Monday, June 2, 2008

Middletown to New Haven

A week and a half ago, I took another step on my quest to try every conceivable bike-commuting permutation in the state of Connecticut: Car from West Hartford to Middletown, then bike from Middletown to New Haven (then reversed at the end of the day). It was pretty fun, and I learned an important lesson: Never trust streets to keep being the same streets. Here's the deal - I knew I needed to take Route 17 south from Middletown all the way to N.H. I also knew that Main Street in Middletown is Route 17. So I headed south on Main Street. What I didn't realize is that actually, South Main Street in Middletown is Route 17, but Main Street is not. That alone wouldn't have hurt me, if I had just realized that to get from Main Street to South Main Street, you don't just, you know, go straight south. Instead, you must execute a hard right (to the west) off of Main Street onto Pleasant Street, which will lead you to South Main:

So . . .
Here's what I should have done:

And here's what I actually did:

That doesn't look like a much farther distance but (a) you forget that I am weak and lazy and (b) it is much more hilly, which was made more complicated by (c) the fact that I kept dropping my goddamn chain. So what was meant to be a sort-of efficient hour-and-a-half-long ride turned into a not at all efficient, finger-dirtying two-hour trip. Luckily, the people I was meeting with in New Haven are all into the biking-not-driving, so they didn't mind my being late. Also, I got a much more scenic route, with real-life cows and farms and stuff. In fact, I would recommend my errant ride to anyone not in a hurry to get to New Haven.

Anyway, here are some pictures:

Equipment check on Main Street in Middletown: I have everything I need, except a brain!

My detour took me through the real America.

This street, which crosses Route 17 around Northford, may be the inspiration for my new rap name.

I liked the way the letters looked on this building on Middletown Ave. in New Haven.


Karma said...

No need to be so hard on yourself man, clearly these were mistakes the majority of us would have made. It is simply logical to think that South Main would be a southerly manifestation of Main St, but I guess we have to realize that the roads in our fine state are NOT logical. Either way chin up, you got to ride by the illustrious Raccoon Club, ah the stories I could tell you about that place! Well not really, but I could imagine a few.

El Presidente de China said...

I'm turning in my membership application today. Under "Other things we should know about you," I wrote, "Killed me a bear when I was only three."

chillwill said...

hey prez,

just cuz i said shorter isn't always better, doesn't mean longer is always better...