Sunday, April 19, 2015

Naugatuck State Forest

Date: 4/19/2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest
Town: Oxford (and a tiny bit of Beacon Falls)
Trail Conditions: Mostly dry

Observations/Information: First ride of the season on regular tires in Naugy West Block.

Did my usual little warmup loop, then decided to head down the west side of Res 3, counter-clockwise loop around #2, then back up the east side of #3.

Trails are mostly dry, except the stream crossings and surrounds - especially the crossing by the washed-out culvert where the old truck used to be, where the banks are a bit mucky. (Then again, I made it a point to avoid the places that tend to be wet, e.g. the Camaro trail, or the power line crossing north of #2.)

There's a tree down just south of Res 4 on the west side trail, a bit too big for my hand tools. The piney mess west of Res 3 seems to have more branches in it than I remember, and I spent ten minutes clearing a downed tree - 6-7 incher - with hand tools (leaving me sufficiently knackered I dragged through the rest of the ride).

It looks like the rip-rap crossing where the double culvert used to be is trying to silt in.

Maybe it's my imagination, but it felt like there were more loose stones than I remember.

Other users = a couple joggers and a family walking a couple of goldens.

Trail Ambassador Name: John Joy
Trail Ambassador E-mail: jmj [at] savagejoy [dot] com
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden:
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 1:05 (including TM)
Approximate Distance (Miles): 3 1/3

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Upper Paugussett State Forest

Date: 4/18/2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Upper Paugussett State Forest
Town: Newtown, CT
Trail Conditions: Good for the most part

Observations/Information: The mud hole near the parking lot at Echo Valley is back and I found out the hard way that the water is cold and dirty.

Further up the Brody, it's wet and will probably stay way until summer.

The Gussy, however, was golden. 

Even looks like someone re-armored one of the stream crossing.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fun Ride at Robinson State Park 4/19/2015

Join CC NEMBA for a fun ride at Robinson State Park in Agawam, Mass. Smooth, twisty trails are a great place for an early season ride. No drop rides. Rides depart at 10AM from 1 Armory Dr. in Agawam.


Quillinan Reservoir

Date: 4/13/2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Quillinan Reservoir
Town: Seymour/Ansonia
Trail Conditions: Use Caution (mostly firm, but some wet spots)

Observations/Information: Saturday afternoon I happened to be in the neighborhood, so stopped in to Quillinan for a quick walk around to get some idea of the status of the trails. They seemed to be, for the most part, firm but tacky (but with evidence of some earlier too-soon riding on two wheels but especially four hooves - see below).

Sunday I took a quick prelim ride: Rimmon lot, down past the double-logover, up the hill to orange, up past the (second) teepee to purple, then winding down back to the lot.

This morning I made a bigger loop: down the fire road all the way to the reservoir, the up the outermost (?? I'd guess you'd call it) Purple, all the way back around to the lot. Most of Purple has been leaf-blown fairly recently. On both rides, I took the Wo so whatever impact I'd have would be minimal.

The streams are running, of course (albeit not particularly hard), and as the first crossing south of the parking lot isn't armored, I carry over it, using the stepping stones. The first (and biggest) mucky patch encountered is on the fire road shortly to the south of that, just after the fork. It appears the culvert there is plugged and water has come over the trail. It's wet for 20-30 feet or better.

The rock armoring of the stream crossing just below the logged area (i.e. the beginning of the gnarly section) is holding nicely, but the approaches are wet as are some patches in that section.  (Advice would be to avoid going down that way for now.)

The wet seems to be mostly isolated to the fire roads (and gnarly section), as opposed to the new singletrack. Copious horse prints, even on the singletrack (and in that cliffside rock feature up top that I'm too chicken to ride, one left a horse-sized "calling card" so be advised). Horse impact definitely has bike impact easily beat.

TM = cleared some branches (not as many as I expected, though). One car in the lot as I left, but didn't see anyone, but it was first thing in the morning.

Trail Ambassador Name: John Joy
Trail Ambassador E-mail: jmj [at] savagejoy [dot] com
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden: Fire Road, Purple
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 1:15
Approximate Distance (Miles): 4

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Just Say No To Mud

This winter has been historic.  Record snows, record cold.  This means that not only did the ground freeze up solid, it was then insulated by feet of the white stuff that is now melting.  This means that the trails are going to take a LONG time to dry out and be usable.

With rising temps and melting snow, we're tempted to leap on in with both feet and both pedals.  Please -- think before you hop on the bike, lace up those hiking shoes or mount your trusty steed.

Stay off the trails if they're soft and muddy!

It all comes down to this: frozen is good, hardpack is good ... but mud is bad.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

George C Waldo State Park

Date: 3/19/2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: George C Waldo State Park
Town: Southbury
Trail Conditions: Packed snow

Observations/Information: Given the cold snap, I wanted to try to get in another snow ride. (Maybe this one will be the last of the season??)

I took a chance on a first-light ride @ Waldo. Temps were in the teens, so ground/snow pack would be (and was) well frozen.

There's still a significant amount of snow on the ground - few if any bare patches, and most places several inches. Even in places where there hasn't been any traffic, the thaw and freeze has left the snow sufficiently compacted to ride a fatbike without sinking in.

Route was Waldo (red) to Daffy (yellow) to Hunter's back out to the fire road, so it was a short run. Waldo showed heavy (mostly foot) traffic, which compacted the trail but made the ride bumpy and in some places resembling an "inverted" rock garden (holes instead of bumps). Daffy (from the eastern terminus at Waldo to the intersection with Hunter's) had segments with no recent traffic, and some with one or two sets of footprints. While the heavily trafficked trail was rideable but bumpy, and the no traffic areas could be ridden on top, the one-two footprint segments were extremely difficult to ride without a wheel dropping into a (several inch deep) hole.

Stopped several and many times to remove small branches (copious due to the winds we've been having).

And I was the only one crazy enough to be in there early this morning (i.e no other users in sight)

Trail Ambassador Name: John Joy
Trail Ambassador E-mail: jmj [at] savagejoy [dot] com
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden: Where's Waldo, Daffy Duck, Hunter's, Fire Road
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): :45
Approximate Distance (Miles): 1.8