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 27, 2015

Half way to the ten year anniversary

We did it!  Eight brave souls showed in Manchester for the start of the 5th annual Detour de Connecticut, with three people finishing the whole loop and another two nearly doing so with slight modifications in the pursuit of sanity.  Absolutely no complaints about the weather this year, it was beautiful.

Thanks to few and the brave

While it's been a little disappointing to see the numbers drop off the last two years, I recognize that last year's Sunday rain-date was hard on many schedules, and this year's long, cold winter probably kept even more people away.  To that end, I do plan on running a 2016 event, but I am seriously considering moving to a fall date.  I'll be sure to post here as soon as a decision is reached.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Saturday is a go!

Just in case there's any doubt, the ride is on for tomorrow, Saturday Detour.  See you in the morning.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


When: Saturday April 25th for 2015 (with Sunday the 26th 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 7:41pm on Saturday.

What: The 2015 Detour de Connecticut looks to build on the last four years' rides and the relative success of previous "invitation-only" events, or as a participant described one, "Nobody died." This year's "bow tie edition" (the rough shape of the route) looks like it will be 118 miles, now improved with more dirt. Yup, 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 like D2R2, adventures, mild orienteering, don't mind getting a toe wet (ankles should stay dry this time), short rough sections, not to mention loads of gorgeous back roads, this is a ride for you.  Note: this is a self-led ride; you are responsible for finding your way from the directions.

Route: Many thanks to Jessie, the route now 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 Docs HERE.  While the route is the same as last year, I clarified the directions within the Mohegan Forest to hopefully keep more people on track.  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 Map 8 has 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 are two sections of rail road track crossings where I had to walk as well as some potentially wet woods roads in the Mohegan State Forest. 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. 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.
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.

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.

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. 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 12, 2015

2015 Detour de CT is live!

I managed to scope out the route yesterday and we are good to go, at least with another couple more weeks of melting to help out.  Don't fret too much, the picture is a rarity, just where plow trucks from the road above tossed snow.

Plan on April 25th, with the 26th as a rain date.  I will post a full Basics description by Tuesday, but the course is unchanged from 2014, so you can see last year's version (elsewhere on the blog) for route details.

Monday, March 2, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Detour de CT rides the short bus in the slow lane of the information super highway.

The inquiries regarding a 2015 Detour de Connecticut have started.  In a word, "Yes."  The ride is still on for this year, the last Saturday (Sunday rain date) in April as usual, which puts us on 4/25/2015.

I don't expect any changes to the route for this year, but most of Connecticut is still under a couple feet of snow, so a little early to get out there and confirm the exact details for this go round.  You can expect this year's "Basics" posted in the first half of April, melting permitting.  The date(s) however, are set, so plan on that.

See you the end of April!