Case Mountain and Hop River Trail

Easier day on the bike today for my second day in CT. This time I put cross tires on the bike before hitting some nice dirt in the Manchester area. I’ve had the Strava KOM on the Case Mountain segment since back in 2010 when I first got the cross bike (or to be precise, I didn’t get the segment until I joined strava and uploaded all of my old rides last year sometime). I always figured I would lose it at some point and indeed, my time is now only holding the lead by a mere second. So I figured that now I’m back in shape I should go out and see what I could do about lengthening my lead. But as I discovered yesterday when I was only able to beat my Mount Tom time from a similar period, I was actually in decent shape back in the fall of 2010.

Add to that, Case Mountain is a mess (which is also probably why people haven’t been lining up to steal my KOM). Since the last time, there’s a massive construction project on the bridge at the bottom, so just getting to the climb is a chore. And the trail surface is greatly deteriorated, now featuring many ruts and larger rocks in the trail. I rode it as hard as I could, but about 1/2 way up, I was a bit confused about which way the trail was turning, hit a patch of loose rocks, and was forced to unlcip. I was in a pretty easy gear and it took me a while to get the momentum/balance I needed to get going again. Kept going to the top. Later in the ride I tried to calculate whether I might have gotten it since I forgot to set a lap. I figured the total time for the climb was about 1/2 Mount Tom, which I had managed to beat by a minute, so if I rode it perfectly I might expect to shave 30 seconds off the time. I guessed my mishap in the middle probably cost me about 30 seconds, so I figured it would be a wash and could go either way. When I checked at home, I missed the KOM by 4 seconds. Oh well.

Then I rode the Hop River Trail, which is luxuriously smooth and fast on a cross bike. It gets a little bumpier the further east you go, but there are also fewer other riders/walkers, so it’s easier to cruise.

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