Monday, August 31, 2015

Stowe - Trapp Trails

It was cloudy but quite pleasant and cooler than normal for this time of year.


I rode the lower trails in the morning, warming up with a quick bomb on the easy Greenway then riding Stepping Stones and Chuck's Corkscrew in both directions.
Looking back towards the Lodge
Luce Hill in background
Stepping Stones choices - I took the high road the first time
At the end of Chuck's Corkscrew,
I turned around here and rode back the way I came...
It was great!


In the afternoon, I rode Sugar Road and the lower trails for starters but they were just boring fire roads. Lodge Spur was a wicked climb but only the tight switchbacks gave me trouble. I learned it was best to lower my seat around these tight curves on a steep climb. Keeping your center of gravity lower helps a lot.
Once on the Luce Hill Loop, the trail is kinda tough with lots of roots and tight curves.  The dearth of photos is due to the fact I had taken photos last year* and since much of the trail really flows, you don't want to break the momentum to stop for a photo.

Once around the loop clockwise, I continued on up on Tapline and turned around a little after the series of tight switchbacks photographed below. It started to get dark--I thought rain was coming--so I high tailed it down the mountain, but alas... no rain occurred...
Tapline swtchbacks
These are great trails!

* Click on the Trapp Family Trails keywords to see other posts on these trails

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stowe - Trapp Trails and Smuggler's Notch

Once a year, our family gets together at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. An annual week timeshare arrangement is a lovely way to revitalize the family bonds and do a variety of outside activities together (mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, "road" and rail trail biking, etc.)
Guest House
Morning View from the Lodge
I took a morning warm up bike ride on the Greenway Loop...

Morning Loop
Greenway Loop (easy but fun!)
After riding a bit of Pipeline (more challenging single track), I looped back on Sleigh Road when I got a flat tire! Bummer- I didn’t have a spare tube (duh!) and the walk back up to the lodge was a brutal uphill - oh well at least I got a good amount of steps on my FitBit :-)
The deep woods around Sleigh Road was beautiful 
We took an excursion up north to Morristown to visit an eccentric artist's house. Her rock arch work was featured on Oprah.
Hanging bikes
Friendly Sheep :-)
Rock Arches
The side trip I took up to Smuggler's Notch with my sister was simply awesome. This place was incredible! Massive boulders are scattered in a narrow passageway over the mountain, creating nooks and crannies everywhere. There were all kinds of trails scattered every which way, weaving thru the boulders and it was easily 15 degrees cooler in the crevasses.
My sister Kittie on a trail
Check out the stone steps - amazing! 
This was one of the "smaller" fallen boulders
"I'm on the inside... looking outside..."
Super Cool (pun intended!)
Another trail up the mountain

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Farringtons and Huntington

After my fiasco a couple of weeks ago at Trumbull where I needlessly got all banged up from my worn out shoes -- I bought a new pair and am back in business...

It was a beautiful day: vey sunny and a little hot but the humidity seemed tolerable for a change. I decided to skip Trumbull today and head back up to Farringtons and hit Huntington as well.


The parking lot at Farringtons was crowded like I have never seen it. Turns out it was a Boy Scout Troop that had just finished exploring, clearing and GPSing the hiking trails. I said hello and mentioned I had already made a bike map of the park. The eagle scout and his Dad have a project with the city to create a map for the kiosk. Some of the old hiking trails (mapped here) will finally be official!

Anyways, I stopped for the usual photo op by the lake and a little further on, I saw a red fox scamper by. Once again, I didn’t attempt the mountain trail and just rode the lower trails. I was the only rider in the park! It started to get hot and I was ashamedly already getting tired…
Sanfords Pond


I let my phone GPS guide me to Huntington and it took a little less than half hour. I parked at the upper Dodgingtown’s lot. It was pretty hot by now. I rode straight in to Stratocaster and did the loop counter clockwise. It is such a great trail!

I noticed some new stunts and they looked doable by an XC weenie rider like me. This is a great spot to hone your skills (I hope to return on "off hours" to do just that :-) )

I did do the easier short flat one - Blink and You'll Miss It!

I stopped for a breather at the intersection where Stratocaster veers off from South Pond and snapped a photo. Its a really excellent trail - just check out the contours of the hill ascent - total PRO!

Although I helped construct this trail, the real kudos go to those who planned the route. Thank You FCNEMBA and CT NEMBA trail planners!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Endos at Trumbull - &#^&#^$ Shoes!

I hit the trails at Pequonnock Valley around 11am and it was a non-stop disaster. Yesterday I had busted my mountain shoes at Mianus--I actually couldn't get them off as the buckle mechanisms got stuck (ended up busting one just to remove it :-( ) so today I decided to ride with an old worn out pair of mountain biking shoes I kept in my car trunk.

That was a big mistake-- details below...

Scenic Stops
A special spot on the Copper Creek now has orange mushrooms to seemingly compliment the creek color!

The ride up on the Rim Trail was fun as usual - the photo sucks and sadly does not capture the ambiance of the sunlight streaming thru the trees - it was a beautiful day!

Slip Slidin' Away
It turns out the clips were worn so I had a hard time keeping the cleats in the pedals (Crank Brothers Candy) and the soles had absolutely no traction so my feet keep slipping off the pedals at all the critical bouncy fast moments when you need to stay anchored on your bike to maneuver!! NOT!!!

I took two nasty endos at normally easy spots in the Central Maze area (One endo occurred in front of other riders - major embarrassment!!!)
Crappy old worn old mountain biking shoes
(I bought a new pair later that day--these went to the garbage!)
"Mark of the Endo"
So being bruised and battered (actually more like "frustrated and embarrassed"), I opted to ride out on the pavement by the large parking lot above dog park and head home - I was pissed!

I mellowed out a bit once I got to the car and decided to make the most of being there and opted instead to ride the rail trail.  It was actually very relaxing and fun.

Rail trail ride (including Video)  >

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Trumbull Sunday Morning Quickie

It was a beautiful day - not too muggy for a change. At around 9:15 AM, I  waltzed into the Whitney north lot and found it completely full. My first reaction was to go park in the lot up by dog area but there were signs even there now stating a Trumbull parking pass was needed. Bah Humbug!! Rather than risk a ticket, I parked right off of Whitney Ave on Riverside Dr.
It was actually a treat as I never really saw this beautiful view before right next to where I parked. (Note park bench!)
As a fun warm up, I first rode up to the area just north of Rt 25 and rode the loops there...
Next, I rode in the usual way from Whitney, crossing over the river on the North Bridge and today, heading south on the Blue along the river.

At the start of the Serengeti, I GPSed a section of the trail as I want to tweak the GPS data for the stretch on the full page Google map I did a while ago. (Once that data is added, I will change the date on the legend)
A word of caution to folks who take the trail along the billboard cliffs. The fallen tree is finally shedding the dirt at it roots and a strange blob of dirt, roots and branches blocks the trail.
Right after I passed over the blockage, I stopped to converse with another biker named Bernard from Portugal.  We had a nice talk and then I rode on, staying on the White/Blue trail, and ascending to the Red connection with the White near the south end.

Once I got on the Red Trail,  I ran into "Red" -- who I hadn't seen in quite a while. He invited me to ride up a bit more to see the freerider crew (Brian, Heather, etc.) but I opted to stay lower and stopped shortly thereafter at the spot right where the Yellow branches off to Mulholland Drive for a breather.
Next I rode down the Red and hit the Berms we recently built. Holy Smoly!! I was flying without even trying to go fast. No Pics as I was impossible to stop (It would spoil the flow!!!)

Heading north on the Yellow and then the White (once past the Serengeti) I decided to stop and take a quick 360 of the Tall Pines Area. The sun was out real nice and it looked beautiful. Sadly the video was a bit rushed and it's always hard to capture the ambiance of actually being there "in the midst of it" at that moment in time...

Tall Pines Area
 (I am situated right in between Green Monster (a.k./a. The Wall ) and Turtle Rock...
Sadly I felt a little bushed (it was getting hot and the the air was heavy without a breeze) so I opted to high tail it outta there.

A final stop at the North bridge - reveals just how sturdy it continues to be many thanks to the trail gnomes who added the steel beam underneath.

Trumbull never fails - it is always awesome: any time... any day... any season!