Monday, September 1, 2014

Bees on the Upper Gussy

Got this from a neighbor:

“About half way down the single track descent Justin crashed on top of a ground nest and the bees went crazy - miraculously he didn't get stung. He carefully extracted his bike after about 15 min. then we started riding off and one chased us and stung me in the calf!”

Friday, August 29, 2014

Quillinan Reservoir

Date: 8/29/2014
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Quillinan Reservoir
Town: Seymour/Ansonia
Trail Conditions: ST=great; fire roads=usual state forest mixed bag

Observations/Information: Since we're going to be doing work over there in a few weeks, I did a little exploring over in Quillinan. In at the signpost at the Rimmon Road lot, down just past the double logover and left up the hill, stopping now and again to clear a branch. Ended up finding a piece of singletrack just before a culvert starting to wash out, hung a right and headed down that to come out by the reservoir.

Not sure why, but the fire road down by the reservoir parking area has a ton of brush across it.

Went back, right up the interminable hill (walked it cuz lazy), and somewhere up top found a tree across.

Eventually made it to the trails up top that dance along the property line. Some seriously neat stuff there. Pretty tricky in some places - a couple times I had to stop out of sheer sensory overload with the lots-o-rocks. (I also walked it over that rocky cliffside section.)

TM Report: West Rock Ridge SP

Date: Aug. 28, 2014
Report Type: TM Report
Trail Name: West Rock Ridge SP
Town: Hamden
Trail Conditions: Bug Free and Mud Free

Observations/Information: I put in 10 hours of trailwork on Tuesday and Thursday of this week, reblazing and cutting back hiking trails, plus dealing with invasive plant species along Baldwin Drive. The trails are bone dry and dusty and the bugs are gone. Even some of the invasives are looking a bit wilted. I collected five buckets worth of old bottles and cans, plus I found a tire that I had the state take away. Enjoy the photos of wildflowers along Baldwin Drive. To see all the wildflower photos, visit my updated website for the park:

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
How did you use the trail? Hiking/Walking
Trails Ridden: Baldwin Drive, etc.
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 10
Approximate Distance (Miles): 2

Image 1: Yellow aster, Baldwin Dr. at first curve, 7-14.jpg
Image 2: Purple field thistle, Baldwin Dr., 8-14.jpg
Image 3: Bouncing bet (soapwort), Baldwin Dr. at first curve, 7-14.jpg
Image Description(s)/Instructions: The yellow flower is an aster. The purple flower is thistle. The white flower is soapwort.

River Highlands State Park

Date: 8/28/14
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: River Highlands State Park
Town: Cromwell
Trail Conditions: Dry, stick litter
Observations/Information: Bro and I took a ride at River Highlands Thursday afternoon. We also did a loop through Dividend Pond, riding up there on Field Rd and back on the railroad tracks.

The trails at River Highlands were dry, but there was evidence of recent high winds, probably the night before. There was stick litter but no large trees or limbs blocking the trails. We picked up what we could, as well as a discarded PowerAde bottle. The green trail by the rr tracks is getting a little grown in with thorns.
Trail Ambassador Name: Glenn Vernes
Trail Ambassador E-mail: glennvernesatgmaildotcom
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden: Red, green, yellow, blue, unmarked.
Time of day: Afternoon
Time/Duration (hours): 1.5
Approximate Distance (Miles): 11
Image 1: Blow Hole 8-28-14 006.JPG
Image 2: Blow Hole 8-28-14 004.JPG

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Naugatuck State Forest

Date: 8/27/2014
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest
Town: Oxford/Beacon Falls
Trail Conditions: Depends on where

Observations/Information: My quick AM double-loop:

This time I decided to take the trail up from Res 2 to the east side of Res 3, across the dam, then up the piney mess on the west side. It's VERY overgrown, and two trails have been beaten in: an upper following where the old (pre-logging) trail was, and a lower trail along the edge of the water (which is sufficiently gnarly I can't ride it at all - maybe the cool kids can).

The upper is still a piney mess, but a lot of the small litter has been beaten in or kicked off to the side. Beware the prickers. There are also several and many logs across, but for the most part ride-overable (even by me). One large pine log was still studded with branch stubs which, were someone (such as Y.T. the klutz) were to blow the hop and land on, would cause a serious injury, so I stopped and spent a couple minutes cutting them off with the handsaw. Other than that, TM consisted of kicking the odd branch off-trail.

Upper Paugussett State Forest

Date: 8/27/2014
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Upper Paugussett State Forest
Town: Newtown, CT

Trail Conditions: Was Bone Dry but after Wednesday night's rain ...
Observations/Information: I am writing this report the day after my ride and the conditions have already changed. Yesterday it was bone dry but after last night's rain I would venture a guess that the conditions have changed somewhat. If it get's really warm, then I would expect greasy conditions.

Aside from that, the Gussy is looking really good and you can tell by the way the trail is getting ridden in, there are a lot of mountain bikers utilizing it.

Not much in the way of changes. Someone ramped up the log drop where I did the benching, re-route, hairpin turn after Hurricane Irene and it looks like someone did a little rock adjustment in the Wet Spot.

I did not have time to ride Double Secret Probation but from what I am hearing around it's starting get ridden in as well. Same thing for the Reach Around.

Word of caution: Hunting Season is coming up and lately I have been seeing a lot of pick up trucks parked at the various entry points to the forest and the back windows are adorned with hunting stickers. Upper Paugussett is an actively hunted forest so if you are not going to ride just on Sundays make sure you are seen (wear blaze orange) and heard (have a bell)!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rockland Preserve

Date: 8/24/14
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Rockland Preserve
Town: Madison
Trail Conditions: Good, dry
Observations/Information: Took a spin at Rockland Sunday PM. Although the parking lot was uncharacteristically empty (just one other car), the trails were in great shape and dry. The other car was owned by a rider who had just moved to the area and had never ridden Rockland before. I gave him a short tour, and he was impressed. I continue to be amazed at how well the trails are holding up. Well maintained also. No grow ins, down trees or trail litter on the trails I rode.

My main reason for riding was to practice my log skinny skills. The skinnies at Rockland seemed to be slipperier and harder to negotiate than they used to be. Maybe they've gotten polished by use and the elements, or maybe I just need more practice on them.

Ride sustainably at Rockland!

Trail Ambassador Name: Glenn Vernes
Trail Ambassador E-mail: glennvernesatgmaildotcom
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden: East Loop, Thunderdome, Mobius, orange
Time of day: Afternoon
Time/Duration (hours): 1.5
Approximate Distance (Miles): 7 miles