Woke up to a crisp Autumn morning on Sunday, October 16th. The promise of riding some awesome singletrack followed by samples of CT’s finest brews and live Blues music had me pumped. On the drive to the Nathan Hale Homestead I noticed the culverts along South Street were brimming with water from all the rain. Not a good sign for trail conditions. Luckily, trail-meister and Nathan Hale expert Jay K. was there to help lead the ride and steer us around the wet spots.
Dave and Melanie climbing up to the ridge
After mustering in the back of the empty parking lot, pumping tires and eating muffins, we set out to ride. The pace was brisk from the start and we quickly split into two groups with the idea that the faster group would do an extra section and then catch up to the slower group before the end of the ride. The first section of trail was tight and twisty with some technical sections mixed in. The trails at Nathan Hale are truly some of the best in the state. After we dropped down in to the valley, via an awesome descent, we were faced with a super technical climb. No one cleaned it, as per usual. But we all gave it a go, in hopes of being worthy of the beer samples.
Melanie on Bronco
From there we proceeded to climb up to the ridge and then down via the aptly named Bronco trail. All told we rode 9 miles in about 2.5 hours. We came back to find the parking lot, which was completely empty 2.5 hours earlier, filled to capacity. We weren’t alone in our quest for free beer samples apparently. Willimantic Brewing, Olde Burnside Brewing, and a collective made up of local hobbyists were dishing out their best and we were more than happy to enjoy it. Good times, thanks to all those who came.
We couldn’t have asked for much better weather for the Plan B Bikes & Beers ride this past weekend in Simsbury, CT. After filling the parking lot with excited riders we even had cars spilling over to the adjacent lots. By the time noon rolled around we had over 60 riders awaiting a great ride in the warm fall weather.
The ‘A’ ride started with a 13 mile ride over some great rolling back roads then met back up with the Farmington Canal Trail with 7 miles left to go. The ‘B’ ride took off at a more relaxed pace up the trail for 7 miles where both rides met up at the ctbeertrail.net pit stop. After enjoying some tasty beverages supplied by local breweries we all headed back to Plan B on the trail with great food and beer awaiting us.
Bryon Turner with ctbeertrail.net awaiting thirsty riders at the pit stop
The amazing people at Plan B set up a buffet of sliders, tater tots, fried pickles, green beans, cheese, crackers, and other finger foods to replenish the calories we had all burnt. For $15 every rider got all you could eat food as well as two tickets for local craft brews. The atmosphere was filled with live music, good company, and many stories to tell about bikes and/or beer.
We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone behind ctbeertrail.net
, Plan B
, and all the riders who came out to make this yet another successful Bikes & Beers ride. There will be one final ride
at the end of this month down to WilliBrew again with a Halloween theme for those interested in getting creative with their outfits. We hope to see you there!
Photo credits: ctbeertrail.net
The CT Beer Trail made a pit stop in Middletown Monday evening for its fourth installment of its Bikes and Beers series.
Around 90 people attended the event that started at the Pedal Power bicycle shop at 359 Main St. and ended at Eli Cannon’s Tap Room at 695 Main St., for some beer and complimentary food, said Bryon Turner, founder of the CT Beer Trail.
The popular series celebrates bicycling and local craft beer all across Connecticut.
After the success of our first WilliBrew ride, we decided to create a Bikes & Beers series in conjunction with ctbeertrail.net. For the second rendition of this now infamous ride, we moved the start time up to noon to allow more riders the opportunity to ride back without headlights. Around 11:30 the cars started rolling in, and within 20 minutes the Pedal Power parking lot was full.