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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After riding Bigelow for almost 20 years, I have finally figured out a 15 mile loop that is 95% rideable singletrack. Bigelow is a bit of a beast, there are a lot of steep hills out there, many trails are rideable in one direction only. The trails are pretty rugged, its solid advanced terrain, no beginner stuff on this loop!

We did a ride there yesterday and I think I've finally got the whole thing worked out. I'm thinking of putting together a donation only NEMBA fundraiser out there. I'll post over at Bikerag and NEMBA, but I figured I'd try and cast as wide a net as possible.

I'd want to schedule this for the fall so there are fewer people in the park, on a hot summer weekend the place is jammed with boaters and swimmers.

So, let me know if you'd be interested in seeing what I consider to be Connecticut's most beautiful state park and some of the most challenging riding in Northern CT.

John
 

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I took a friend there about a month ago he said he has never been that tired in his life ..ha..ha..ha.....alot of hills.....I will keep an eye on the date when you post it, if I can I will be there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Super...

I'll post up here with more info.

I'm thinking mid-October. Bigelow is a great place to watch the leaves turn. The good thing about Bigelow is that, even though it is extremely tough riding, you can always extricate yourself quickly via the fireroads if needed (assuming you don't get lost).

The state does a pretty good job of keeping the kiosks loaded up with maps.

John
 

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I am getting to know that place a little bit which might be good because 15 miles sounds long....??....do you stop for a break ...??.....last thing I want to do is hold people up..??..last week I went with a friend who does alot of street riding and I was glad I kept him with or behind me most of the night I was surpised he works out alot.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, stops...

ktmsx said:
I am getting to know that place a little bit which might be good because 15 miles sounds long....??....do you stop for a break ...??.....last thing I want to do is hold people up..??..last week I went with a friend who does alot of street riding and I was glad I kept him with or behind me most of the night I was surpised he works out alot.....
Our typical ride includes stops. Assuming we get more than 4 or 5 people on this ride, there will likely be mechanical breaks as well as rest breaks. I expect a 15 mile ride to take about 3 or 3.5 hours of actual time, probably 2-2.5 hours of saddle time.

The distance is deceiving though, 15 miles at Bigelow is like 25 at the Snip. There are almost no sections where you are just pedalling along passing miles, the new and improved route is technical from start to finish. Oh and the finish is a super steep, technical run. All good.

There are always the roads to get you out if its necessary.

John
 

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Sounds very good to me. I was actually there yesterday with my roommate...let's just say that he won't be joining me for another ride there anytime soon. We went around Breakneck and got caught in a storm about halfway around. I love the place, but it is intimidating. I'll keep an eye out for your post.
 

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That sounds like a good ride. I'm interested in it too. I have'nt been there, but it sounds a lot like Chatfield, only bigger and even more techy. And just think- it will be cool then. As in the 50's I'm guessing:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chatfield comparison...

I've only ridden Chatfield twice, but its probably a pretty good comparison, maybe the rocks are a bit more smooth. I gotta get back down to Chatfield sometime soon.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
October 15th (rain date October 22)

October is fast approaching. I am going to set the date for the Bigelow ride for Sunday, October 15th, with a rain date of October 22nd. I'll post some directions up here a bit closer to the date. Looks like a few NEMBA-ites will be joining.

A few teaser pictures:











John
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Directions to Bigelow Hollow

Too early to tell what the weather will be like. I'll post up definitive go/no go decision on Friday or Saturday (depending on the forecast).

From Mass:
Take the Mass Pike to route 84W. Follow 84W to exit 74 (the first exit in CT). Take a left to go over the highway and follow the signs for 171, it takes a right then a left - just stay on 171. Follow 171 for about 3 miles, the entrance to Bigelow Hollow will be on your left just past the bottom of a big hill.

From CT:
Take 84E to exit 73 for Route 190. Take a right off the exit. Follow 190 for about 2 miles. Take a right onto route 171. Just past the bottom of the big hill look for the brown sign on your left.

We'll likely be parking at either the 1st or the 3rd Parking spot on this map depending on how many cars we have:
http://dep.state.ct.us/stateparks/maps/big_nipm.pdf

Incidentally if you think you might be one of the wimps, I mean people who need to shorten the ride, make sure to print out one of those maps. :)

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ride on...

I see no threatening weather in the immediate forecast. Unless something crazy happens with the weather, this ride is on.

10:00 Start time. I really want to be ON the bikes at 10:00.

We'll meet at the third P on the map below. I'll be there around 9:30. If you're in doubt, just keep driving down the paved road and keep an eye out on the left for a parking spot with a water pump and picnic tables. I've got a silver Honda Odyssey and a gray RM Switch.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pics

Xpost from Passion:

https://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=236567

It seemed to be a day of mechanicals as we spent a lot of time waiting on folks fixing various things including a busted, brand new X0 derrrailler, a bent rotor, a few flat tires, a busted chain and probably a few other things. It turned a 3.5 hour ride into a 5 hour ride, but we still had a great time. The route worked out about perfect, this place we rode can be a bear, but by carefully selecting trail and direction we avoided all but one hike a bike. I had a good day and made many logs and obstacles I don't normally make (blowing my cover there).

Despite all the waiting around I didn't really take that many pictures. I can't explain that. Here's the few I took:

In the parking lot:


At a junction:


A bunch of folks coming down a wicked descent (STIL):








Filling out the immigration papers before heading into Massachusetts:


A mid-ride break...


Hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

John
 
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