Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I did some emergency TM at River Highlands this morning. One of the bridges on the yellow trail had been moved after the footings were washed away by the rushing stream, and the trail had to be connected to the bridge at the new location. After getting OK from the LM I went in and did it. The job required benching but the rick-free soil is easy to work and I was able to accomplish the job in about an hour. I packed the bench and spread leaves on the edges. The trail almost looks like it was there all along.

The new line is harder than the old because the bridge is now oriented at a right angle to the stream, and one must negotiate a 90 degree turn after riding over the bridge when going downstream, and just before when riding upstream. I was sure to carve out enough room to make the turn and, although it might be unnerving to some, it think it will require more nerve than skill.

This was an emergency situation because the trail was unsafe as it was, so I had to go out and do it myself. I'll be scheduling a TM day soon where we can address some other areas where the existing trails need work.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Save Our Sidewinder!

Have you ridden Sidewinder, West Bench, or any of the others in the West Branch land at Kingdom Trails?  (Sure you have.)

Well, the property is on the market.  KT is trying to buy it to protect it from development.  They need to raise $300,000 by August.

The good news: they have over half two-thirds of it already.  The bad: they don't yet have all of it.

Keep our trails from becoming house lots - give today:

More info:

Update: $90,000 to go to make this happen!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Housatonic Rail Trail

Date: June 14, 2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Housatonic Rail Trail
Town: Trumbull-Monroe-Bridgeport
Trail Conditions: Hard packed and dry (and paved in places)

Observations/Information: I led a ride on the Housatonic Rail Trail in Trumbull, Monroe, and the new section in Bridgeport for Sound Cyclists Bicycle Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club. The trail conditions are generally good with hard packed stone dust in Monroe, and in the Pequonnock Valley in Trumbull. The trail is paved in Bridgeport, and parts of Trumbull. There is the usual loose gravel by Victorinox (Swiss Army) in Monroe and by Northbrook Condominiums, but even the people on road bikes did okay with that. At Wolfe Park, the "security" guard insisted we use the bike racks, instead of leaning our bikes against the wall. GPX track and map:

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
How did you use the trail? MT Biking
Trails Ridden: Housatonic Rail Trail
Time of day: Morning
Time/Duration (hours): 3.5
Approximate Distance (Miles): 28
Image 1: Housatonic Rail Trail group, 6-15.JPG
Image Description(s)/Instructions: The photo is taken on the Housatonic Rail Trail at the Newtown border.

TM Report: West Rock Ridge SP

Date: June 11, 2015
Report Type: TM Report
Trail Name: West Rock Ridge SP
Town: Hamden
Trail Conditions: Trail relocation in progress

Observations/Information: I had help from four other people as I continue to hack through the multi-flora rose, autumn olive, and bittersweet vines near Farm Brook Reservoir. More of these invasives are part of the next phase of the work to be completed on state-approved relocation of the Red Trail from the open field into the woods. I have no specific timeline for when this trail will be blazed and open to the public, but probably not until August or maybe September. When completed, this will be a mixture of minimally technical single to double track.

Trail Ambassador Name: Tom Ebersold
Trail Ambassador E-mail: bikehikekayak123 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
How did you use the trail? Other
Trails Ridden: Red Trail
Time of day: Afternoon
Time/Duration (hours): 4 hours
Approximate Distance (Miles): 1 mile
Image 1: Red Tr. relo, past ivy tree, multi-flora to cut, 6-15.jpg
Image 2: Red Tr. relo, multi-flora cut open, 6-15.jpg
Image 3: Red Tr. relo brush pile, 6-15.jpg

Image Description(s)/Instructions: These photos show before and after pictures of clearing of invasive autumn olive and multi-flora rose shrubs at West Rock. The other photo shows the wall of debris resulting from the trail clearing.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hartman Park Fun Ride (plus Ice Cream!)

We're having at ride at Hartman Park in Lyme in conjunction with the Southeast CT chapter on Sunday June 14th. If you've never ridden Hartman Park it's a fun place with twisty, moderately rocky and rooty trails, short steep climbs. A social no-drop pace for riders intermediate and up. We'll be going for ice cream at a local shop after the ride.

Meet at 9AM at 109 Gungy Rd in Lyme CT.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Larkin State Bridle Trail

At the Route 63 terminus
Date: 6/7/2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Larkin State Bridle Trail
Town: Oxford/Middlebury/Naugatuck/Southbury
Trail Conditions: OK - a couple wet areas

Observations/Information: I had too much wine last night 8^) thus I figured what the doctor ordered would be a longish (for me) ride... so Tour de Larkin it was.

Rode up to the Riggs Street crossing, right on the trail and out to Route 63, turn around and head all the way in the other direction to Kettletown Road, then back to Riggs Street and home.

The first wet patch encountered was just east of Towantic Pond (where it tends to pond on the trail every spring). That wasn't bad compared to the mucky mess on the Towantic Hill Road to Longmeadow segment. The western part was mud; just after, a healthy stream was running down the middle of the trail (eventually exiting to the right).

At about the midpoint between South St and Wooster Rd is a hungup blowdown, with the leafy tree canopy in the trail. It's ride-underable (albeit with a helmet thwap) but I can't imagine it'll make the equestrians happy.

Naugatuck State Forest

Date: 6/4/2015
Report Type: TA Report
Trail Name: Naugatuck State Forest
Town: Oxford/Beacon Falls
Trail Conditions: Mostly par for Naugy; couple atypical wet spots

Observations/Information: I decided my Thursday AM ride would be seeing if the big rains had done any (additional) damage @ Naugy (West Block).

Standard "Reservoir Tour" - warmup loop followed by east side of #4, down to the bypass trail, under the power lines to #2, around 2 and 1, up to 3, across the dam then back to 4 and out.

The usual wet spots (past the big rock east of #4, and under the power lines) were, of course, wet. The east side of Res 1 tends not to drain well, so given the big rains it was wet in places where it normally isn't.

Tree down (again) across the fire road on the west side of #2. On the trail up to #3, the rip-rap crossing where the double culvert used to be is definitely trying to silt in.

TM = kicking branches off trail and some lopping.

(Pano up top shows where the big rains came down the trail, drained off to the side and pushed the leaves out of the way.)

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): :50 (including TM and photos)
Approximate Distance (Miles): 4.1
Image Description(s)/Instructions: