Detour de Connecticut

Today was the 2nd annual Detour de Connecticut. It was an epic ride conceived by Salem Mazzaway. He started it last year with only a handful of riders. This year, it grew a bit. Salem is a former pro mountain biker and local legend, who is now “car-less” and proud of it. There were several “car-less” cyclists on this ride, which made for some great conversation. He designed this crazy course throughout the beautiful countryside of northeastern Connecticut.

The weather was great. It was cold at the start, but it warmed up into the low-50’s. The sun shone brilliantly. I wore knickers, a hat, long sleeves, a vest, and long finger gloves all day long.

The “bow-tie” course was more than 50% off-road, which consisted of rail trails, dirt roads, double track, and some sections of single track. The road sections were on beautiful winding country roads. We only had to go on major roads a handful of times, and each time, it was brief.

This unofficial/unsanctioned group ride met at the Manchester Industrial Park and began on the Hop River State Park Trail. We live on the trail in Bolton, so I rode down to meet the 25+ riders who started. The course was approximately 115 miles. My GPS’ read a combined 122.5 miles when I was done. I needed two of them because my Garmin Edge 305 battery died after 9.5 hours, which I expected, so I also brought my Garmin Forerunner 305 too. It took me a total of 10 hours and 14 minutes to cover the distance, of which nine hours and three minutes was moving time. We took the Hop River trail to Willimantic (the center of the bow tie), and  then to Scotland, Canterbury, and Hampton on wonderful roads and trails.

After an unexpected, but welcomed water stop, we returned to Willimantic on the Hop River State Park Trail. This section is very rough, and I was dropped off of the front group. I needed fatter tires on the traprock covered trail.

After a bathroom break in Willimantic, we found our way on to the Air Line State Park Trail, another one of Connecticut’s fabulous rail trails. We rode it 17 miles (the entire way) to East Hampton. We stopped for a late lunch at a lovely cafe in East Hampton to refuel and refill our water bottles. The group of 25 had long since split up. Three riders, including Salem, were up front. I was in a group of three, including Art Roti, that eventually met up with three more riders in East Hampton.

The six of us rolled out of East Hampton together and headed for Meshomasic State Forest, a maze of dirt roads in East Hampton and Glastonbury. The legs were tired by this point in the day, but I stayed strong. We had some big road climbs heading back to Manchester, and made one last transition to trails at Porter Reservoir.

GPS Results Part 1

GPS Results Part 2

There was about 7,100 feet of elevation gain, so it wasn’t that hilly, but the ups were steep. Some of the toughest hills were on dirt roads. I was very pleased with my ride. I was also happy with my gear. I rode my Seven Tsunami with my Mavic road wheels and Panaracer Pasella 28 cm tires. I wish I had 32 cm or 35 cm tires. I had to be very careful on the rough dirt roads and in the woods. Taking a cross bike on some of those trails was really interesting and challenging.

My titanium frame/carbon fork combo was good for the ruggedness and my setup was pretty light. I carried two extra tubes and a patch kid and I’m so happy that I didn’t need them. I was way over geared. Truthfully, I was in such a rush, and being away for 11 days, I didn’t even think about this. My crankset was a 48 x 38 and my road wheels had an 11 x 23 cassette on them. I was pushing a big gear all day.

With the exception of that sandwich and a coconut water purchased from the deli in East Hampton, I went the whole day on water, Hammer Perpetuem, Hammer Gel, and a Pro Bar. I felt great. It was truly an epic ride.

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So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
We just launched the #cxnats edition of #crossspikes News and it is chock full of great information. Click our profile for a link to the newsletter and info regarding @renocxnats pre-orders and on-site sales. See you at the Race Expo! #crossisboss 🚴🏽🏆

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