Sunday, August 26, 2012

Early Birds

Once in a while again a Early Birds ride. A very nice morning with a nice breeze out of East -- comfortable and fairly dry air! For the Birds a group of about 20 riders gathered and good to have a total four GAB riders today :-)  
Good Deli stop and nice to find some new comfy seating!
A feeling a little worn out from the past 1000 miles of the past 28..30 days + little sour feeling knee in particular on way home after putting in a little power on the last miles heading up and back 1st with kind of ease. Py thinks it's just due to little unused and different geometry of the MTB/CX bike setup he used recently for a big ride. Just stretching helped a bit already.


Riding home easy. And taking a bad of local produce home the last mile.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Deerfield Dirt-Road Randonnée Nº Eight

For Py this is the 6th 180km D2R2 since his first time experience in 2007. And the 8th time for this event what is since 2005 pretty steady growing in size with over 800 pre registered riders this year.

This year Py was planning for a relaxed weekend together with Johnny, Doug&Liz once in a while -- for everything around it. Not really found time to do any serious checkups on the bike, just knowing it did well and had no issues at last CX races back in December. Also just a little thought about taking the new Dirty Disco out, but it would have needed the D2R2 gearing fix up -- not yet in place. Back to the well 5x D2R2 proven D2R2 bike "Stonie" Cobalt Cross -- a converted Carbon fiber hard tail MTB with road/CX wheels and 29er fork. -- Not talking much about gearing, elevations today. Still no one really knows if it's 12'000 or up to 16'000 ft, just hard to calculate with all this smaller and bigger climbs, but it's > 10'000 of major climbs -- all to say here -- period. Garmins, maps, ... claim all kind of numbers. -- check out older previous year's posts.


Meeting Johnny, loading gear into the Jeep and bikes on top around noon on Friday. All set and about to make a Espresso before heading off to the ferry to take over to Bridgeport for an easy drive up to the Red Roof Inn in Deerfield, MA. But wait... as John was asking for a 2nd bottle cage for his "new" D2R2 rig, a quick look up to the bikes -- missing some thing on his frame, he took off the bottle cages and neatly taped up the bolt holes for past CX races -- that would have been a great surprise finding out 5am in the morning on the field at the river attempting to secure bottles. Not able to locate the original bottle holders/bolts after moving into his new house, quickly taking off two cages from other bikes -- puhh, fits, done. All looking good now :-)

Still time for a Coffee and easy drive to the ferry. Meeting D&L at the ferry dock, cool.

Little delayed and slow Sound crossing, little more traffic than wishing, but all in all easy way up. Checking in at the Inn, as booked a little late only a smoking "allowed" room was left, little filthy ugly smell, opening the window. But OK other wise.

Quickly changing into cycling clothes for a evening spin & bike check for SignIn with J,D&L. Nice and warm evening.


Back to the Inn and heading for dinner in Shellborne Falls to the "Blue Rock" -- a great kind of secret place to eat. On the way a little rain & thunder. Making sure all is in order for the next morning, then bed time. Little concerned about the rain and eventually the need for more layers -- but the forecast claims it to stop raining, clear up and warm up. Well, taking arm warmers and two thin base layers just in case.


Having a bowl of home mixed Muesli at the Inn before leaving. Saturday about 5:30am arriving at the ride start. Still a few drops of rain and all wet. Checking out the sign in tent again, grabbing an egg some coffee and orange juice. Not really hungry for more. Last minute >dump< at the facilities... the pretty much only thing Py hates about early starts -- ready to roll. No sign-in this year, all electronic via RFIDs -- cool, beep, beep beep and go.

A few known riders -- cool. The experienced riders, rolling out at about 6:15am easy and very relaxed -- some thing unique to this event!

Chatting and finding a awesome group of four Canadian riders (Matt, Rodd, Nathan, Pascal -- Py is sorry if got the names eventually a little wrong) of team "Tall Tree Cycles" he happened to hang with for long. Two of them were really strong riders how eventually set best times in the past, but lucky for Py they were on a "easy mission" with a slower team member just fine for Py to match up. Fun fun, thanks! If you happen to have some great pictures, please let Pt know some how.

Moving on at good pace, little dirty spray and kit decorations from wet dirt roads -- but no big deal, good traction just little spongy at times. One very distracting issue, Py noticed a "battery low" warning of his Garmin navigation system very early into the ride -- odd. Very concerned as there are a gazillion of turns even he did it 5 times there are some easy to be missed. Due to the dark wet early morning and overcast conditions the automatic back light seams to turn on at times what he did not really noticed so far with sun glasses it was pretty dark either way. Well, turning this stupidity feature OFF (or to minimum back light) now. Very concerned how long it will make it from now... well, only the paper Cue backup but with no millage reading -- no fun. So what, let's hang on and get old memories awake. Riding on wet pavement was amazingly mostly dirtier than on little soggy dirt due to the spray! Beautiful view of the country side with a few low hanging clouds about the clear up.



Arriving at water station No 1. "Ashfield" with ease at 8:04 -- km 34.

Heading on to the next snack stop and water station.

9:24 at "Heath" -- km 60.

IMG_0933.JPG IMG_0936.JPG

From there the first major climb is waiting.

Archambo [you know it?]. Mastering it again, actually pretty easy with good traction on moist packed gravel. The whole group is smoothly riding up, little stop on top to enjoy the view and take a picture :-)
Also this super fatty bike rider coming up -- what a unique and odd appearance, but he is doing very well. Amazing. Way to go? He seams having fun motoring along with ease[???] and really bombing it on the descents.


Few more taken by Rodd and Nathan!

DSC09294 one of five (?) covered bridges DSC09308 DSC09307

11:45 lunch at Green River Covered Bridge -- km 105.

Very welcome to pull into the Covered Bridge at Green River for lunch. All looking very familiar -- they rebuild it all nicely after the Hurricane! Great and best food ever (for a bike event) -- a nice variety and selection sandwiches. trying the "Black Sheep". Tasting soooo good :-) Taking all the time for lunch today, no hurry -- great.

Then climbing right on for the next 4 miles or such. Awaiting a seemingly endless series more and more up than down hills... never ending. Fly by the extra water stop at the point of entry to the River road.


Slowly getting into this so far always again experienced post lunch low point, suffering a little a slightly unhappy stomach with all the drinking, falling back into his most efficiency mode and own pace some where around km 130 or such not so far from Patten hill. Hooking up with that fatty tire rider for a while. At the bottom of Patten hill forced to a brief stop to refill water from the spare bottle in the back pack -- better not run low on fluids here. With kind on steady easy riding up and passing several riders on Patten hill again -- once the steep bottom part on pavement was mastered good going.


15:05 refreshment for the final section at Patten Hill -- km 152.

Finding the Tall Tree Cycle group again -- they must have been just a few minutes ahead at this time.
A few photos, a few slices of water melon -- sooo good! And taking off for the "home-ride". Now getting a little more confidence again into the odd Garmin what is amazingly still operating normal and no more battery warnings. May be only with back light on and higher power consumption the warning got triggered? Let's hope so -- ride on. Feeling amazing good like new and recharged virtually flying and passing several riders... The few left counter climbs were done with ease -- woho, how is that? Bombing the last few fun descents -- leaving riders into dust... fun fun. And virtually time trialing to the finish, no even any rider attempted to hang on.

about 16:00 finish, "beeping" in at -- km 179.

Garmin still working but shutting down shortly -- OK.


Little worried about Johnny but hoping he hooked up with other riders and it all worked out fine as he later joined Doug. Great.

However, as no car access Py went right away for the Pint glass with free beer and lunch with the rider of Fat bike and others. Awesome.

Recharged the only right thing to do now -- jump into the river!!! So nice and so warm today :-) Nothing in the world feels better than this very welcome clean up and refreshment. Drying up in no time, comfortable warm sun and dry air -- but by far not hot today, just perfect. Stowing away the bike on the car top and going for desert now :-)

 About 1..2 hours later Doug and Johnny must have arrived, good to see them.


What a day again. This event is only getting better and bigger, but still not too big -- very well organized. No stupid useless gizmo's, just what's needed and what makes sense like a real good pint glass. Well done. Again great food, all great people. Many thanks to every one supporting, volunteering and all the riders coming out here!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

EBs -- North

It's a while since Py went to the Birds ride, so let's do it again. Heading out a quarter to seven... Some how getting wet roads little more out East but clearing up.


Then a pretty big group found together, fast moving out. Usual stop in Cutchogue.


Little groups split up due to a rider loosing items out of his seat bag... Then attempts to chase after by Py failed, into the wind, too many strong guys ahead sharing, damn it... Easing up, regrouping with a few from behind, TT effort back most the time with Gerald&Ellen mostly hanging on. Picking up on dropped riders towards 51...

Heading home, little low on gas on North Country, refueling and shopping at the "new" Rocky Point Farmers Market: