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, July 31, 2017


When: Saturday September 2rd for 2017 (with Sunday the 3th kept as a rain date--final decision to be made Friday). Start riding promptly at 8am. That may sound early, but this will be a LONG ride. Add roughly 50% to your time for 118 paved miles; bring lights if in doubt. Sunset is at 7:22pm on Saturday.

What: The 2017 Detour de Connecticut, in its  second year moving to the fall, looks to build on the last six years' rides and the relative success of previous "invitation-only" events, or as one participant described the 2010 ride: "Nobody died." This year's "bow tie edition" (the rough shape of the route) looks like it will be 119 miles. Here's the kicker: about half that mileage is off paved roads, with maybe 5 miles tops on numbered highway routes, thus the Detour de CT. If you can handle passages less-buff than D2R2, adventures, mild orienteering, don't mind getting a toe wet (ankles should stay dry), short rough sections, not to mention loads of gorgeous back roads, this is a ride for you.  DO NOT THINK GRAVEL GRINDER!  This route, at times, is a rock crusher, stump stomper, and mud slogger.  Note: this is a self-led ride; you are responsible for finding your way from the directions.  

Route: Many thanks to Jessie, the route exists as a single text document of cues  (there are 3 columns per page, use one page at time--complete full page before continuing to columns on next page).  The file can be downloaded from Google Drive HERE.  (NOTE: Use only this link from this 2017 Basics for the correct cue sheet.  The Interwebs have many iterations, including some from 3rd parties.  There are no accurate GPX files for this year's route...yet.  I'll cajole Justin to mock that up.)

The route has changed a little from last year, largely to avoid running people into a wedding party as I did last year.  Oops.  Also, work has extended the improved section of Airline Trail beyond the center of East Hampton, so we'll make use of that.  Two years ago, I clarified the directions within the Mohegan Forest to keep more people on track, with variable success, not that get lost is automatically a bad thing.  Within the cues there are references to numbered maps for which there are links below.  Note, not all of the route has/can be mapped (you need the cues) and Maps 3 & 8 have been removed due to changes this year.  Also, Map 10 has one deviation from the cues (cues are correct) in the last 1/2 mile.  Again, trust the cues; the maps are just visual aids.

The Bicycle: Minimum 32c tires are good for the soft soil sections, although I would avoid knobbies as there is still a lot of pavement, but an inverted tread tire might be nice. Some woods roads on the loop are very rough, but nothing a Model T couldn't handle. There is one uncontrolled rail road track crossing where I had to walk as well as some potentially wet woods roads in the Mohegan State Forest. Some sections have significantly more vegetation than in the past with the fall date.

I'm not trying to impress anyone, but in choosing your equipment, keep in mind this is the evaluation of a retired pro mountain biker who is generally disposed to riding the wrong bike for the situation. If you consider a cross bike just a dirt-road-bike, a mountain bike might be a good choice. There are sections rougher than D2R2.  There is no perfect bike for everything.  Except maybe a late 80's Technium.

Lastly, there is a bike shop in Willimantic, but they are open only on Saturday, so if rain date is used, you get the idea. Regardless of the day, there are LONG stints with nothing resembling support, so plan for self sufficiency.  Also, it can be quite hot still at the beginning of September.  Be prepared for LONG stints without water available.

The Cost: I like free things, so this ride is free. If, on Monday, you feel like you did a fantastic ride, I'd encourage you to donate $5-10 to some bicycle organization of your choice. Again, this is completely voluntary; there is no cost for riding this loop.

All that said, we are adding registration for this year's event.  And, of course, a waiver.  Please click on over to https://www.bikereg.com/detour-de-connecticut and add your name to the list.  If you don't register, you aren't on the ride, just some creepy interloper.

Food: The center, or knot, of the bow tie is Willimantic, CT, and the route passes through at roughly 1/3 and 2/3 distance. These will be opportunities to buy food. I recommend the coop in town which is not far off the route. Also, on the second pass through town, the loop will go by a roadside natural water spring.

Parking: I know not everyone will ride to the start, but you get serious bonus points if you do. There is limited parking right at the trail head. Nearby are Progress Dr. and Utopia Rd. which should be reasonable for street parking. If you drive, you are responsible for obeying parking laws.

One more plug: Why am I doing this? I like riding a bike, and I like riding bikes with other people. I like back roads. I like dirts roads. I like woods roads, and I like sharing what I've found with others.  I'm cruel like that. This loop is not for everyone, but I love it. It's challenging, frequently beautiful, and comprises so many of the reasons I enjoy spending time on two wheels.

Disclaimer: This is just a possible route. I will be riding the loop at the specified day and time. If other's choose to do the same, they do so at their own risk and choosing. To my knowledge, there is no restricted open public access sections of the route, but I do not guaranty this. Obey all no trespassing signs. Route is not solely on maintained public roads.

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