9am seemed to come an hour earlier than I thought it would, but three of us headed out shortly thereafter headed to Newfield. Fortunately it had already warmed up to over 40F by then, so I left the house in shorts. Enfield Falls Rd and Trumbulls Corner Rd were good warm ups for the hills to come. The first was the steady 800ft climb out of Newfield on Benjamin Hill Rd and continuing to the top of Bull Hill. Then the fun starts. This route had three “fingers” each of which was a hill, and had good sections of dirt. By good I mean it was either like riding through peanut butter, snow, or gravel if we are really lucky. At one point my front fender was transformed into a pebble cannon, spewing out a steady stream of rocks that were picked up by the “longboard” fenders. The tire tracks often sunk an inch into the ground, which in combination with ruts often meant that keeping a straight line while also staying upright was a balancing act.
We continued through the Arnot Forest, with a thrilling descent where I decided it seemed safer just to fly down the hill rather than attempt to slow down and continue skidding out. A few more dirt roads and a few more hills later and we ended up on one of my favorite roads: Langeford Creek Rd. I had first ridden this last year, and found that there is a speedy descent that goes for a rather long ways. But we would try out a side road for part of this route instead, which was also just as fun, until the climb back up anyway. Somewhere around here, ~45 miles in, I think we had all ran out of water. We bailed on the rest of the route, opting to head for the valley and the only convenience store close to our route. Newfield Depot road was one I marked to come back later on the road bike. I think hitting 50mph here would be no issue on a road bike, and the turn from Adams Rd has a big sweeping yield and no traffic. There is a train track towards the bottom, but plenty of room before the stop sign to slow down. I drank a large bottle of water at the stop which helped my situation. Apparently temps reached mid-60s, and two bottles wasn’t nearly enough to get me 50 miles. Next time a better planned pit stop or a pre-planned gallon jug drop off may be in order.
I had my camera set to take a picture every 10 seconds and compile that into a jumpy video that’s nearly impossible to watch. Until the Google Streetview prius gets lost in the woods, this will have to suffice.
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, dirt roads
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