Friday, August 31, 2018

D2R2 2018


Another D2R2 happened a couple of weeks ago and I got to be there.  I didn't actually ride the D2R2 per se.  I rode the Green River Ride and added some extra stuff with some help.   I ended up starting the 100K with Joe (@geojoek on Instagram) and his friend Nancy.  We rode the brown route on the map at the bottom of this post.  We bailed from the main route maybe 18 miles in and Joe knew the roads to take down (as in losing elevation) to the Green River Tour.

For me, it was a pretty fabulous day.  I was hoping to ride with Joe and Alex and Carla but I was early and they were late and the rain was threatening so I was eager to get out so I could get back and avoid the thunderstorms that were in the forecast (but never materialized).  After getting an early start out of the house, I arrived at D2R2 headquarters by 7:15 and picked up my registration materials, found Joe, and ate breakfast.  After changing and getting my bike out of my car, we all met up and left with a slightly bigger group with some faster riders who soon left us behind.  The first challenge was Old Albany Road, something I heard about conditions there, thanks to Pamela Blalock:



As my comment on her posts suggest, it was time to get a second set of tires for the Surly.  That was part of the plan when I first started using Compass tires 2 years ago (and was delayed when the bike with those tires was trashed in a collision with a car).  I had Clement (now Donnelly) USH tires, which were pretty good for commuting and road rides and pretty good for dirt.  To meet the demands of this year's D2R2 (15 inches of rain fell on the area in the month prior to the ride), I got the 40 mm Donnelly MSOs.  They got me up Old Albany and made me feel pretty comfortable on the rest of the dirt roads we encountered, particularly on the descents.  I kept the tires on for the next week or so and enjoyed a late evening ride on the Reformatory Branch Trail and Battle Road and appreciated the stability on sandy stretches of trail and on the muddy sections.  They are off now for the commutes when I can look my bike up securely (the bike cage I use is temporarily out of commission).

Without going into details about the rest of the ride, let's just say it was pretty nice.  I loved the views from the high elevations and also loved the dirt sections along the Green River (but the views up high are the best).  Joe was able to get us on nice alternative roads on our way into Greenfield and we followed the official route back to finish.  Rain came but wasn't overwhelming and I saw some pretty cool bikes en route, at lunch, and at the finish.  Joe and Nancy are about my speed and it was a great social experience - a rolling conversation punctuated with some substantial climbs and quick descents.

Like my experience in 2009, the narrow roads were busy and I saw people passing others on narrow sections of dirt roads.  The crowds thinned out on the way to the Patten Hill rest stop and it was quiet on our private route to the Green River Tour.  Lunch, on the other hand, was out of hand.  There was a law enforcement officer at the lunch stop using his loudspeaker to try to get people off of the bridge and the road.  He was largely unsuccessful.  I wonder if the rain caused this by making people less interested in getting back on their bikes in the rain.

I'll end this with pictures and captions.  The rest of the Instagram posts are from Joe, who is an actual photographer.


I knew it would be raining on my morning drive to Deerfield so my bike was loaded into the car for a dry start to the day.
Some people camped and some of them camped in style or didn't pack light.
Damp morning at the food and registration tents.
Kind of a nice road, if you ask me.
I don't know this cyclist but he was working hard to get up the hill, as were most other cyclists I saw as I waited for Joe and Nancy,  This was the first big one north of Route 2.  Most everyone stopped to catch their breath here.  Peter Weigle passed me on this hill and proved to me that not only does he make some of the best bikes around but he can power up hills on his Weigle.
Even the paved roads are scenic.  That's Nancy in the light blue jersey.
A panorama of the snack stop at the little big house on Patten Hill.  This is where we decided to shorten our ride and head  to the Green River Tour.

Joe heard there was a good view from the top of the hill just west of the snack stop and it didn't disappoint.  We eventually were overtaken by rain that you can see falling here.  We had it for about the last 15 minutes of the ride to the lunch stop and through lunch but it was light and I didn't melt. I did wear a rain coat for lunch, which was better than getting cold.

A pair of matching Ebisu bikes.  I've heard of these but never saw one of the east coast.
A Firefly at the lunch stop, just thrown into the bushes, as one does with a $6,000 or $8,000 bike.
A Indy Fab at the lunch spot.
Joe lives around here so he knows all the swimming holes.  There was a fabulous series of swimming holes in a gorge above where the bikes are parked.  Swimming wasn't a priority on this year's D2R2 but would be on a hotter day.

From Joe:





A post shared by GeoJoeK (@geojoek) on

That's me on Old Albany Road.  This is a pretty nice section of road.  It got worse, particularly in the steeper sections.




A post shared by GeoJoeK (@geojoek) on

Nancy and me at the top of Patten Hill.

The route and timing from Strava.


To Nancy and Joe: thanks for the ride and the great day!


So this is what the Green River Tour looks like. Maybe. These are the roads I used over the 5 times I rode the Green River Tour.  Orange: 2014, Green: 2015, Blue: 2017, Brown: 2018.  2013 (the basic GRT) is a thicker line covered by the other years.


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