The Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee fast approaches. Featuring about 15,000 feet of climbing over 180km, D2R2 travels ancient carriage roads spanning Massachusetts and Vermont. Virtually absent of flat ground, the route has riders either climbing, descending, or turning. In other words, there is always so much going on, the miles just fly by. That is, if one comes prepared.
True to Boy Scout form, we Tall Tree D2R2 riders - Andy, Chris, Pascal, Steve, and yours truly, are preparing. If all goes to plan, preparation will meet opportunity, and we'll enjoy an outsrtanding ride on the 27th. This past Sunday, we rolled out of town bright and early for a bit of physical preparation. I'll do another post soon on bike preparation.
Sunday was a mountain bike day. While D2R2 is generally ridden on road and cross bikes, many of the ride's climbs are have more in common with our offroad trails' climbs than those we can access on roads in the area. Yes, there are some great climbs around, but they are not generally close enough to each other to simulate D2R2. In contrast, the ride from town to Wakefield is pretty similar.
Sunday's route, below, makes for a great endurance ride. Its steady, and generally pretty fast. The climbs vary in terms of technical features, never harder than moderate. However, the steepness of one or two is challenging, same as D2R2's infamous wall. The loop we put together helped lock down this Fall's Double Cross route, which was a nice side benefit. Following a stop at Pipolinka for snacks, we headed south and up one of the steepest road climbs in the area toward the 105, then off roaded past the Brown Lake cabin and back along the 52, ultimately spitting out at Pine Road, and heading back along the 105 from there. All in, we were at about 105k total for the ride, in under 6 hours total, perfect preparation.