View Full Version : Oct. 14th Norwich metric

09-27-2007, 05:56 AM
I am planning on doing this. Anyone else?

October 14, 2007 30/44/60/63 miles
Sunday 10:00 AM
Norwich Metric
Map No. 69 Arrower: Joe Natale Starter:
Drive Time 60 minutes from Providence

Description This hilly ride offers some beautiful scenery as it meanders along narrow roads lined with stone walls, large trees and historic colonial homes. Some of the descents will be blazingly fast. The 60 mile ride offers an option of taking a ferry across the Connecticut River that adds about 3 miles, or visiting Gillette Castle. The 45 and 60 mile routes travel through Devil's Hopyard State Park with a view of a beautiful waterfall. Thanks to Gil Peel and Mike Miller for scouting and updating this very old NBW ride -- and adding the shorter loops.

Directions Commuter parking lot off Interstate 395, Exit 80, Norwich CT. From Providence, take I-95 South to Rt 102 South exit.
Then take Rt 3 South to Rt 165 West to join Rt 138 West. Stay on Rt 138 West to I-395 South for about 11 miles to Exit
80. Turn right; go 200 yards and turn right into the commuter parking lot.
Drive Time 60 minutes from Providence

10-12-2007, 09:19 AM
Redrhodie and I will be doing this on Sunday.
If anyone cares to join us, we will be at the Norwich park and ride (start) at 9:30ish Sunday. Ride starts at ten.
Because of the hills, we plan on a 13/14 mph pace... lunch on Hadlyme Ferry, 2nd stop at Devil's Hopyard (if anyone wanted to pick up the ride at any of those locations... I assume we will be at the ferry by 12:30 as it is 30 miles in, and I assume we will be at Devil's Hopyard around 2-2:30 as it is about 48 miles in.

see map:


10-12-2007, 11:26 AM
This sounds like a real nice ride. I have ridden the Bloomin Metric in CT. That ride is in May.

I will have to think about riding this next year.

Post a ride report. I would love to know how it was. The Bloomin Metric is also a hilly ride.

~ JoAnn

Cyclo Kitty
10-12-2007, 11:28 AM
Curse my work schedule!:(
I've been unable to do long rides for too many weeks to make it, I think...but it is a pretty ride.

10-12-2007, 05:26 PM
Dear Indi,

Looks like Helen Reddy is singing our theme song for this ride:

You and me against the world
Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world
When all the others turn their back and walk away
You can count on me to stay

If it's windy, which you know it's gonna be, we'll look to The Association for some inspiration:

Who's peekin' out from under a stairway
Calling a name that's lighter than air
Who's bending down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it's Windy

Such a happy tune :D . Makes the wind seem like your best friend. Bob Segar makes a head wind seem like an adverse condition, and it's so not. We love the wind. Keep reminding me of that.

Now all we need is a happy hilly song, one that will make the hills seem like the funny little imps they really are. Maybe, "hi ho, hi ho, it's up the hill we go". I know, that's not really how it goes, but it's so cute...just like hills.

You sure no one else wants to come on this with us????? It's going to be fun! There's going to be ice cream at the end ;)

10-15-2007, 02:51 AM
This was a great ride.
Well, at least I thought it was a great ride.
RR might believe differently. ;) Actually, she had an experience at the end that made it a great ride, and it involved men.
But I'll let her tell you about that.

This ride is 60-63 miles with 31 hills. That's one hill for every two miles. Some hills were more manageable than others, but none were "forgiving." The riders who organized this metric were serious about hill training. I had routed this on mapmyride.com to get the elevation, and I have to say that the elevation map was intimidating to look at. However, being the Pollyanna that I am, I figured, if I can ride a century, I can do 63 miles with hills.

We started at ten in a pack of about twenty and quickly spread out. RR and I slowed our pace way down with the idea in mind of saving our stuff til we needed it. We rode with a gentleman RR called "Eagle Eye" because he spotted all (but one) arrows on the road. After she called him this, he was distracted and missed an arrow (as did we all) and we went two miles the wrong way. I turned us around and we went back down and we dropped Eagle Eye.

The next 15 miles were a joy; rolling hillettes, state forest mixed with rural farmland and low woodland; stone walls and bluffs characteristic of the area, and early color on most all of the maples and nut trees. Connecticut roads are a joy to ride on. We are used to the ruts and potholes of Rhode Island roads. We were in high spirits, averaging around 14/15 (my computer is not working and RR's new bike isn't hooked up with one yet.) We got to about mile 20 and I lost RR for the rest of the ride. I picked up another female rider and tailed her for about eight miles of narrow, winding climbs and hair-raising descents into ravines where the temperature was ten degrees cooler, then passed her and headed for the ferry. At the ferry, I had a pb sandwich and waited for RR. A guy turned up and we checked around and found out that the ferry was closed due to high winds. So I finished my lunch and headed out up towards Gilette Castle.

The hills to Gilette and just beyond are long, straight hills, one after the other. They are backbreaking. I got a call halfway up the second from RR and she was just behind me. I told her I'd meet her at Devil's Hopyard and got back on the bike. I'd have to say this was a challenging set of hills. I used my grannies on every one. The guy from the ferry and I kept passing each other. I latched on to the girl I had worked with before at the top of the hill heading toward Hadlyme and we circled around to get onto a long stretch of flat, where I passed her again. At this point, I was alone and the arrows were hard to see, so I kept thinking I'd passed the turn for the Hopyard. But I had not. Finally, I took the turn for the Hopyard and into the campground (I camped here years ago so it was a nice re-visit) and went in to the loo and refilled my water at the ancient pump. I took a minute at the falls and then got back on my bike and took off for the next set of hills. I caught up with the girl I had passed a couple of times before and passed her; she said, "if you pass me one more time, I'm going to kill you." ;)

Miles 50-55 were some steep graded hills. I kept looking ahead and thinking, "uh oh, RR is not gonna like this." I came flying down one grade only to look up and see a terraced hillside just ahead, with bulldozers and a quarry operation. The road went straight and then disappeared left. I figured from the way the ride was going up to this point that this only meant one thing: another hill. Head down and tuning my brain to some Styx song (where did THAT come from... the brain is an amazing thing) I headed out for it. As I rounded left, the road went straight up. Like College Hill in Providence. Yes, that steep. I geared to mini-mouse and spun up the first half, and then heard a huge truck behind me. I knew that the road turned sharply right and by the way I was wobbling, knew it would be dangerous to stay on the bike while the truck and I rounded that bend. So I got off. The truck blazed past me leaving me in a billow of sand and dust. I walked ten paces (like hiking up a trail with a bike in your hands) and rounded the curve and... more up. So I got back on, because riding HAD to be easier than trying to walk in bike shoes. I got to the top and it leveled out for about a half mile, and then, another hill. I think this was hill number 28. Judging by the time (and having mapped the ride including waypoint mileages) I knew that I only had about 10 miles to go and how many hills can you get in ten miles? So I humored myself and counted them down and managed to do them all except for one, where I got off and walked ten paces for a rest. At this point, I was passed by ferry guy. I got back on and pedaled hard. I passed ferry guy and he yelled out, "that's it! I'm done for today!" and I said, "hey! we're almost done! Just think, in two hours you'll be home, showered and having a big dinner!"

The road at this point was quite pretty. Bozrah is a beautiful little community and the hills became less steep and more rolling. I was feeling fairly good except for the shoulder/neck thing I get on all long rides. But I could live with it. I had eaten steadily all day so I had no bonking episodes, but I did feel a little lightheaded at this point. I rode along and took the next hill, the last series of hills. And I must say I was spent at this point, but I did spin them out, maybe going 3 mph. I think this hill is called Leffingwill hill. I came down the other side and checked the map and I was a mile away from the finish. I jumped on to 82 and flew back to the park and ride, where I found RR waiting for me! She had a big smile on her face and so I know she had a good time, despite all the hills. But I'll let her tell that part.

All in all, a good hilly ride. I'll do it again next year. I think this would also be an excellent training ride for anyone who wants to ride in the Adirondacks or in New Hampshire white mountains. It took me about five hours, and I averaged around 11/12 mph. I lost two pounds even though I drank 3 bottles of water.

It was fun.
I love hills!


10-15-2007, 05:15 AM
Now all we need is a happy hilly song, one that will make the hills seem like the funny little imps they really are. Maybe, "hi ho, hi ho, it's up the hill we go". I know, that's not really how it goes, but it's so cute...just like hills.

You sure no one else wants to come on this with us????? It's going to be fun! There's going to be ice cream at the end

Damn. We forgot the ice cream.

What did you end up singing? I had planned on "Runnin' up that hill" by Kate Bush, but it ended up being this song:

Rock & Roll Feeling Lyrics (Styx)

(James Young, John Curulewski)

well I've got this crazy feeling
it's a sickness in my soul
well I can't play no 9 to 5 games
hangin' loose is all I know

I get a buzz when I think about ya
riding high's where I belong
gonna get my things together
so if you want come on along

it's a good feeling
it's a rock and roll feeling
it's a good feeling
it's a rock and roll feeling
yeah yeah yeah

well you know that I am coming
and I'm already on my way
so baby don't you worry 'bout tomorrow
you know it seems like a month away

well we got here just this morning
and we're goin' at the light of dawn
well we've only got a short time
so mama won't you keep things going strong

it's a good feeling
it's a rock and roll feeling
it's a good feeling
it's a rock and roll feeling
yeah yeah yeah
yeah yeah yeah