45 minutes from Danbury, CT lies a State Forest just out side of Newburg, NY that should you happen to visit don't forget to bring your mountain bike! In fact, if you ride a Singlespeed, it's paradise and the home of Singlespeed A-Palooza, a singlespeed only mountain bike race. This will be my second year racing here and there is no other race in area that I know of like it.
Knowing Glenn Vernes rides singlespeed I invited him to join me and we headed over to Stewart Sunday morning. I had ridden here last weekend to familiarize myself with the trails because this year the race is changing from 2 laps of 11 miles (with a 4 mile prologue) to one big lap of 25 miles. I had downloaded a route to Garmin and wanted to see what the actual course would be like and to see how I would hold up after 25+ miles of riding.
The singletrack at Stewart is fantastic and covers all the bases from wide open runs over rolling hills, many slick rock sections, little hucks here and there, as well as tight & twisty spaghetti like trails. We went through a new area that I missed last weekend called the Ant Hills is a tight, twisty single trail that curves and weaves around it self for 4 miles. After riding that section I was beat and had ridden 19 miles. There is one big climb in the course which is done in stages this year as opposed going up the other side last year. Then it was under the power lines, a loop between Barron Rd and powerlines and then back towards New Road.
The last 4 miles back to the lot has you cutting across the park where we encountered a couple of horses. These were pretty good horses that seemed to be used to bikes because their riders said we could ride past them. From here we headed over to the Scofield section of the park which was an old farm with apple orchards and fields.
With 0.5 mile to the lot Glenn and I were running out of gas. I wasn't bonking but it felt more like I had been pummeled and I have 100mm of front suspension, I couldn't even begin to imagine how Glenn felt because he was riding rigid. Still we finished the ride and I know I still have it in me for the following weekend.
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