Pre-Chili Case

1 05 2010

This morning Justin and I met at the Line St lot for Case mountain in Manchester and proceeded to check out what the park had to offer. This was actually my first time riding here so Justin got to play tour guide. We started up the fireroad then branched off into some technical doubletrack. Before long we were at the summit and enjoyed the nice view! We pointe the bikes downhill and rode some pretty tricky stuff before winding our way back to the summit. This time we went down the back side of the mountain and stayed back there. I have a horrible memory so the trails we rode on will remain lost in the woods! We did find some stunts out in the woods and on the red trail we ran into the bridge you see in the picture. After we rode for a couple hours we had to get back to town because we were going to the New England Regional Chili Cook-Off in Somers for noon. Case was full of technical terrain that I’ll surely have to come back to ride again!


Manchester Rail Trail

6 09 2009

I’ve been getting on Kerensa’s case about not riding her mountain bike since our pre-ride of the Winsted Woods course in May so we decided to take a spin on the rail trail in Manchester. The surface of the trail is packed dirt with stone dust on top, so mountain bikes were the preferred method of travel. In total, this trail runs 19 miles out through Manchester, South Windsor, Vernon, Bolton, Ashford, and further!

We got another late start to the day, but used that to make sandwiches for the ride. I really like the fact that Kerensa uses a Camelback that will fit two sandwiches! As we pulled from the parking lot, we were greeted by warm sun and dry conditions. We stopped for a snack at Valley Falls Park, but some bees didn’t like the spot we chose to sit down and really made their feelings known! Nobody got stung, but we were getting swarmed pretty heavily. From stop number one, we moved along the trail another mile or so to a nice bench that looked over at a waterfall. The main criteria for selecting this spot was the lack of flying creatures, other than the big black bug that scared Kerensa and made her drop half of her sandwich! After all food was consumed, we pressed on toward our goal of reaching Ashford. Now, I had ridden this entire trail years ago with my Dad and remembered we stopped at a convenience store that was right next to the trail. What I didn’t remember was where that was so every turn we took I looked for that nice place to stop. I didn’t find out until after the ride that we would have had to ride a bit farther to get there. At about Bolton Notch, the trail turned from gradual uphill to gradual downhill and the going was easy! Before long, we saw the town line for Ashford and rode into the town for a bit before deciding to turn back toward the car. The nice downhill section we just rode now seemed like a huge challenge, but we knew that once we crested the top it would be all downhill to the car. If I remember correctly, it took about 1.5 to 2 hours to get out to Ashford and only 45 minutes to get back!

The multiple goals for the day were accomplished; riding out mountain bikes, going to Ashford, and having a good time! As racing season winds down I see more time being spent on trails similar to this one. I really enjoyed the low-key ride and the chance to sit up and take a look around for once! Next weekend, we are heading out to Hingham, MA to race in the Landmine XC MTB race. All I hope for is dry weather because the 25-mile race will be HORRIBLE in the rain!