Monday, November 2, 2009

New places & The Hartford Alley Cat V

I tend to fall in routines. I eat at a lot of different restaurants, but I almost always order the same thing at each respective place. The same thing happens with bike rides, I ride in different places, but once I establish a route/loop of trails, I keep riding the same thing. Or, I get lazy and don't even try and find a new place to ride. That's a character flaw and I'm trying to fix it. My Friday Afternoon Club of Italian Snails or "Le Lumache" has shown me a bunch of cool stuff. In fact, this past Friday was sort of a quid pro quo of me revealing some cool trails in Keney and I was shown a crazy bridge and reshown the Hockanum River Trails in East Hartford.

I'm also trying to fix it in the self-motivated sense, too. On Wednesday, armed with my fenders, I rode up my local hill and discovered a cool promontory/chill spot as well as further adding to the mystery of the MDC stuff on Cedar Hill. Why is everything on Cedar Hill/Mountain so mysterious?

On Thursday, I picked up my straightened 'cross bike from Central Wheel and set off into the reservoir and points north. This is where I'm most guilty of becoming a man of steady habits, but lately I've found some new things and started connecting more interesting loops. This ride led me down a trail that I'd never been on before and I found a water crossing, which are quite elusive at the Reservoir. There are those two rocky ones on the trail off the blue trail in the northwest corner, but they've both got boards to ride on. This is an honest to goodness creek to ride. The only thing marring the discovery was slipping down a rock a few hundred yards before the creek and smacking my knee. I only found a cool little trail at Penwood that cuts out some pavement riding, but is also open to bikes. It may not actually be that cool, but the carpet of yellow leaves made it really cool last week.

Friday was the day of crazy bidges and Hockin' numb, but its evening also brought an alley cat: The Hartford Alley Cat V. Sean organized it and dressed as the blue Teletubby. I think there were about 14 entrants. It was a night race, so I attached a bulbous headlight to my normally sleek Nishiki. We left from the Warehouse parking lot on Bartholomew. What was cool about the start was that there was no manifest, it just directed us to go to Evergreen Street. I had a hard time opening the envelope because I was wearing gloves, so I didn't get out of the parking lot as fast as I would have liked. I made up time on the way and caught in the driveway at the same time as the guy who left first. We race up the stairs and were given the actual manifest. It was very cool that we had no time to plan. The stops were Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, a house on Oakwood, TJ and Ken's house and Bushnell Park. Here's my route. The house on Oakwood had some physical challenges: big shot of grain alcohol, 5 pushups and then bob for an apple. Bobbing for the apples was great. What a great way to cool down. TJ claimed that I had to eat a stick of butter and I was instantly crestfallen, but he was just kidding. At Bushnell Park, we had to shotgun a beer. I came in first, followed by Aaron, Peter Barr, Marshall (who has incredible leather tooling skills), Dave (often called poseur Dave, but I think that's not the nicest name, there also may have been someone who finished in front of him) and then more people, but I didn't know most of their names. I ran into my old friend Linda, though, which was cool. She's living in Whitney House now. I got a cool & tight tshirt, but the real prize was this incredibly awesome Bailey Works bag. Oh man, you can fit like six watermelons in there. Or, six rotten watermelons and not have to worry about them leaking on you because the lining is some kind of space age roof tar.

I think the 666 spoke card is what gave me the edge.


Anthony said...

Man, I wish I had a shot at even getting a shot of grain.. Instead I was nailed by a car. Maybe next time... Come to think of it, I was hit last Halloween too. Weird.

Interstatement said...

Nice job in the Alleycat Brendan!

I didn't know Central Wheel did frame repair- do they just straighten bent things or can they braze cable stops and the like?

So now that you're livin' the high rollin' Bailey Works lifestyle, that means I get to be the next Beat Bike Blogger to try out the Manhattan Portage bag, right?

Brendan said...

@Anthony- Man, that sucks. You gotta stop riding with so many balls on the walls.

@interstatement- Sure. It needs a little bit of cleaning, though. ;)

As far as I know, they just straighten at Central Wheel. But, I know that they know good people to whom you can send stuff.

chillwill said...

TJ called me yesterday and said you won by like 5 minutes...holyshit! well done. hope there's another race in a few weeks...hint hint

sparky said...

Ohhh those pictures are beautiful! I miss east coast trail biking and the fall :(