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Riding Connecticut(12 posts)

Riding Connecticutbent_spoke
Sep 8, 2003 7:01 AM
A week ago, I decided to do a tour of my own, across Connecticut. No big deal as I broke it down over two days 78mi & 56mi, but the 1st two day ride for me although I've done a century. Here, I wanted something manageable & fun.

It was a nice ride thru some pretty country side for the most part. However, the West & Eastern parts for the course were alot hilly than I expected. Starting in the West,the 1st 30-35mi were up and down & I just hadn't had enough hills in training. The hills kept coming although I had done on some tougher hills (up to 18%grade)but not enough. My legs were pretty well spent but I did learn to kick back & I got into a decent pace (thanks prev RBR post). By regulating my pace, it really help keep me in this. Changing to a 12-27 helped as well.

But after the 1st 35mi, I felt like crap & it was threating to rain, as it had on & off. I'm going "great..just what I need". I stop, take an asprin & some Excelerade (switching from Gatorade) and I figure that I'll continue until I cann't or it rains and makes me miserable. To my surprise it did neither & I was actually able to recover well enough to get home. (The change was noticeable.)

The second day, I wasn't sure if I wanted to even bother as I wasn't feeling too great & my legs were pretty tired. It was a little windy & cool but sunny. After about 15mi, I felt pretty good. There were some hills later in the day & I just kept pacing my way to the top. I did get a couple of waves/nods from motorcyclists as they road by. The last few miles were rolling or flat and this was a nice way to finish. On the ride home, I couldn't believe that I had gone up some of those hills.

All in all, a great ride, nice sights & I ran into a couple of interesting people along the way. It also made me think about the Tour riders & how the work thru all the miles physically & mentally. It's just amazing the changes that you can go thru. I guess you just have to hang in there.
What route did you take?gildomilo
Sep 8, 2003 7:50 AM
I ride in northeastern/southeastern CT quite a bit. We have a few real nice hills.
Yes, please reply with full route details, if possible.Kristin
Sep 8, 2003 8:02 AM
I might like to do that ride when visiting CT. Thanks.
Look up Connecticut Aids Bike Tour.dzrider
Sep 8, 2003 9:13 AM
They have route sheets on their website that cover much of CT. The ride starts in Hartford, goes west almost to the NY border, south to Bridgeport, across the shoreline, north about half way up the state and west back to Hartford. The ride goes thru some bigger cities that you may want to avoid, but it has some good roads for getting around our little state. Or you can ask me about the central part of the state. I've been riding here for a few years too many.
Well, what I'd really like to doKristin
Sep 9, 2003 5:57 AM
It would like to plan a ride that starts in Groton goes to Colchester, then to Granby, and back to Groton. I have family in all 3 towns and can do a three segment trip and visit at each location. If you know of any good routes in that area, please let me know. The only road I know of that is convenient from Groton to Colchester is Route 11 and I wouldn't ride it--no passing room for cars and it get busy.
I agree Rt 11 is the pits...what about route 12 to Norwich,bent_spoke
Sep 9, 2003 8:16 AM
east on 82 & then 354 to Colechester. It'd be easy to go from Colechester to Granby without trouble on rt 85. Some hills probably. Both Groton & Norwich could have areas that are congested & neighborhoods that would be better to avoid. But I guess that if you are careful & pick your way thru them, you'd do ok. Generally, I try to avoid these situations but I learned from the NYC 5 boroughs ride that you can exceed your limits given the opportunity.

I'd guess that the ride would be 75-85mi which would be no trouble spread over 3 days. Let me know if you do it as I could take you over some of the roads. I road in E. Granby/Suffield over last weekend (nice riding). I've also cruised west of the river thru Bloomfield, Simsbury, Windsor, etc.
that should be west on 82 & north on 354 to Colechester [nm]bent_spoke
Sep 9, 2003 8:18 AM
Sharon to S. Windsor/SW to Sterling, CT....bent_spoke
Sep 8, 2003 6:09 PM
I took locate roads or smaller highways as much as possible. In the West, there are too many turns to list all the details, but I would avoid North Goshen Road in Goshen as it's dirt/gravel for 2mi (this may add alot to trip though). I actually met a women who was lost on this road which is going thru the woods (feels like you're on a camping trip). She asked me for directions which amazed me, cause it didn't seem to be a road that you just happen upon. When I said that I wasn't from around there, she asked if I was from Manhanttan. (I laughed to myself!) My maps only covered my route so I wasn't much help.

One nice thing I did was go over the cover bridge in West Cornwall which was very scenic & worth a couple of pictures. I spoke with a couple of women from North Carolina here who were taking pictures as well. They loved it! I have to get a digital camera like her's.

One other consideration out West is that you need to travel North/South in parts as there are no direct routes going East, which adds a few miles & makes the trip planning tougher.

Going east from the CT river, I would join the bike path in S. Windsor & take it to Bolton. I stayed south of rt 6 & wandered thru Andover, Columbia & out to Willimantic. From Willimantic, I took 14/14A which is a pretty straight shot to Sterling. Sterling was funny, as I had to hunt for the State border marker for my final pic. I looking around & this guy pops up out of nowhere. He's completely loaded down & heading to Fla from NH. He was a character (bike bum) and we talked for awhile & then I took his pic to doc the end of my trip. It was fun & a pretty nice accomplishment.

I don't know if my route was the easiest, but I thought that further North is tougher in the East & the CT Hwys are busy there too. In the NoWest, you'd be stuck on Rte 44 which I tried to avoid. From the West, going further South seemed like too much traffic (Rt 4) and congestion. I can send you the route via e-mail as I plotted it with MS Streets & Trips ( You can drop me a line if there's more that you'd like to talk about.
bent-spoke. I have a nice recovery ride planed for you.High Gear
Sep 8, 2003 6:43 PM
I try to do this one every year. It's very scenic and pretty much skirts the Connecticut river on both sides. Click on the link below for the ride description and on-line sign-up.
It's funny that you mention the COVAC, as I got abent_spoke
Sep 8, 2003 8:10 PM
link to their site last year that I stumbled across while looking for stuff on Mt Greylock. Have you done this? It seems like a nice course. I'd like to hear more. Thanks
It's funny that you mention the COVAC, as I got aHigh Gear
Sep 9, 2003 1:32 PM
I would say it's flatter than Tiverton. It's scenic and lots of people ride it. I think they want to keep the limit to 250 this year. You should give it a go. You'll be hooked.
re: Riding ConnecticutBigFatSal
Sep 21, 2003 7:23 PM
Sounds like fun. Too bad I'm reading this for the first time several weeks after your big weekend. Woulda been fun to join you. I live in the Sandy Hook/Newtown area (near exit 10 off route 84, near Danbury).

Glad you had fun and learned some things about yourself. :>)