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“Ride #29: The Full "Birthday Loop" HIll Ride”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: 6191  Cycling in May, 2008
Date Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2008 3:25:42 PM Replies: 0
Enclosures: birthday_loop_profile.jpg (92K)

(This ride was on Sunday. I've also ridden Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but this was the only one worth writing about. Stats for those days are on May's page.)

After a couple days of rain, I decided it was time to do the full, hilly, half-century ride that I've been describing here for years.

One thing you need to understand about this area: South-Eastern Connecticut is flat. Not Kansas-flat, but still very flat. This area is know for its sea-side scenery, not its mountains. There are no mountains for which it could be known.

People in Western Mass, or Vermont, or Georgia (think "Bald Buster"), or the Rockies, or just about anywhere else... they look at what I call a hill route and chuckle. "Poor boy would not like it out here," they think to themselves. You may even be one of those peope. :p

Steve Davis prompted me to map the route at USATF. So, I very carefully traced out the whole 54 mile route, starting and ending at my front door. See the ride profile here.

Birthday Loop Ride Profile

4,140 feet of climbing in 54 miles is pretty good for this area, but you can tell from the map that the route is truly wacky (calling it a "loop" requires a bit of squinting). That's because it just keeps heading for the next hill.

Unfortunately, the "birthday loop" (named by the guys at Mystic Cycle) omits one of the steepest hills around, though it passes very close to it. I'm going to try modifying the route next week when I ride it again, adding in that extra hill. Should add another 250 feet of elevation-gain. The week after that, Steve's coming down to ride with me for an afternoon, and this is the route we'll be following. (Ooh, maybe I'll throw in Pumpkin Hill, too... Hmm...)

Stats: 54.83 miles (88.27 km) in 3h 9' 39" for an average speed of 17.34 mph (27.92 kph).

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From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put. - WC