Welcome to the site for all the latest information about Connecticut's dirty little century, roughly 118miles in early September, about half off paved surfaces. Please start by reading The Basics (this is a link) for information about the ride (if current year Basics is not yet available, the previous year will give a general gist).

Rather than answer individual questions repeatedly, please address questions as "comments" to the MOST RECENT post and I will answer in a blog posting for all to see.





Monday, April 2, 2018

The WeeTour never happened!

I remember people showing up; I remember riding; there was scenery and some dirt.  Someone performed the most comprehensive instant removal of his rear derailleur I've even seen, and there may have even been a few smiles and good time here or there, but I have no pictures.  

So, apparently, it never happened.  

I'm told that's a rule now in the "Age of Instagram."  Anyhow, I was too busy having a blast to document it, so I'll just have to live with the happy memory of something that never really happened.

Thanks to everyone who did or didn't show up.  Hope to see you in the fall for the big daddy Detour!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Game On!

I need to be careful using those words, "Game On," after they encouraged Maggs and Jessie to open a couple big ol' cans of whup-ass rolling back into Willimantic on last year's Detour.  I'd meant it in more of a Wayne's World street hockey sense, but that nuance didn't translate, and next thing I knew, I was hanging dearly on their wheels, thinking maybe I should reign them in, but grinning too much to do so.  Anyone who was wondering what the hell was happening there, sorry, my bad.

So anyhow, that long winded introduction is my way of saying there really isn't much to say.  No changes that I need to announce, weather looks great for Saturday, and the parking has dried nicely, so no Super Swampers required.  Make sure you have your cues (regardless of having GPS, you'll need the few notes from the ride introduction 2 posts down the page) and GPX file set, or a thusly equipped friend, or at least a good sense of adventure.  Really, it's a good area in which to be lost with a bike, so you can't go too wrong.  Please arrive early enough that you're ready to roll at 10.

Not sure there's anything else to add.  More cow bell?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I'm not dreaming of a white WeeTour

Hey, anybody notice the climate has been doing funny things of late?  Almost like it changed or something.  So, today's scheduled for another late March Nor'easter, just like the ones we, well, never really knew.  Yeah, something is different.

Messy Meshomasic Motorway Monday

Anyhow, as of yet, none of the white stuff has actually made it to the ground in central CT, but the route does head south from there, so may touch into the projected heavy snow band.  That said, yesterday was the first day of spring, so when it's not actually snowing, the stuff on the ground has been melting quite quickly, especially once the sun can hit on any dark earth, so I'm optimistic that conditions will be fine for the ride in a week and a half.  How bad could it be?  We'll answer that question more completely in 10 days.

As with the big Detour, there is a Sunday rain date reserved for the WeeTour, so I'll plan on confirming the ride day by the end of the day next Thursday, so check the blog for that and any last dire warnings, important tips, or more of my general rambling blather.  Stuff like that.

Speaking of speaking, I didn't specifically mention in the ride's introduction, that this is a self led ride, or at least you need to follow someone who is self leading.  The general idea here is to get enough people out there that everyone has someone to ride with at a comfortable pace.  Also, Pete needs people to talk to.  So download the GPX file from MapMyRide AND the copy the cue notes from the ride posting.

For those of you riding without a GPS unit, you are wonderful people, or maybe not since you have something in common with me.  For this ride, cues are a little tricky: Click on "Directions/Notes" on the left side of the MapMyRide page, and that will give you cues for "most" of the route, but for some reason, it is showing the later part of the course, after leaving rt149 as an offroad section.  I'll see if I can fix this, but if not, you'll need map sections, or your own written cues, or to follow one of those magical modernist with the GPS bling.

That should cover the ride for now.  I did have some questions about what 8spd parts I need, so I should clarify, the last thing I need is more bike parts, but I would be happy to give a home to any 7/8spd chains, cogsets, or shifters you never got around to tossing.  I also use worn out 34 tooth chainrings with the 110mm compact road BCD, and I love old narrow, racy saddles with torn covers so I can mistreat my bum on hard plastic.  Please no medications to help me with these issues; I'm perfectly happy the way I am.

Friday, March 2, 2018

(Re)introducing the WeeTour De Connecticut 3/31


A few years back, after requests for a shorter option of the big daddy Detour, I proposed people joining the ride on the first pass through Willimantic, but it was a convoluted action of guessing arrival times, much akin to riding Amtrak and their counter-positive train controls.  I dubbed this option the WeeTour, but my heart wasn't really in it, and I suppose sensing that, nobody took me up on it.  Just as well in all likelihood.

But anyway, I'm bringing it back!  Now that the Detour is a fall event, I miss organizing a ride for cyclists with a still pasty spring complexion, which to me, is the perfect excuse for a shorter WeeTour De CT.  Well, that and I did a really neat ride yesterday that I thought would work well for it.  Honestly, that's more or less how the original Detour came into being.

So, the route, at about 56 miles is roughly half the length of the Detour, and I'm going to make an effort to put about half the effort into running the ride.  You know, KISS (keep it simple stupid), but hopefully not the KISS of death.  With that in mind, this will be both the introduction and basic ride information, with updates to follow as I think of things.  Again, it's a good area to ride, so even getting lost should work out pretty well.

When: 10AM roll-out March 31, 2018 with Sunday April 1st (no fooling) as a rain date.  The 2nd is my birthday, so this is also a birthday ride, please, no presents, unless you have old 8spd parts you really don't want.

Where: The ride will start from the gas line clearing (look for the yellow "candy-cane" vent pipes) on Coldbrook Rd in South Glastonbury.  This is just past house #618 when coming from Country Club Rd, but do not pull into that driveway.  Park against the treeline on the gas line clearing.

Route: What can I say, I'm getting soft, especially since it is easier than writing cues.  The route can be viewed here at MapMyRideTHREE VERY IMPORTANT NOTES/CUES:

1) (between markers 11 & 12) At the end of Aldens Crossing, just before the T with Rt16, turn left onto the crushed stone Airline Trail bike path.
2) (between markers 27 & 28) At the paved dead end, follow the blue trail blazes onto singletrack.  Continue straight on the old woods road when blue blazes depart to the right.
3) (between markers 34 to 37) Follow brown street signs into Day Pond State Park.
-Once in the park with the pond on your right, continue STRAIGHT through yellow gate onto the woods road.
-Descend to the large powerline clearing & turn left on powerline.
-The worn path will depart the powerline twice.  Shortly after the 2nd departure, continue straight(right) to follow blue blazes.
-WARNING: After a large clearing with expansive view, the blue trail drops down a STEEP rooty descent.  I have seen people on mountain bikes walk this section.  Use extreme care and walk as needed.
-When the blue trail reaches the covered bridge, cross it.

More about the route: Lots of well groomed, car passable dirt roads, but also some rocky woods roads and even singletrack.  You'll want a bike on which you're comfortable riding trails and shoes in which you're comfortable walking them.  That said, there are no long slogs and I expect 4-5hr ride time at a good clip.

Questions: As usual, if you have a question, post it as a comment on the blog and I'll answer in the form of new posting for everyone.  Sort of a preemptive FAQ, if you will.  Or even if you won't, so there.

So yeah, I think that's the basic nuts and bolts for now.  And to clarify, wee, as in "small", not urination (as a dear friend automatically assumed).  So, we hope you'll come out for this wee dirt road ride, and at the end, you'll maybe say "Oui, oui, give us more.  That was fun, wheeee!", instead of crying "wee, wee, wee" all the way home.

Hey, it's spring in New England,
things could be wet.

Monday, September 11, 2017

7 In the Bag

Usually around this time, I'm thanking a lot of people for their parts in helping the Detour actually happen, and I will do that, because I'm incredibly grateful to Justin for helping get the word out despite not being able to ride the event this year, Glenn as always for the Hampton water and fruit stop despite never having been able to ride the event, Brendan for coming out to join us on the now ChampionHill-free-route despite his certainty family responsibilities had kept him from sufficient fitness, and of course, everyone who came out to ride despite it being an event I organized.  THANK YOU!

But beyond that, wow, seven years seems significant, like this is more than just a passing fad.  Over the years, the ride has evolved as I found even better routes, no-trespassing signs appeared on good old ones, and people finally convinced me fall is a better time for a long ride even if the vegetation is a bit taller and unruly.  Through all of that, the Detour has remained essentially the Detour, and I've enjoyed every iteration as well as meeting the people who will actually show up for a ride like this.

Despite my suggestion of where to stop for water, and my (painfully) obvious color coordination, neither I, nor the ride, are sponsored by any purveyor of frozen cow products.

So this year, we had wonderful weather and certainly the most benign roll-out pace of any year, except maybe for poor Brendan.  Earlier, I decided I wanted to mingle more through the opening rail trail miles, so I elected to pick someone else to start us riding.  But in an oversight, I forgot that saying "Go" to Brendan results in an exuberant response; he took off like a shot and we didn't see him until over an hour later on the far side of Willimantic when he became bored of riding solo.  In effect, I was once again leading the group out as we began to roll, but I did happen upon an effective way of working my way through the group: after a couple miles of rising body and air temps, I dropped my hat upon removing it, which rocketed me to the back of the group as I stopped to retrieve it.

Hi everyone!  What a great crew we had, and what a wonderful mishmash of bikes.  I've said there's no perfect bike for everything this ride will dish up, and it's nice to see people take that to heart with a sweeping variety of equipment from mountain bikes, to road bikes with 39x25 gearing, and everything in between.  Myself, I've ridden the event on everything from a road bike that barely managed a 28c tire to my old MTB commuter with fenders.  This ain't no mere gravel grinder, a term I dislike for its seeming unpleasantness.  I'd prefer Dirt-Dandy or something of that ilk.

So, yeah, it happened, and for the next ten hours more or less, continued to happen.  I was stung by bee on my thigh, but avoided hitting any dogs, with Brendan taking on that duty instead.  I jammed a stick in my rear wheel, and Simon manage to jam a bike into his gigantic stick.  I met the friend of old friends, who is now a new friend of mine.  I saw the new trail my father helped build in Goodwin Forest.  I got to ride dirt jumps (sort of) on my road bike!  I didn't bonk on the way to East Hampton.  I kept my bike upright despite washing the front tire in the Meshomasic Forest, and then wasn't as successful during the final jaunt through Porter Reservoir.  I finished in one piece, elated.

One more THANK YOU!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Game On!

I am willing to trust a three day forecast even if I know better.  So, the forecast for Saturday looks great, while Sunday is predicted wet.  That was easy, Saturday Detour de CT this year, no rain delay.

Also, if you are planning on joining the ride, but haven't registered at BikeReg.com, please change one of those things, preferably the latter.  Don't worry, it's still free and they are really good about not inundating registrants with email of the potted meat product variety.

Thank you and see you in a few days!

Friday, August 18, 2017

GPX-YZ-PDQ

Justin came through again in his attempt to bring the Detour into the modern era of mobile GPS units, stoplight cameras, and government wiretapping to bring us an updated .GPX file of this year's ride!  You can find it at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/24277869, and don't worry, your 3rd grade teacher probably won't know if you download it, but she'll still be disappointed, that you NEVER LEARNED TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!

See you in a couple weeks; I'll be the guy in the tin foil helmet banging a couple rocks together.