Danielson, little Connecticut hills
I saw two bears today. Otherwise great riding with a forest trail and small roads with little steep hills.
I expected today to have some climbing with a long climb in the morning and a bunch of short climbs in the afternoon.
I had spent a bunch of time trying to figure an ideal route between Hartford and Providence. There were two extremes: one was the East Coast Greenway, a winding 105 mile trail, with longer stretches not paved trails; the other was US 6, a major highway, not all legal for bikes but with a shoulder and gentle grades. In between the little roads – no shoulders, not much traffic and sharp little hills. I decided to start with the Greenway route and then cut to small roads for a more direct path that would be closer to 75 miles than 105, and have more climbing.
In the morning I was mostly on paths that followed I-84. These were occasionally steep and I had to check my directions. It was while sitting on the bench below that I saw two black bears. I had passed the 8 mile mark and spotted the bench as a good place to stop and refuel for the rest of the climb.
As I sat down, perhaps 30ft further down the path and across a small bridge, a black bear came out, looked around, wandered on the path away from me and went back into the woods. This was followed by a second bear poking out and going back in. It was all faster than I could power on my phone to get a photo. So all you get is a picture of the bench and not the bears.
I had climbed most of the distance on the paths, so finished those before a few miles through place known as Bolton. No businesses along my route. I intersected the Hop River Trail which is shown below.
The trail was not paved. However, it had a solid surface that was almost as good as pavement. I had a backup alternative of US 6, but ended up taking the trail for the next 10+ miles.
There was a little covered bridge.
Photo above shows a good comparison between US 6 and the trail.
Here the trail went underneath US 6 with a lighted tunnel. This was getting closer to Willimantic where I had an early lunch.
After lunch it had a different character to it. More of these small roads. Generally nice but also some hills with grades approaching 10% on my cycle odometer. I walked several of them. When it gets too steep, the weight of myself and bicycle means I am at least as well off walking as trying to push too hard on the knees.
Small pond along the way.
This old church was a good excuse to stop and refuel.
The last three miles were along US 6 but it was all pretty quiet here.
Stava tells me today was slow: 43.69 miles in 5:31:06 or 7.9 miles/hour. 2234 feet climbed and 3466 calories burned.
Interesting. I heard on the news last week that there has been increased black bear activity in CT. I’ve only ridden in northwestern CT. Heard some coyotes a few years ago.