Monday, November 8, 2010

Salem's ride: nobody died

On the heels of the eel, Salem organized himself a ride out into the hinterland of East-Central Connecticut. Calling it the De-tour de Connecticut, it left from Salem's house in South Glastonbury, went through Meshomasic State Forest, over to the Air Line Trail all the way out to Willimantic, then it came back west on the Hop Brook Trail, did some very interesting in Manchester, hit the boardwalk and then ventured back to Glastonbury via Keeney Cove, where a secret bit of singletrack was discovered and rendered Keeney connected to Naubuc.

The bike was dirty.

Information about about how this was all going to work involved descriptions like this:
  • I've been wanting to lead this loop for a number of years, and now I finally took the bit. More or less, it is a grand tour of Connecticut's eastern rail trails and some other hidden gems thrown in to boot. Mostly crushed cinder path, I've ridden all of it with a road bike, but would recommend at least a 32c tire, so a cross bike or rigid mountain bike would probably be the ideal as there are some some short but significantly rough sections, and even a touch of singletrack. In other words, it is a typical ride for me. A rough outline on google maps says about 75 miles, so yes, it will be a long day. The good news is the vast majority of the loop stays off car-accessible routes and much of it is rather pretty as well.
  • 2) Regarding bikes, I've done most of the recon on a road bike but have had walk here and there. Cross bike is good if you view that as a mild offroader, but if you view a cross rig as just a dirt-road-bike, best bring yourself a mountain bike. Dario will be riding a fixed gear 20" BMX with no seat just to show us what wimps we are.
  • In answer to requests for a route, the short answer is, "Sorry, no I can't provide one." Not only would it ruin the surprise (where's everyone's sense of adventure?), but the loop doesn't stick to mapped routes, or paths. The sketch: Meshomasic to Airline trail, to Hop River Trail, no-name trails etc through Manchester and E. Hartford, paths along the river, and back. Thus the "De-tour" de CT.
Then, it got clean!

Due to a dare, I rode it on the old fixed Colnago, which was stupid. None the less, it was exciting with dangerous bridges, secret Manchester singletrack and a heart-poppingly strenuous rip-rap along the railroad. I didn't take any pictures, so I don't have any evidence of the final trudge through high water on Point Road. It was a pretty epic final trudge: glowering bike people with bikes on shoulders wading through thigh deep water.

And, that was that. Thanks for leading us on a great ride, Salem!

Cat playing the synthesizer.


Mark said...

I thought Salem moved to NH - he back visiting?

Brendan said...

He's back. It's hard to get nutmeg out of your blood stream.

dougyfresh said...

you ride along the hockanum in manchester?

Brendan said...

yup. a part of which I'd never ridden near adams mill: and new state road. Salem, Dario and I once tried to ride the adams mill stuff, but on the other side and it was unrideably difficult.

I generally end up over here after the end of the boardwalk near wickham.