Sunday, March 13, 2011

barkhamsted road ride

Charlie and I went out for a road ride yesterday. I wanted to ride this weekend and he was meeting up with some friends so I tagged along.

Some of his friends were rendezvousing in the town of Riverton for a ride around the reservoir. Both Charlie and I didn't feel like driving so we rode our bikes out to Riverton to meet up with his buddies and joined them in a ride around Barkhamsted Reservoir. Rough estimate was 2hrs out there and then a 2-3hr ride so I was thinking a total ride time of around 6-7hrs so I prepared for that (assuming a few stops for water and possibly food).

My big miscalculation for the day was temperature. The forecast was for 50F by mid-day (where we'd be doing most of our riding) and partly cloudy. I read that as 50F weather and since it was near 50 and sunny when we got into Newtown last weekend (and I was overheating) I figured this weekend I can dress lighter.

Dress lighter meant a thicker base layer with just a short sleeve jersey and my wind vest and no shoe covers. As soon as I turned the corner from my house enroute to Charlie's I immediately realized that it would be near 50 but super windy. I was cold and would continue to be cold through most of the ride because I was too stubborn to turn around and grab some warmer clothes from home. Stubborn probably because I felt I was late getting to Charlie's house.

Anywho.. We headed west on rt4 through Farmington into the wind. The wind was fierce and Charlie was setting what I thought was a fast pace. Out into Collinsville and we then took a chance and shot across the Nepaug Resevoir hoping the bike path would be clear of snow. It was.


Around the edge of Nepaug State Forest and into the town of New Hartford. Then north up through Peoples State Forest which was a really nice ride. The snow was still present and it was quite cold as a result. That put us out into Riverton where we met Charlie's friends. I grabbed a coffee in hopes to warm up. Little did I know we were riding against the wind and uphill the whole way. No wonder I was quite tired.

Riverton was just before mile 30.

From here the climbing started as we rounded the northern most tip of the Barkhamsted Reservoir only a few short miles from Massachusetts. The views were beautiful and the road was quite smooth (rt20) and free of sand while the woods and edges of the roads were still full of snow. The wind also seemed to disappear which was a nice relief. I wanted to get some photos but my phone was buried deep in my jersey pocket beneath a ton of food and I didn't feel like stopping to dig it out.

On both climbs I fell off the back quite far. I am not entirely sure why but my thighs had no strength to pedal a 10-12mph pace up those climbs. This has been somewhat consistent for me the past few years on my road bike. I am beginning to wonder if my fit is off because I never really feel comfortable on the bike as I do with my mountain bikes. The stem is the same length as my track bike and the geometry is very similar. I wonder if its because my road bike's handlebars are narrower? Either way I was able to maintain a pace (around 8mph) and climb both of those climbs without having to stop anywhere along the way. I'd regroup at the top and we'd continue out from there. The good news is I was able to warm up with these climbs. No more cold feet.

At the top of the last big climb, in East Hartland, Charlie and I branched off from his friends and started making our way back towards West Hartford. We stopped in North Granby to refill our waterbottles at one of his friend's houses. We hung out there on his buddy's porch in the sun for a bit. I was offered a PBR and accepted.

Once we were nice and cold again from resting we got back on the bikes and started the slow descent back into West Hartford. South into Granby and further south into Tarrifville and Bloomfield and back home. That last leg we either had a strong cross-wind or we had another head wind. It was one of those rides where we never got that tail wind as a reward for all the work riding into the wind. Oh well..

Total ride time was around 5.5hrs with almost an hour of sitting around (guess that stop in North Granby was quite long). An hour or two short of what I estimated going into the ride.

Total distance around 70miles. Still quicker than last weekend's 70miles. About what I was expecting to ride.

Charlie's GPS data is here. (thanks Charlie)

Afterwards I cleaned up and had something to eat. Then took a 30-45min nap to rest.

It was a good day riding bikes.


Blogger dicky said...


3/13/2011 8:58 PM  
Blogger CB2 said...

Transitioning to geared is tough as you think you should be sitting, but your muscles are used to standing, but if you're standing which one of those gears should you be in or would you be better off in another gear sitting and what about kilojoules and watts and and VAM, and are we riding kms or miles and...
Maybe we should have rode fixed.

3/14/2011 9:47 AM  

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