Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To Broad Brook!

Before Sunday, I had never heard of Broad Brook, let alone ridden my bicycle there. But thanks to Rich's strong desire for Grandpa Tony's unpasteurized apple cider, his ability to print a map from Google, and his kind invitation, all that has changed.

On Sunday at around 12:30, Rich, Julia, and I set out from Rich's swingin' Hartford bachelor pad on our bikes, full of vim and visions of cider, donuts, and New Englandy, autumnal goodness. We took Windsor Street north into (wait for it . . .) Windsor, and after a few wrong turns that led us to strange, quasi-agrarian backroads teeming with disaffected local youths, we found our way onto the bike path of the Bissel Bridge. Once we'd crossed the river, the industry/farm/suburban mishmash of Windsor gave way to the stone-walled, birthplace-of-historic-people charm of East Windsor. We thought it was beautiful, but based on what was written on the pavement, some people were nonplussed (click for a bigger view):

Honestly, I don't know how anyone could be bored by a stretch of road with the Porch Horse, the Pumpkin-Butt Gardener, and the birthplace of the "first American theologian and philosopher."

(We liked that the only notable thing about Aaron Burr, as far as the people who made this plaque were concerned, was his having been the third vice president.)

After consuming much cider, and many cookies and donuts (and yummy pumpkin fudge), we took a longer way back, via the I-91 bridge, and I shortly realized I was running late and had to ride at full speed from Windsor Locks home (and when I say "realized," I mean "received a phone cal from my justifiably angry wife, wondering where the hell I was to take the kids so she could go to a 4:00 engagement"). As a result, I only took one more picture on the way from the farm:

So who's coming with me next Sunday?


Musegal said...

I mapped out the trip from my front door in West Hartford making my trip exactly 40.7 miles round-trip. Damn...I'm pretty proud of myself. I REALLY appreciated the invitation and am sorry for any delay I caused for my lack of endurance...but practice makes perfect.

Wish you could have been at the finish line with Rich and I for beer and burgers at the Tavern when we finally reached Hartford!

And I would totally be up for another trip!

El Presidente de China said...

Turkey shoot next Sunday! Public welcome! Guns available!

Rich said...

What do you mean just next Sunday? I believe that sign says *every* Sunday, my friend. I'm also surprised by the hours posted. I thought in this puritan region, we weren't allowed to do anything on Sunday mornings except go to church and not buy alcohol at stores. (Do you notice how the ending time of the shoots is a different shade of blue than the rest of the sign? I wonder if they had to expand or contract the hours)

Brendan said...

well, it is best to shoot while sober

El Presidente de China said...

Brendan, your priorities are wrong. It's not best to shoot while sober. Rather, it's best to drink while unarmed.

Rich said...

A great deal of thanks go to El Presidente and Musegal for accompanying me on my cider run. I've become quite obsessed about getting unpasteurized apple cider, but due to liability and such, fewer and fewer places actually sell it. Chowhound does have multiple threads dedicated to finding places that still offer the unpasteurized variety. Damn you, Louis Pasteur and your health-conscious research! Don't you know that apple cider is much more scrumptious with the bacteria left in!??

So I might as well detail the 2 interesting events of the ride back to the Beat following the departure of El Presidente from the ride:

Musegal and I enjoyed a much more leisurely ride from Windsor Locks through Windsor than El Prez did, as our spouses are too non-existent to give us any guff. On our way back into Hartford, musegal spied a CCBA Klean Kanteen water bottle laying in the bike lane on Main St. I spun around to collect it's dented form, and we came to the conclusion that El Prez must have dropped it to signal that we were indeed on the right path home. I was able to successfully return the water bottle on Tuesday.

The whole trip from Windsor to Hartford was dominated by thoughts of a cold bar and a warm beer...wait...that's warm bar and a cold beer upon our arrival. When we were turning from Windsor St. onto Trumbull, we both noticed a subtle "fwip fwip fwip" sound coming from my back tire. Being a mere three blocks from our beverage destination, and thinking it was probably a loose leaf caught in my fender, I just said I'd take a look at it when we got to the bar. Two blocks later, my rear tire was flat, victimized by a shard of green glass. But hey, after about 33 or so miles, hitting the flat tire lottery when I was only 2 blocks from home is pretty fortunate. Hm...33 miles? Green glass...perhaps from a Rolling Rock bottle?? Coincidence?

After thinking that getting a quick fix at REI before they closed would be the easiest solution, we waited for 15 minutes for a bus that never came. But we did talk to a West Hartfordite who had apparently noticed the new sharrow bike markings. Then, we said "fuck it" and just went to the bar and had some of the most satisfying sliders and refreshing brews of the season.

And a bird pooped on my seat.