4-4.5 Hour XC loop at CAT1 pace?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    4-4.5 Hour XC loop at CAT1 pace?

    I'll be up in MA the first week in April and would like to sample some local trails while there. I have a free day traveling between Hartford, CT and Chicopee MA, so I'm looking for something within 2-3 hours of the area. I'm considering the kingdom trails but am wondering if there's anything closer that I should try instead. Can anybody suggest a good 4-4.5 XC loop at a CAT 1 pace?

    Any links to local top level endurance racers on Strava would be great too - I find that following local pro/elite-level racers to be an excellent resource for finding good routes in new areas that I can readily download into my GPS.

  2. #2
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    Not an expert on that stretch from Hartford to Chicopee but I can tell you KT is out for the first week in April. Trails won't be open as it is the middle of mud season at that point.

    Good luck......

    Rode some sweet trails in the Granby CT area but that was 9.5 miles at a moderate pace on fat bikes in the mud and about 2 hrs.
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  3. #3
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    Bachelor Street and Earl's Trails (Granby/Amherst - not tooooo far from Chicopee) can be linked up for 20+ miles of riding. 1 loop at your pace is probably not 4hrs long though. Those trails are on the Strava heat map.
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  4. #4
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    Yeah, Combining Bachelor Street and Earl's Trails would be your best bet. PM sent.

  5. #5
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    We don't have any lengthy "CAT 1" loops in western Mass. We still use the pre-USA Cycling NORBA ranking nomenclature out here.

  6. #6
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    The best loops might still be mud bound. Ask again sooner to the date. Stuff can change quickly.

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  7. #7
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    Thunder Mountain, 1hr away. Talk to Harold. XC trail network not downhill.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by craig2007 View Post
    Yeah, Combining Bachelor Street and Earl's Trails would be your best bet. PM sent.
    Earl's is definitely what I'd call 'xc' but Batchelor is much chunkier/technical fyi. If you're looking for faster trails and not fond of technical batch might not be for you. I love B street personally but Ive ridden with a few more xc guys there and they didn't have fun.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cromoth View Post
    Thunder Mountain, 1hr away. Talk to Harold. XC trail network not downhill.
    That's me. Easily meets your needs, but, as I said in the earlier post, it might still be too muddy that early in April to connect a full day of riding. Ask week of and I'll let you know what's ready to ride.

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  10. #10
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    It's a bit out of the way, but Wompatuck State Park in Hingham has a solid 25 mile loop that they use for the Landmine Race. They loop twice for a 4 hour marathon at Cat 1 pace. It will be open. 3:47 is the fastest time I've seen.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks all!

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    I like Wompatuck a lot. You could also try the F50 loop in Freetown State Forest, if you're feeling up to rocks.

  13. #13
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    The guy said close to Chicopee/Hartford. lol.. Batch/Earls is riding perfect and you can link up over 20 miles. You can also ride trails that have more flow/less technical features if so be it. I can map out a ride for you that you will LOVE. (BTW- Best riding in the area regardless of what others might say)
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  14. #14
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    Batchelor and Earl's have more than enough. Good luck figuring out a route, though. I've been riding B-street for 5 months and am just starting to get it. Earl's is still a mystery.

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  15. #15
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    These are rides that I've lead in the past that would fit the bill. Not sure if you're up to travelling to RI though. I can guarantee the trails are worth the trip and they'll be dry unless we get an insane amount of rain.

    Arcadia
    https://www.strava.com/activities/184391398

    Big River
    https://www.strava.com/activities/171328227

  16. #16
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    If you head east Groton MA is good for 30-50 mile loops. Good mix of terrain and should be dry too.

  17. #17
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    Another week of dryish, warmish and nearly all of charlemont will be good. Billy's and MST will probably still be too wet, the rest, go for it.

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  18. #18
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    I like thinking about the perspective adjustment visitors to the Pioneer valley will make as they attempt 4.5 hours of CAT 1 pace at B'Street, Wendell, or the CTS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    I like thinking about the perspective adjustment visitors to the Pioneer valley will make as they attempt 4.5 hours of CAT 1 pace at B'Street, Wendell, or the CTS.
    Lol.

    I rode B Street for the first time Saturday (ok - I'd tried once or twice before but this is the first time I managed a nice loop). What an awesome spot. The whole time I kept thinking "It's like CTS, but a *little* flatter." It definitely kicked my butt, this early in the season.

    Having said that though, some people are machines. At the CTS Enchilada ride a couple years ago my group ended early, but I was feeling strong and managed to hop on the back of a group of people who had just made it down Billy's (after adding a double-digit mile loop at Hawley in the middle of the South Side loop). Little did I know they were long-distance endurance racers - and good ones at that.

    They got a little turned around and motored UP West Side. I dropped 2 switchbacks in. An I mean dropped - threw my bike to the side of the trail and slumped next to a tree. Ate mouthfulls of air and clif bar for the next 5 minutes while riders coming down stopped to ask if I was ok. Embarrassing!

    Lesson: For pretty much any trail, there's always somebody who can crush it, even if the trail crushes you.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperbMan View Post
    I like thinking about the perspective adjustment visitors to the Pioneer valley will make as they attempt 4.5 hours of CAT 1 pace at B'Street, Wendell, or the CTS.
    So right, Liam! Nothing like spending 2 hours riding 13 miles at B Street - feels like you rode 30 miles in VT while stopping every 20 minutes for a few push ups and pull ups!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSumner13 View Post
    These are rides that I've lead in the past that would fit the bill. Not sure if you're up to travelling to RI though. I can guarantee the trails are worth the trip and they'll be dry unless we get an insane amount of rain.
    Thanks, that's totally within range for me! I'll watch the weather and go wherever conditions are best next week.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangur View Post
    Lol.

    I rode B Street for the first time Saturday (ok - I'd tried once or twice before but this is the first time I managed a nice loop). What an awesome spot. The whole time I kept thinking "It's like CTS, but a *little* flatter." It definitely kicked my butt, this early in the season.

    Having said that though, some people are machines. At the CTS Enchilada ride a couple years ago my group ended early, but I was feeling strong and managed to hop on the back of a group of people who had just made it down Billy's (after adding a double-digit mile loop at Hawley in the middle of the South Side loop). Little did I know they were long-distance endurance racers - and good ones at that.

    They got a little turned around and motored UP West Side. I dropped 2 switchbacks in. An I mean dropped - threw my bike to the side of the trail and slumped next to a tree. Ate mouthfulls of air and clif bar for the next 5 minutes while riders coming down stopped to ask if I was ok. Embarrassing!

    Lesson: For pretty much any trail, there's always somebody who can crush it, even if the trail crushes you.
    I think that was Pete C and my kid Matt, a bit of fitness there.

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  23. #23
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    Planning on the anti-CAT1 ride today. A few laps on the fatbike at Fomba with my dog then cask ale at Great North Aleworks.
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  24. #24
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    Possibly. I think there were three guys and a gal.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickjuan View Post
    Fomba? Bear brook is riding amazing right now and right close by. Blows fomba outta the water.
    Been to Bear B before & you're right. Had to try F & closer to brewery (time limit). Saw huge turtle:
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  26. #26
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    That's a female Snapping Turtle going to dig a nest. That's my guess. Did it snap at your dog?
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  27. #27
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    I'm no expert & would guess it's not a snapping but maybe a hog nose. Very docile & didn't look to have a beak that could do damage. Told her to leave it though.
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  28. #28
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    Where did you end up riding?
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  29. #29
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    Fomba way back then. Here's a more recent consolation prize
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