amenity free, free off the bike camping event, please read all the past updates before registering, and please register! –thats how we know what to plan for. also, since the event is free, we ask you to please make a donation to the East Haddam Land Trust for their ongoing hard work in building and maintaining the dynamic terrain we will be enjoying.
the pizza will again be cooked up by fire in the kitchen. as many of your know they are the best around…mmm… we will have them parked close by to where we are camping, but they will have to pack up by sunset as is it’s the rules in state parks … so plan your abilities/luck and timing accordingly as sunset is 5:58 the evening of oct 22. future emails will have pizza payment options and all future details.
the news today is that the bike reg link is still not activated. they say 48 hours for approval, but its been double that — a theme this year! so here are a few things perhaps folks are looking for that I had planned to send along after registration:
Places to stay if you don’t wish to camp that are still nearby enough
pending mechanicals of the bike and body, you would be able to enjoy the ride on Saturday with the campers, and end the day in a bed. the next day everyone will pass by on the 2nd half of their tour, and you’d be able to just jump back in with them.
if coming via train Friday evening, you will be getting off in Old Saybrook. here you will find all amenities, as it’s the largest town in our area. I will have a route that goes directly into the woods and meanders up to the official start in Chester, so either get a place to stay in old Saybrook Friday night, or camp in the woods off the route I will share and meet us in Chester at 10 the next day. the route from old saybrook to Chester will take about an hour. there is also ample overnight parking at the train station. the parking option in Chester is the commuter lot “park and ride” right off route 9.
folks who have been to a few of our events likely have their favorite camp spots already on their minds from previous years, so maybe you want to tag along with them too.
I will post again when bike reg allows us to open reg!
so volume 6 of the nutmeg nor’easter will be held as a loose off the bike camp this year — we were not able to make the farm venue happen, as all those hopeful options fell through last week after the event was finally approved — just one last thing…we still needed the event posted for a month ahead of time so that neighbors had a chance to complain… they likely would not have, but thems the rules. I love our town, but it has rules… likely other towns do too … but there aren’t that many events or anything that bring dollars to East Haddam, so maybe we need to play that card more.
enough of that though, we’ve already made significant headway on this years off the bike event. should note that 3 of the 5 Nor’easters that have already happened worked this way, so its no big deal.
this year will leave from the train station in Old Saybrook, or 10 miles of pleasant country riding north in down townish Chester CT, depending on where you are coming from. there will be 4 TBA routes to choose from depending on what kind of experience you are looking for — all have a common location midway that many of us will meet up at for the evening.
you could of course choose to do any one of the rides all in one day and sleep in a bed that night too. there are some nearby cabins and other rentals to rent nearby.
the event will be FREE, but we suggest that you make a donation to the East Haddam Land Trust. they are the ones responsible for buying up and cutting trails in the over 700 acres our little town has protected from development since their inception in 1979. we will be riding in many beautiful places that are this beautiful because of them, so it would be a nice gesture.
we have here a bike reg link to register. registration will be open on Monday some time. please register, it is how all future details will be communicated, including routes. very important stuff!
I should also note this event will be 200% LEAVE NO TRACE. if we want to respect and keep recreating in these places, it’s the only way.
okay, check back in on Monday and start practicing pooping in a bag!
we are getting closer! I know i told everyone on instant graham that i would have reg open tomorrow (saturday), so maybe folks are looking at this looking for said reg —- oh patience!
farmer Jess of cold spring farm had a productive meeting with the land use gentleman of our town, and we have certainly cleared up the motor cycle rally myth, but it still leaves us with a few hurdles to get over with zoning —- but it appears we’ve got that set up for tuesday ::: if it goes well —- and we all have our fingers crossed in unison, then we will technically be able to have the same event as last year —- which you all seemed to really enjoy.
so long story short, even though i already told you the story —- reg will open NEXT SATURDAY
so the latest update is that there is no update. Farmer Jess was supposed to have a meeting with the town land use guy on Tuesday, but he was exposed to covid and canceled. what everyone should know is that there will 100% be an event, we just don’t want to open reg until we know what kind of event to have folks plan for.
so keep the calendars booked for the weekend of October 22nd. you are coming to the lower Connecticut river valley for rough roads and peak fall foliage, the last of of the show in New England.
so be prepared to camp off your bike if we don’t end up figuring out parking. maybe we will? I still have no idea, hence not opening reg yet. we doooo have FIRE IN THE KITCHEN pizza booked for a 6th year now though!
I will check in at least once a week here moving forward. still very much looking forward to celebrating the season with everyone.
So we had a small but maybe large parking issue last year that may or may not be an issue this year // that is the primary reason reg is not open yet — the other is that if it weren’t for the last minute when would anything get done?? a true anthem.
if you’ve been a Nor’easter voyeur or participant over the past 6 years, you know that the organization, and lack thereof, looks a bit different from year to year. I know its not always most ideal for everyone, but the amount of energy we have available to put into this event year to year varies with our travel schedule, or how much we have on our business plate/platter —this year it’s definitely a platter.
so we are meeting every 2 weeks with Jess from Cold Spring Farm (where we’ve held the most formal events in 2019 and 2021), and figuring out what we can and can’t do according to the town. 2 of the fields we were using for parking and car camping are leased from the town as open space… and well… someone complained to the town that we were having a “motorcycle rally” last year. lol. we are in the process of proving to the town that we are just different looking cyclists who bring a lot of business to the small business of East Haddam and Colchester. we still have a town meeting ahead of us … so we are working on it!
all this being said, if it all goes to hell at the town meeting and they start throwing tomatoes at us … we will meet at the Chester (the Paris of Nutmeg Country) commuter lots on the other side of the river, and make the farm a half way camp point on a number of touring routes I will make for different rider levels. there would be no car camping on the farm, so no car camping at all, just the bikes like it kinda was in 2020 and a few years prior. we would have pizza from fire in the kitchen at the farm once we got there… the farm food truck too … then the route would continue back to Chester on Sunday.
Now this is if we fail miserably at the town meeting in proving we aren’t gang affiliated motorcyclists … I lol again. so this is really just a heads up. could be just like last year which would be fantastic … although I think last year will be hard to top. “you shoulda been here last year” they will say. last year was Arya’s full time job for 2 months, so don’t expect that level of organization again this year with our current responsibilities… although the template is there, so suppose it could be turn key with a jumper cable operation too.
we are also in a really weird drought in much of New England (could change this week!). it has barely rained in months here, and if this kind of weather continues the next 2 months, fire restrictions will be in place, and we won’t be able to have camp fires in the farmer’s field for risk of setting it ablaze. now that would be a real moto rally! the leaves will also be a bit more muted — but you never know with nature’s pre winter fireworks.
so we hope to have some sort of reg open by mid September. I know a lot of folks are traveling a long ways for this, so we will try for earlier — but we’ve got some hurdles to go still.
looking forward to hanging at the edge of the season with y’all!
Al Morris stewed up a fun weekend in a place they’ve never been — a place a lot of people have never been — the ol’ steel town of mythical floods that aren’t so mythical. a tragic history to this town // thousands dead // several floods. you can read more on that somewhere else.
its hard to imagine what this town, or many other just like it, must have been like at their economic peak… the infrastructure is massive, and mostly brick… but where are the people? well, they don’t seem to stick around. at the city’s top out in 1920, there were 67,000 folks who called Johnstown home, now only 18,000. the city continues to shrink by an average of 12 percent per decade — but they built the buildings to last, and so they have. acres of abandoned brick factory buildings nestled in a deep valley — prone to those mythical floods.
Arya and I left our sewing shop in Waterbury on Friday and headed west for the 7 hour drive. we decided to go last minute — some folks we’d not seen in a while tempted us out there.
we got to the shop around 11am on Saturday … only a few folks were up, so we went for a ride. up and down. chunky. flats. not me though! I always get nervous about flatting in front of folks I don’t know for all the obvious reasons … but I quite enjoy other people’s flats (as long as they aren’t Ultradynamico), as it gives me some leisure time to smoke a bowl and offer advice from the peanut gallery. “it does not appear you’ve chosen dynamically” for example. that’s advice.
back from the ride and there were a few folks getting tattooed by Kevin Gates up stairs in the bike shop. Kevin is great. he even made a flash of my face, and I almost went for it… should have taken a photo of it
now it was time for the much hyped Punk Baseball for Hotties. if you follow Al on IG, then you are likely a curious fan, and interested in being a PB Hottie. I was. I am.
a group of us pedaled over to the ball field and got to warming up our arms … warming up after 20+ years of not throwing things or catching them in gloves. I’m still sore.
the game was great. my favorite part of the weekend. no score, and you’re up until you hit something. surprisingly all the punks had at one point in their lives played baseball, and we managed to play a semi coherent game! — ain’t that America!
then it was off to John Paul’s farm 10 miles away for the campout.
and then it was off to go swimming on Sunday! we had planned for a longer more meandering ride, but this weekend was more of a party than a Strava stacker, so we took the rail trail. I did not complain.
was nice to cruise and hang with such a great group on an easy flat path. the water was fine. the company was extra fancy fine.
we left the swim hole early to get back on the road east. we had Monday off and wanted to break up the drive by riding somewhere on our way back. and we sure did! more on that next time.
thanks Al for putting this together! thanks Hope Cyclery for being such a pillar of this community!
its true, now that we are working stiffs, rides that used to be our job’s are now our vacations. not sure how that happened — too early to tell if it was a good decision — but what isss a good decision anyway?? it’s been well documented that humans get used to just about anything… like autotune in pop music
we drove the van 2 hours north (1 hour from the factory in waterbury) to my new fav town. it was my birthday too, but that happens every year.
we then met up with our pal Joe Cruz in Williamstown and headed up the dirty way to the top o’ mt greylock. this was our 2nd time up, but it had been years. tallest mt in Massachusetts folks! some photos in the gallery bellow::..
so that was Sunday. a full week of vacation to go! we left Williamstown and headed a few miles north and over the boarder to Vermont where Joe lives with his wife Margaret. Joe and I share the same b-day, so awaiting us were veggie burgers and cake! a nice night of watching the final stage of the tour de femmes and lights out.
after breakfast we headed down to Lenox to meet up with Ballz and Troy for a recommended route by our friend Tin of crust videos fame. October mountain. Lenox is nice, but kinda old in the average age — we would really study this whilst looking for food post ride. GB on the other hand actually had young people. young people in New England is something to always take note of.
photos of that ride here bellow:::
as mentioned above, this day ended looking for food in Lenox — a handful of restaurants all with 1 hours waits on a Monday! we decided that since we were riding near GB the next day anyway that we should head south and trust all the recommendations for Prairie Whale.
Prairie Whale is described as a “Brooklyn style eatery” by many reviewers — perfect, we live in the sticks— always looking for “Brooklyn style” — that just means, shamelessly, I will probably like the food. I know my people! shamelessly. I’m 42 years old!
we were very lucky to receive the VIP treatment here as the chef and maitre d’ were both ultradynamcico dynamic choosers, happy to make the connections and have us for what was my best meal in months. thanks guys!
the next morning after breakfast in town, it was off on our 2nd time up mt Riga in recent years. such a good ride — I fudged the way out of GB just a little (as there were seemingly quieter roads going in every direction), but quickly changed course into the primo stuff after 5 miles.
the first half of the ride is mostly up. the kind of sustained climb I miss living down where we do. I love getting into a good climbing rhythm, just makes everything feel right. my happy place — especially when on a bike where the low gear is 22 x 34 like it is on my Atlantis. I don’t use that gear much, but nice to know it is there.
up up and up, and then a screaming down to stuffy Salisbury CT. a brief downpour while we were snack shopping, and then back to GB on some lovely most dirt and flat valley roads with views of the mountain we’d just traversed to the left.
and then we drove home via New Haven for a ride up East Rock and apizzzzzza at Modern. a weekend of riding to come, but that would be from home. nice to get out, if only a few hours away!
Easter Weekend! Meet at the Hadlyme Ferry landing in Lyme CT across the river from chester at 10:40. the first ferry of the day leaves the chester side at 10:30am. last ferry from the Hadlyme side is 5:20 pm, so take into account your fitness and bike handling skills if you plan on parking in chester. a plus of parking in chester is enjoying some really good pizza at otto and a beer or several at little house brewing.
if you drive or ride around north and take the Godspeed bridge, it will just ad about 8 miles on your way back to chester. the ferry landing is a fine place to park here on the hadlyme side, and we will likely have a small party afterwards. we will take a poll at the start.
bring a mountain bike, but can be done on anything if you’ve got the right dance moves. the route is 49 miles and nearly half single track. all ridable rigid with a low enough crawling gear. an old 26er is perfect. we will ride a mixture of country roads and 1 track down to the beach and picnic at rocky neck state park. from there its north a bit until we hit 13 continuous miles of single track on the Goodwin trail. if you’d like to camp off the Goodwin, that’s a fun idea too. you’ll find plenty of good spots.
note these routes (except for the bail out option) don’t start at the ferry landing — just .5 miles off route. I am confident you can find your way, and if you can’t …. then yer in for quite the day!
the ride with gps route link features waypoints that might be helpful.
this is a 100% self supported ride. bring your food and water and probably a purifier if its warm and you sweat easily. lots of wild water on the route. good swimming… classic 1 track. there is a market at mile 14ish thats marked on the ride with gps route link.
if ya wanna camp nearby on Friday night there are options, email me email@example.com ::: otherwise we will run this like we did the nor’easter in 2020. only with 9 days notice this time around! clllllassic.
hope to see ya’ll soon!
please register for free at this bike reg event link