last weekend was a sunny day in a cloudy and bleak weather pattern that seemed like it would last forever. turns out forever is 2 weeks. a big freeze came through the area just the day before, dropping temps in our mild corner of the world to the lowest in a century (-5), but only for a day. this ride was the very next day, and it had already warmed up by 45 degrees by 10 a.m. (weird and destructive, but I’ll take it!).
Joe, Bryce, and myself hit a string of dirt leading us 12 miles north to Day Pond state park. I’d heard rumors that this was some of the most classic riding in our area dating back to its heyday 5 years ago. I wanted to see what it was all about since we’ve only ever ridden through and across, but never one of the full loops. the idea was to make a ride of riding up there, doing the loop, and then riding a different dirt route back south to Hadlyme.
the ride north was eventful as it was a nice way to get there. warm, sunny, bumpy. we kept a good pace considering — we knew we’d have some real classic techy 1 track to navigate at the top of the route. mmmmmmm.
popped out from Miles Standish road onto cemetery road, and pedaled into Day Pond. what a nice place! so close, yet seldom visited kinda thing — love all the hidden gems of our area. so many bumpy hills hiding places like this. we had some snacks, stashed our heavy things in the woods, and began the techy 1 track crawl that defines MTB in New England.
ohhhhh this track is delish. tech, but built to be ridable — a rock crawlers delight. our senses were tuned in and minds in the moment. one of the many things I love about riding technical terrain like this is that you can ONLY live in the moment, thinking about every chess move at ultra slow speeds. big body movements requiring core strength and a stout upper body.
the trail was covered with leaves, even as the seldom traveled trails in hadlyme have had enough traffic to be visible through the leaf litter — not here! for such amazing riding, there aren’t many people who ride here I guess. we ran into one other guy on a full suss, but that was it. he told us we were the first people he’d ever seen out there. sure! he also told us not to tell anyone about it… welp, too late for that! more people should ride here if only to clear the leaves out. its also legal. its on trail forks and all that. maybe he was referring to the big drops and other stunts that would get plowed over if someone were to complain. not our crowd though, so I guess we aren’t blowing up the spot so to speak if a bunch of crunchy drop bar beardos wanted to roll down a few rocks.
we looped around and found Bryce doing yoga and sun lounging by the pond. a 2nd lunch, and it was time to climb up a trail to get back out of there before dropping a big ol’ drop down to the salmon river and covered bridge. an area where we’ve passed through on a few Nor’Easters.
that river drop is not legal by any means, so if you go and do it, just get off and walk if you see hikers. everyone is always cool when you do that and are super friendly about it. also don’t skid. your tires are too expensive, and its not good for anyone.
then a nice way back before sunset. feels good to pedal with conviction this time of year! will definitely be taking more rides out on the big bikes to do dedicated MTB rides throughout the state. but now its time to head southwest in the van — see ya in a month and a half New England!
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