Wednesday, April 30, 2008

bridges and mud. and mud.

Bridges and mud and gin and juice. Well, as my esteemed blogging collogue mentioned; last Tuesday night was all about the bridges. Unknown to us before the ride, it was also gonna be about mud, river mud! We prolly ended up on a dozen bridges, including the nice metal pedestrian bridge over the Hock in East Hartford.

The pedestrian bridge over i91 from the back of a Market Street Parking lot to Riverside Park is like pedaling in prison. The only thing missing was razor wire, but as you can see, Joel doesn’t seem to mind. None of us did, it’s BRIDGE NIGHT! And we were laaaaid back.

We had a nice break on a dike with a great view of the city, but noisy due to the interstate. This was the first spot Josh whipped out his musical camera tripod. I took the above soon afterwards on the next bridge. T’was much more peaceful and quiet there.

We rode another dike in East Hartford and wound our way back to the riverfront to cross on the Bulkley Bridge (i84), which is super loud and hectic due to all the traffic. Not fun. And we realized getting back down to the river to bike along the water to Charter Oak Landing wouldn’t be quick and easy. We pedaled up to Constitution Plaza, crossed a bridge over Columbus Bulevard and then carried our bikes down the stairs to the river, under the Founder’s Bridge. After a rest we decided to head north, just to see the flooding. The river walk dips down under the Bulkley Bridge and the path we were on would soon be under water. We sped up, racing to the edge of the water on the sidewalk…soon realizing…well before hitting the water in the dark…there was slick river mud! Like ice, but oozey. Fun!

Josh ain’t the only blogger with rare shots of a lost sneaker in the mud! (no, it doesn’t belong to us.) (and no, I am not sure how we all managed not to loose a sneaker too.)

We turned around muddier for the visit and headed south along the river, criss-crossing sides of the dike and flood wall and arrived at Charter Oak Landing. Here’s a massive amount of trees and random stuff that floats and is really big; all collected on the lower dock area. Oh yeah, there’s Josh too!

Our next bridge was the Charter Oak Bridge. We all had issues getting to the beginning of the ramp. My short-cut wasn’t shorter. It actually wasn’t a good idea at all. Joel had a chain issue as soon as he hit the path and Josh dropped something...i think. But we all persevered. I still like the view of the city from this bridge, but its super noisy.


Here’s a trilogy of GREAT ideas:

Carry our bikes down the stairs, down lots of stairs
Assume the East Hartford Riverfront is not under water
Assume any leftover mud will be pedalable. (don’t play scrabble with me if you don’t think that’s a word)

All went as well as one might expect. Joel bravely lead the way and took one for the team as the slick mud took him down. Soon we were actually pedaling on slick mud that was under water. It was treacherous and energy draining. Joel wisely (insert juvenile verbal attacks on his manhood here) bailed and fled for higher ground; but Josh and I somehow pushed on through deepening mud on the sidewalk until the path ahead was completely submerged. We didn’t want to leave the river. We talked of a boat, perhaps building a raft, but the upstream paddle didn’t appeal to us. We had to retrace our steps and find a way around, eventually passing through a school parking lot and regaining river access, and Joel, at the boat launch parking area. Mud. We actually pedaled through water!

This is the best photo I have of the three of us. We’re crossing Founder’s Bridge; returning to the Beat; and really wanting to eat chicken tenders and sweet potato fries at kenny’s…and drink beer. The freakin’ barrel of gin and juice was long gone at this point.

The other half of this pair of gloves was also gone at this point. If you find it, holla at me! The only exciting thing I can remember after the last bridge and before Kenny’s was hearing Joel come down the stairs behind me. Then I immediately saw him in front of me and realized Josh just took the stairs on his folding bike. Yeah!

1 comment:

coreylynn said...

who's the cute guy with the glasses? perhaps his hat got stuck in the mud with all that gin and juice?