Peloton has effectively been on hiatus for the past several weeks I took my day off Monday as the opportunity for a long solo ride in which I would re-attempt the route into Barkhamsted that several weeks ago went so horribly awry. While the ride went much more according to plan I could, of course, count on Google to throw me several curves to keep me on my directional toeclips. Along the way I saw one of my all-time favorite volleyball courts...
and got to ride some of the meanest hills Ive found in CT thusfar.

Check it out, Click "READ MORE" for the pretty pictures...

So I headed over Simsbury Mountain following the same route I mentioned in my previous post, turned North onto Route 10, and West onto Stratton Brook Rd. Moving much faster and more confidently than before I quickly came upon the intersection that had thrown my last attempt into its spiraling decline.

It was at this intersection, technically the junction of Stratton Brook and Route 309, but known to Simsbarians as the joining of Stratton Brook, Westledge Rd, Old Farms Road, and Farms Village Road, not confusing for an out-of-towner, that so much went wrong last time. Better prepared with BOTH route and road names I nonchalantly turned onto Westledge and made my way past meadows, farms, and farm stands. I caught this sign out of the corner of my eye and my adoration of hops obliged me to snap a picture.

There were, to my dismay, no hops in said brook.
There was, however, clean cold water which was quite refreshing on this, a very hot day. This willow and its shade also seemed to be calling out for a hammock and a good book.

The picturesque scenery continued as I rode down Westledge, which subsequently turned into North Canton Rd. and then West Simsbury Rd. At the end of the latter, however I passed a sign which made me laugh and shake my head...
Apparently once you leave Simsbury and get into Canton the use of route signage once again becomes acceptable.

I turned North onto 179, passed this gorgeous horse farm...
... and headed up a mean hill, 2.0 miles long with a max grade of 9.0%. As me and my burning legs crested the hill I came across some road art that perfectly mirrored my sentiment.

Cresting the hill I enjoyed the fruits of my efforts and cruised down the backside of the hill and turned onto 219 (where I again came across a sign that would have been helpful on my first attempt).

This section of the ride turned out to be the most scenic and for a moment of two I thought I had ridden all the way up to NH or VT. If anyone is feeling up for it take a ride out this way and check it out, you wont regret it as you can see.



Riding further I even came across a very nice iron bridge!

Thusfar my ride had gone largely without a hitch, however this was where I turned onto the Farmington River "Turnpike". I started out down a side road which I (foolishly) remarked as being one of the nicest "turnpikes" I had ever seen. I twisted and turned along the road through the woods until the pavement abruptly ended!

The next couple miles were spent managing bumps and avoiding rocks along the gravel access road. On the plus side this little detour offered me a great view of the river and I got to move along in the shade.

When I reached Route 44 I turned North as planned but coming across the road I had intended on taking noticed that it looked to offer little more infrastructure than my last path! I decided to turn around and head back into Canton via 44. I crossed the river over the gorge and caught glimpse of a fly fisherman and several tubers enjoying the river...

I hopped off Rt 44 and cut over on Rt 202 and rode down Powder Hill road again crossing a scenic small iron bridge over the river.

From here I headed back through Collinsville, back over the mountain via the now seemingly smaller hill over Mountain Spring Rd and back down Route 4, pleasantly pleased that I had completed my intended ride without getting dreadfully lost and all less than an hour's ride from the city.

1 comment:

chillwill said...

dude it is monday!
and you posted at 9AM!?

you did all that before 9AM?