Monday, September 22, 2008

To Middletown!

The sun sets behind the Arrigoni Bridge as we pedal toward Middletown.

On Friday, it was that same old story: Car in Middletown, self in Hartford, so I put the word out to the extended BBB family that I would be making the pilgrimage by bike at quitting time and sought riding companions (promising to drive people and their bikes back in my capacious Corolla). Considering the splendid early autumn weather (and my not insignificant interpersonal skills), you would think a great internet clamor would have arisen over who would claim the limited spaces in my car. But in fact, only Bianca stepped up.

Just as well, really - I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to fit two full-sized bikes and two people (and me and my Xootr) in the whip. In any event, it was an absolutely marvelous, leisurely ride. We took the East Hartford-Glastonbury-Portland route, and we took pictures. You can see them after the jump.

So long, Hartford!

Hello, East Hartford, you mighty industrial powerhouse on the banks of the Connecticut River!

Because I take bicycling seriously, but not too seriously, I dressed in business casual attire (it was Friday, after all).

Bianca, in contrast, showed a complete lack of respect for the austere and sober art of velocipede piloting.

In Glastonbury, we got on Route 17. I had forgotten that this road has an elevated, fast-highway-type section. It was a little alarming to be there on bikes, but kinda nice.

Luckily, Route 17 soon narrowed to a smaller (and actually more dangerous) two-lane road.

Had we not been racing (and raging) against the dying of the light, we might have stopped at one of the many enticing farm stands lining Route 17.

Instead, we stopped at a pumpkin patch, which featured a real-life farmer driving a real-life tractor, hearkening back to our state's agrarian roots.

This sign in Portland encapsulates what we all know so well: Old Maids = Bulky Waste.

Sunsets make for pretty scenery.

In Portland, the corn was as high as an elephant's eye.

Finally, with darkness falling, we reached the good old Arrigoni Bridge, which took us from Portland to Middletown.

Irrefutable photographic evidence that we crossed the river at 6:57 p.m.

Nous sommes arrivee!


AAABiker said...

Try going down to Middletown on the west side of the river. It would be shorter, but is nearly impossible. You have to take either Route 3, which resembles the Berlin Turnpike all the way through Rocky Hill & Cromwell or take Route 99, which is nice but requires that you take a mile of Route 9, prohibited for bikes, just before Middletown. I have tried to interest someone in getting a bike path built on the west side of Route 9 for that last stretch or at least to get them to allow bicycles on the shoulder of Route 9 for that mile, but DOT has of course shown no interest.

chillwill said...

i too wish Bianca would take the austere and sober art of velocipede piloting more seriously!

wait! no i don't!

Musegal said...

Beautiful photos!!

Mark said...

Interesting attire to say the least. I would get too hot riding in my work clothes.

Great trip and awesome pictures.

How many miles is that?

El Presidente de China said...

aaabiker: Here is a route from Hartford to Middletown on the west side of the river. It is not scenic, but it is mostly on secondary, suburban streets without too much traffic, only a little bit on Route 3, and it is direct.

Mark: 18.7 miles. The west side route is 16.2 miles.

Blanche said...

twas a fine ride indeed! how can I turn down an invite to ride from a dapper guy on a Xootr? Ce n'est pas possible.

suitcaseofcourage said...

Just found your blog and really enjoyed this post - especially hearing about the ride down the east side of the river.

I've never done that route, preferring to ride up the west side using this route:

(scroll down to the map, the "details" link goes to a map that you can zoom in on)

suitcaseofcourage said...

Ooops! Sorry - that map was the first time I did that commute (and included a long section of Silas Deane Hwy - UGH!)

This is the route I use now:

The Middletown-Hartford part is Rt. 3 to Rt. 287 to Wolcott Hill Rd which I follow into Hartford.
(no Berlin Tpke at all)