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 29, 2013

A Round of Thank-Yous After Rounding Eastern Connectict

As these people are still smiling,
obviously the pre-ride photo.

First of all, thank you to everyone who came out to ride on Saturday.  From Todd's starting shot, I counted 20 and another two had already started rolling down the trail in advance of my yacking.  Without you, well, it would be rather silly for me to be making this blog.  I hope everyone had a good adventure, and remember, even if you got lost, it is a wonderful part of the state in which to do just that.

And of course, a huge thank you to Glen in Hampton for his 2nd annual feed stop in the most perfect of places.  Thank you, Glen, for your generosity and for living is just the right place.  I hope everyone remembered to sign the note.

Also, thanks to Jessie for supplying the major outline for the cues and to my dad for helping me catch a few of the errors hidden in there.  I'm getting a better sense of where the problem areas in the instructions are and I am already working on clarifications for next year.  Again, at least it's a nice are to be lost.

To anyone I might be forgetting (shame on me), a thank you to all, and remember, at T.H.'s suggestion, the date is henceforth set: the last Saturday in April 2014, we ride the Detour de Connecticut again!

And there she goes....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Let's do it!

Again, if you haven't already, start by reading The Basics for most information about this year's ride.  Also, if you downloaded the cue sheet prior to April 23rd, please get a new copy as some errors were caught just in the nick of time.  NOTE: this is the 2nd cue sheet revision; sorry and many apologies for the confusion.

Now for the fun stuff: weather forecast for Saturday is looking downright fantastic, so let's do it, ride is Saturday for this year.  Rolling at 8am sharp.  I will make some short blathering speech a couple minutes before that with any last details and inspirations (I did say blather), then it's a go.

Also, Glen in Hampton has agreed to put out a water cooler for us again this year.  He is at #58 Old Kings Highway, and the water stop will be across the street from the house next to the old red barn close to the road.  Many thanks again to Glen for closing this long services gap.  If any make a stop in Scott's Cyclery in Willimantic, be sure to offer your thanks and appreciate that Glen keeps hoping for a rain-date year so he can join the ride with the shop closed.

Other stops for services are the two passes through Willimantic (I recommend the Coop which is a few blocks off the route) including the natural spring which is noted in the cues.  Other than that there is the center of East Hampton at the end of the long section of Airline Trail after the second pass through Willimantic.  The library is a block off the route (HERE) and closes at 5pm on Saturday.

As you will note, for a LONG, ROUGH ride (first two rides made it in last year right at 9 hours), there are few services.  I plan for being as self sufficient as possible, allowing for water stops only.  Be prepared!  Remember, delays happen, bikes break, people get lost, and more.  Have multiple back up plans and be safe while remembering to have fun.

Hope to see you Saturday.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oops, did it again: NEW CUE SHEET UPDATES

From the files of, "that's what fathers are for," thanks go to my dad for noting some problems with the cues on both passes through Willimantic.  The second mistake was there last year (a misnamed route number) and it seems everyone survived, but the first one was a jumbling of the order of the cues in the columns I had been provided.  My apologies for not thoroughly checking those instructions when I received them.  Anyhow, I've done that now and made a few clarifications to the directions given by Google, so the current cue sheet (AVAILABLE HERE as well through The Basics link) has been posted, and I am confident this will be the final update for this year.  Well, at least it is a nice part of the state in which to get lost.

Otherwise, while I tend not to trust forecasts this far out, weather is currently looking good for Saturday.  Again, I will post by noon on Friday the final decision of the ride going off Saturday or opting for the Sunday rain date.  Anyhow, hope to see a bunch of people out there in just a few days and again, by apologies for all the cue sheet updates.  Guess you get what you pay for....

Friday, April 12, 2013

Wee Tour de Connecticut 2013

Just a wafer thin ride

Note: if this is your first time visiting the blog for information on the 2013 ride, start by using this link to The Basics.

Ok, ok, it's true, I resisted, kicked, scream, and generally offered a childish unwillingness to acknowledge a shorter version of this ride, but finally demand, age/wisdom, and sensibility have won.  So, here it is, a Wee Tour de Connecticut for those someone saner, but not completely sane, few who think 118 miles of half-dirt is a bad idea in April, or possibly any time of year.

My goal for the Detour in general is to share some cool parts of the state I've found, but also to get people out riding together.  The more the merrier, so I'd like to see attendance grow.  Last year, my father arrived late for the start and I was please.  No, not that he missed us, but rather that, despite missing the group launch, he still various groups to join through most of his day.  My hope is that we'll have enough riders so everyone and every pace will have company.

So, here's my idea for a shorter version: the large loop is actually two loops forming a bow-tie shape with the center in Willimantic.  While one possibility would be to start with the long riders and turn back west on the Airline Trail when the ride reaches Willimantic the first time, I am of the opinion that the better option is to join the long riders on their first pass through Willimantic and ride the eastern loop with them.  This is more remote, and I think more interesting, section.  It also allows for the greatest number of people to ride together for the longest time.

WHERE: The junction of Routes 66 & 32 in Willimantic where it drops into the cemetery.  On the CUE SHEET, this is two instructions down from the top in the 2nd column of the 1st page (look for the mention of Valley Oil).

WHEN: Same date and rain date as the Detour, April 27/28 for 2013.  As for time, the long ride departs Manchester promptly at 8am, and it is 20.6 miles of dirt path with a long gradual rise and long descent to the Wee Tour start; figure out what average pace you would like to ride for those conditions and divide that into 20.6.  Add that to 8am for you start time.  
For example: if you'd like to ride with a 12mph group, you should be ready to ride at about 9:40 and jump into a group that comes along.  In picking your pace, remember to factor in slower speeds for dirt.  For reference, the fastest overall average speed for last year was about 13mph.

PARKING: On Rt66 in Columbia, at the junction with Rt6 (MAP HERE), there is a CT state Park & Ride lot for free, legitimate parking.  This is under 2 1/2 miles from the Wee Tour start.  It may be possible to find suitable parking closer, but that is at your risk.

As a VERY rough estimate, this loop is about 50 miles.  If joining for just the Wee Tour, please still read through THE BASICS as there is more useful information in there, and I'll hope to see some of you in Willimantic and beyond....

Route Update and Revised Cue Sheet!!!

This is very exciting, trust me.  I've been waiting for this.  Whee, whoopee!

But enough hype, as of 4/12/2013, the cue sheet for this year's Detour de CT has been updated due to a route modification.  If you had already downloaded the cues, sorry, but, really, the change is a win.  The new cue sheet can be found HERE.  I will also be amending the link included in The Basics.

"So, what gives," you ask.  Well, in past years, after the 2nd pass through Willimantic, there has been a departure from the Airline Trail to go around a section usurped by a farmer for grazing.  That situation has been finally corrected and while improvements are continuing, the trail is now passable, so: Yahoo!  There is now a roughly 20 mile run of rail trail connecting Willimantic to East Hampton.