Here is my GPS track of the ride.
Met up today with 5 other riders for the Tour of Southern Rural Connecticut. This is a homegrown century ride put together by John Y. from the SBRA Early Birds. The other riders are all EB veterans. We had a forecast of good riding weather, light wind, temperature in mid-60's.
I left the house this morning at 4:30am to meet the group at Orient Point for the 7:00am ferry to New London, CT. We met there, got our tickets, loaded our bikes and got on board. The ferry is huge, as it transports cars, trucks, and passengers. There is a smaller, faster, high-speed ferry but it doesn't allow bikes.
We stowed the bikes and headed upstairs for a cup of coffee as we started the 1 hour and 20 minute ferry ride. Once in CT, we disembarked and started our ride. We were quickly out of the New London and into rural areas.
Nice smooth roads with wide shoulders and only light traffic. Colorful beginnings of the fall foliage surounded us as we passed lots of farmland, lakes, state forests, and small towns. I had never been in this part of CT but it reminded me a little of Vermont, will smaller hills. One unfortunate incident at mile 25... a water bottle fell from the rider in front of me, and as I drifted right to avoid it, I accidently caused PyZahl, who was right behind me, to go off the road. The soft shoulder grabbed his wheel causing him to go down. No apparent injuries or bike damage but it was kind of a scare that was in the back of my mind for the rest of the ride.
After 45 miles we stopped for coffee at Dunkin Donuts. One rider decided to shorten to a metric century while the other 5 of us proceeded on an additional loop North. More scenic roads and rolling hills for an additional 30 miles. This was a quite hilly ride, with total elevation gain around 7,000 ft., at bit more than the Gold Coast century.
We met up with our 6th rider and some of ther other guys grabbed a quick lunch. I had a Clif bar and felt like it was enought to hold me for the last 35 miles back to New London. We rode strongly and made good time back to the ferry terminal by 3:30pm. The ferry departed at 4:00pm and we had a smooth passage back to LI.
All-in-all, a great route and excellent group of riders. Its good to see some new places from the bike. I think we maintained a good touring pace and though the hills were challenging, they were not too difficult. Can't wait to do it again next year.
GPS track of the ride and links to PyZahl's picks to follow...