Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bikes, Brats, and Brews - Biketemberfest

CT NEMBA's first Bikes, Brats and Beers Ride was a smashing success!  15 riders showed up for a spectacular Saturday morning to ride Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, CT.  Rocky Neck took a beating from Tropical Irene a few weeks ago and last week also got a big helping of rain water from the remnants Tropical Storm Lee.  Except for a few blowdowns on the Red and White Trails you could barely tell that this area has suffered two tropical storms in the past two weeks, all thanks to the diligent efforts of the areas Trail Ambassadors, Cory Stiff, Steve Eldridge and Thom Lamourine.

Are you ready to ride?

There was a mixed bag of riders from all over the state.  We had Brian down from Barkhamsted, Paula, Glenn, and myself from Newtown, Kevin and his crew from Oxford, Ana from South Windsor, Sean from Middletown, Jim from Shelton, Edwina from Rocky Hill, Mark from Brewster, MA (who was vacationing on Giants Neck), as well as quite few locals like Corey, Steve, and a few others that rode from where they live to the ride.

Steve (l) lead the ride.  Paula, Glenn, and Ana (on right).

We had a mixed bag of riders, with bikes for all types of riding, including Downhillers, singlespeeders, 29ers, 650b's, rigid bikes, full suspension rigs.  We even had a heavy metal head banger!

Riding a bike that looked more like it belonged on stage at a Death Metal Concert!  The only thing missing was some Deicide or Six Feet Under playing while this guy was riding.

There was really no urge by anyone in the group to charge off on their own and the pace Steve set was great so that everyone was able to keep up.  Of course, when we hit one of the blow downs that was still blocking one of the trails (the land manager won't let CT NEMBA use chain saws at the Neck) it looked like a conga line of mountain bikers.  While Rocky Neck State Park might not be one of the most challenging, or very large riding areas, it's still a lot of fun and has a lot of fun and challenging sections.

Today's ride (red), what we missed (cyan)

We hit most of the trails and did a few repeats, too.

It wouldn't be a good NEMBA ride without at least one Mechanical!

Of course, the other main attraction of today's ride was the Beer tasting held after the ride at Divine Wine Emporium in East Lyme.  Being sampled were BBC's Oktoberfest, Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, Lost Sailor IPA, and the Coffee House Porter.  

While sampling these fine brews, Thom Lamourine cooked up Frankfurters and Bratwurst while we drooled over custom bikes from Watson Cycles.  Andrew Watson is a local, custom bike builder that build fat bikes, Cyclocrossers, roadies, and steel mountain bikes in all three wheel flavors:  26"; 650b; 29".  Additionally, he does custom titanium handle bars.  Andrew joined NEMBA today and we hope to do more together in this part of the state more regularly!

It was a great time and we are planning on making this a yearly event!

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