Our team of mountain bikers who regularly ride in these woods are hard at work planning for this year’s event. It will be hard to top the previous rides, but they are sure going to try.
The ‘Rider’s Test’ had it all. Traversing three fabled local preserves, Becket, Nehantic, and Mount Archer, the course featured Lyme’s ‘Three Bears’ in the form of three monster climbs.
Out of the gate the relentless tarmac of Becket Hill Rd., then at mile 11, the snaking singletrack of Mount Archer, and finally, up lashes the lung-busting broken gravel of Lyme’s high point, Nickerson Hill. From the top, for those that retained the ability to focus, there was even a glimpse of The Sound.
Strung out between the climbs were 25 miles of twisty-techy descents, hanging valleys packed with natural features, and fast fire roads betwixt beaver pond and quail run, and, just a mile or two of blessed breath-catching pavement. After this Bear’s brew, Ashlawn Farm coffee never tasted so fine!
Mountain Bike Routes:
For everyone’s safety ALL Mountain Bike riders must check back in when they return.
Color coded wrist bands will be provided at check in. The color corresponds to the marker color flag to follow for the ride and entitles you to a free lunch.
The Rider’s Test ~ 26.5 miles, 3.5-4.5 hours. Departs at 8:30.
Intermediate Rider’s Test ~ At mile 9.5 of the Rider’s Test riders can choose to either complete the northern loop for the remaining 17 miles through the Preserves, or return south through the Nehantic Forest for 6.5 miles to Ashlawn Farm and the finish line. Volunteers will be posted in the woods to assist you with directions at this point. Follow yellow markers. Departs at 8:30.
The Woodlands ~ 8.5 miles, 1-2 hours, follow orange markers. Departs at 9:30.