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, August 7, 2017

Musings on the Seventh Year

So yeah, wow, this will be seven years of the official Detour de CT, and while there have been tweaks here and there following the most substantial route changes the second year, the ride really has stayed pretty intact from year to year.  Not sure I can say the same for the riders, but I sincerely believe that some have actually enjoyed the experience.

As for me, I really like the loop and find myself looking forward at least as much as ever.  Even with the route pretty much the same, I've definitely had a different experience riding it over each of the last six years.  For one thing, I only ever endo-ed over an errant dog on the Airline Trail the very first year.  But canine calamity aside, it is the other riders, the weather, or any number of other factors that have made each year a unique experience.  And underlying it all, I just really like riding this route.

So seven years (we might make a decade yet!), and I'm looking forward to a full day off from swinging hammers and instead rambling around a bit of eastern CT, hopefully with you!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Now with more disorganization than EVER! 2017 Detour Basics

Well, it's sort of about to happen again; we're about a month away from the 7th running of the Detour de CT and I've finally posted THE BASICS for this year.  What can I say, I've been busy.


When not disorganizing weird bike rides,
I'm pretending to build a house, or at least a garage.

Anyhow, Justin has moved to Mass, and I'm allegedly building a house up that way as well, but hey, the Detour lives on, or at least we think it does.  Help prove us right and come out to ride.  In the mean time, read through THE BASICS, download your cue sheet, and mosey over to BikeReg to sign up (fear not, it's still free, damn free!).  

See you in a month as long as I keep my balance putting up the garage roof.

THE BASICS: 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.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Spring Sprung

In years past, about now, I'd be giving final tidbits of information, warnings, thanks, and other general drivel in preparation for the event in a week's time, but that all came to an end last year with shifting the ride to the beginning of September.  So, relax, kick back, and then, well, it's nice out again so go take a bike ride.  Even in the fall, The Detour is a long ride, so we'll hope to see a lot of fit fiddles the first weekend of September 2017!

Flowers are growing,
now do the same for your fitness.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Some Thank Yous

Well, it happened again, another Detour.  Wow.  First of all, thank you to everyone who came out for the event.  Without you, I would need more creativity to provide myself with a lot of imaginary friends for the ride.  So thanks for making me appear somewhat sane.

Speaking of which, how about that dancing bear a mile into the ride?  Thanks to Mary Lynn for sending us off with a smile, and also putting me up the night prior, cutting down my commute to the start now that I no longer call Manchester home.

And despite my late warning, Glenn came through with the water stop in Hampden again.  Hopefully everyone who needed a refill found it.

And of course, many, many thanks to Justin for joining me this year, not just in promoting the event far better than I ever did, but also for his thoughts and opinions along the way.  Two heads are better than one, especially when the one is mine.

So now relax, rest up, take a shower (you don't want to know how long it took me to get to that), and we'll hopefully see you again in twelve months, if not sooner!

Friday, September 2, 2016

De-tour not De-lay

Yup, pretty much a no brainer this year, the ride is on for Saturday (tomorrow!), no rain delay.  Although, if anyone feels the ride just isn't quite hard enough, please, be my guest to start Sunday afternoon and ride it through the night in a the rain.  Right, I didn't think so.

Also, please, if you haven't yet registered, get yourself over to BikeReg and do so!  Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Town Crier News Flash: Detour de CT leaves the Dark Ages!

For many years I've been a fan of the term Luddite, happily applying the moniker to myself, but it was only recently that I read about the word's origins.  Rather than paraphrase the story myself, I'll opt for modernity and simply link you to Wikipedia so you can read their synopsis yourself.


All studied up?  Great.  So yeah, I'm a Luddite in many ways, one of them being the use of GPS for riding.  Last year, when I was invited to a "Strava Ride" with friends, it was my intention to tape a Garmin sized and shaped rock to my handlebars for the ride.  Yup, that's about as high tech as I get on a bike.  What can I say, I like having to guess how fast I'm going.  I even like getting lost.  I even like like the fact that I'm rather odd.  But I can change...if I have to...I guess (Yes, I'm a Red Green fan too--fitting, isn't it?).

And Justin is doing his damnedest to help me, and the ride, in that transformation.  So guess what?  Believe it or not, there is now an Official 2016 Detour de Connecticut GPX file.  Wow, GPX, that just sounds fast!  Ok, I've stalled as long as I can: here it is.  Again, there are lot's of various files donning the title "Detour de Connecticut" in some fashion or other, but this is the right one.  And please, still have a copy of the Cues along for the ride.  If in doubt, trust the cues.


And as always, if you haven't already, be sure to read this years Basics, for all the, well, basic information you need to know...in just a month!