Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From the Times

The New York Times

September 28, 2008
Road Bumps for an 84-Mile Canal Trail


MARK Lander, a bicycling enthusiast, calls this section of the Farmington Canal Heritage Greenway “my favorite ride in Connecticut,” and he hopes someday to be able to bicycle all 84 miles of the proposed recreational trail.

“I can’t wait ’til they get more of this done,” the Old Lyme resident said earlier this month as he and his son took a break from bicycling.

But at age 66, Mr. Lander isn’t sure he’ll still be pedaling by the time the entire stretch of the New Haven-to-Northampton, Mass., path is finally finished. “I suspect it’s going to take a while,” he said.

It has been 17 years since federal financing was allocated for the ambitious recreational trail, and key elements of the project have hit some snags:

In Plainville, activists are struggling to work out a deal with a still-active railway to use a portion of the line’s right of way. A stopgap measure of an on-road route to link completed sections of the trail in Farmington to the north and Southington to the south is under consideration.

In New Haven, the federal government has filled in a portion of an old rail tunnel that could have taken the bike trail under the city’s downtown. For security reasons, the F.B.I. didn’t like the idea of a tunnel running under its New Haven headquarters. A study is under way to plan an aboveground detour.

In East Granby, a long-awaited project to rehabilitate a 300-foot railway trestle to carry the trail over the Salmon Brook just got under way and won’t be completed until 2009. The state-designed work is expected to cost about $800,000 — a figure supporters of the bike path say is unnecessarily high. State officials insist the bridge must have a new concrete deck to carry emergency vehicles.

The Farmington Canal project in Connecticut has cost about $28.5 million since federal funds became available in 1991, state officials say. In this state, federal funds cover 80 percent of the cost and local communities put up the rest. In Massachusetts, the state finances the 20 percent local share.

“It’s been enormously successful,” said R. Bruce Donald, president of the Farmington Valley Trails Council.

He said a computerized laser counter on the trail in Simsbury logged 114,000 individual visits by walkers and bikers between November 2006 and November 2007.

“This year, the number is looking more like 190,000,” Mr. Donald said. He believes the big increase is due in part to more people using the trail to commute to work, especially since the price of gasoline has skyrocketed. “This isn’t just recreation — it’s alternative transportation,” he said.

The path follows roughly the same trail as the Farmington Canal, which opened in 1835. Boats carrying agricultural and industrial goods were able to travel with ease from New Haven all the way to the Connecticut River in Northampton.

Dreamers originally envisioned extending the canal all the way to the Canadian border. But flood damage and opposition from farmers pushed maintenance costs so high that expenses far outpaced toll revenue.

The canal was effectively closed down by 1843, just as railroads were beginning to take over as the prime method of transportation. The Farmington Canal had a much longer second life as a ready-made railroad route, one that remained in use until the 1980s.

The effort to give the Farmington Canal a third incarnation as a multi-use trail has had its greatest success in northern Connecticut.

Once the bridge over the Salmon Brook is completed, there will be a continuous 21.5-mile path from Farmington north to Massachusetts.

“What’s neat about all this is that it’s one of the first times I know of where you can use a multi-use trail like this for commuting, shopping, as well as just recreation,” said Mr. Donald.

The southern section of the Greenway, from Plainville to New Haven, will eventually cover 30.2 miles and is the primary focus of the Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association.

Norman A. Thetford, the group’s executive director, said just 13.1 miles of the trail have been completed in Southington, Cheshire, Hamden and New Haven. He said many members of the group ask him when they will be able to use the trail to commute to New Haven.

Robert B. Rakowski, a state transportation supervising engineer, estimated it would take an additional $8 million to $9 million over five years to finish the New Haven pathway. “It’s one of the most difficult sections,” he said. “It’s going to have a lot of different agencies involved.”


I can't understand why the FBI wouldn't want a tunnel under them.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

World in Crisis: Electoral Edition

Just below this post, Brendan speculates (more cogently than he gives himself credit for) on how the impending financial apocalypse will trickle down to the two-wheeled set. Naturally, everything that happens will depend, at least to a certain degree, on whom we elect as our next president. The winner of the election has been a matter of considerable speculation of late, and I am glad to say the need for conjecture is over. Just remember the old slogan, "As goes the sale of candidate-specific coffee cups at the 7-11 on Prospect and Park, so goes the nation," then feast your eyes on the following irrefutable photographic proof of Barack Obama's coming victory:

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The World in Crisis

Yeah, it's a Homestar Runner picture. Don't make fun of me.

I don't like Maureen Dowd very much, but I seem to read her columns without fail. Today she was writing about some problem with Bush being emasculated and having to put the presidential seal on his mountain bike. Throughout the column there's some more stuff about him riding his bike as some kind of escapism. I'm not sure if she's talking about the bike stuff because bikes exist in the popular consciousness as puerile and she's calling Bush a child with no sense of leadership because he rides a bike; she probably is and she sucks. Anyway, I'm digressing. I don't like Bush either, but I do like mountain biking. So, I'm kind of torn, because she's using the mountain bike to make fun of him that pisses me off. I'm also pissed because Bush gives mountain biking a bad name. Couldn't he ride a recumbent and continue to give that a bad name? Ok, I'm digressing again

The point of this poorly conceived post was what does the international financial crisis have to do with bicycles? There must be some effects. I heard a piece on NPR the other day about Service Master (they own Terminex, among other things) and how they're being affected. They're having problems because the credit markets that allow them to get loans as they wait for customers' checks to clean are suddenly tight and its complicating their operating ledger.

So, are times getting more difficult for messengers because crumbling financial giants have no more documents to send around town? Are bike paths becoming more crowded during work hours because newly unemployed financial workers are finally getting around to riding those $7000 Pinarellos they bought on a whim? Is bike theft on the rise because of the high cost of scrap metal? (I think that one is actually true.) What do you think?

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Ah, Fall

(It's hard to follow a sobering pair of posts like those below with something lighthearted, but, well, here I go anyway.)

I rode to Middletown last night at 9:30 on one of my periodic car-retrieval missions, and for the first time, it felt unmistakably like autumn: Crisp, cool air; that particular sound that seems at first to be the slight movement and breathing of one person very closeby, but turns out to be many many dry leaves farther away; and the actual need for long sleeves and gloves. It was marvelous - much better than today's wet iteration of the season, which I also rode in, although not so happily.

The highlight came in Wethersfield, when I came upon some crazy person with her car stopped perpendicular to traffic, totally blocking the lane, with the engine running and bright headlights shining into an empty field. "What is this moron doing?" I thought to myself. Then I looked where her headlights were shining and saw a deer, frozen like, well, a deer in headlights. There were three of them there, not more than twenty feet from me, just chillaxing and being wild. Even after all the deer I have seen in my life (which are numerous), it is still neat to see them up close.

After a few minutes, I headed on down the road and all three deer started to gallop after me (perhaps mesmerized by my red blinky light or the goofy awesomeness of the Xootr). They followed me for about a block, which was just long enough for me to start entertaining notions of leading a crazy deer stampede all the way to Middletown (or all the way to Washington, to demand a redress of deer grievances from the government), then veered off into some wooded area. Here's a picture I took of the deer in headlights, which, while blurry, is worth clicking on to get a larger view:

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Bad news

Bicyclist Struck In West Hartford
By CHRISTINE DEMPSEY | Courant Staff Writer
9:49 AM EDT, September 26, 2008

WEST HARTFORD - A bicyclist and vehicle collided at Boulevard and Whiting Lane this morning. The accident was reported shortly after 8 a.m., police said.

The extent of the injuries of the male bicyclist -- an adult -- was not clear. According to a report from the scene, the bicyclist was conscious but dazed.

Police were continuing their investigation.


Is this anyone we know?
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Bicyclist Down

bike accident
(Disclaimer: This is not a photo from the accident, nor is it from West Hartford)

The Courant reported this morning that a bicyclist was struck by a car along Boulevard in West Hartford and although in a "dazed" state was otherwise not seriously injured. These types of incidents are always disconcerting, however, the fact that the accident took place two blocks from my house and along my daily commuter route makes it all the more unsettling. I know we cannot take more from the incident until more details come out but as I travel this route daily and as it is a major thoroughfare for bike commuters I can personally attest as to the need for 'real' bike lanes on this central artery connecting West Hartford and the Beat. Cars move far too quickly along this road and while there is a nice wide shoulder and decent road quality throughout the route the fact that parked cars and bikers share the same portion of this infrastructure it leads to a dangerous tendency for bikers to move between the road and the shoulder according to whether parked cars are in their way. I know this is one of the biggest taboos of bike commuting and a very dangerous practice, however, the road is too busy with auto traffic in both directions to take the lane all the time. This increases the propensity for the rider to constantly move from the road to the shoulder to allow drivers to move past at their rapid pace in order to decrease the likelihood of pissing them off and inciting an altercation. I have found myself many times frantically looking over my shoulder to check the lane while coming up upon a car parked in the parking shoulder... oh I mean bike lane... in order that I might take the lane without getting run over or hitting the parked car. This makes for a dangerous situation and an unstable bicycling experience. I have been fortunate thus far not to have been hit, to run into a parked car, or to simply dump it as I was glancing over my shoulder, but it seems someone this morning was not. Lets just hope they are ok and that the driver was not on their cell phone. Read more!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I knew higher gas prices were good for something!

Every blog post deserves a photo, but sometimes it's hard to find something appropriate (and a picture of a Metro-North train or of the governor would have been too predictable). So here's a picture I took one time of a yellow car called "Fury I," which is surely sort of fitting for a post about mass transit, right?

Governor M. Jodi Rell (or "M.," as her friends call her), announced the addition of more Metro-North trains in Connecticut yesterday, effective October 1. As a frequent Metro-North patron, I was happy to hear this, especially the following (from the Ridgefield Press): According to M., ridership on the New Haven line through August is up 5% compared to last year and intrastate ridership (i.e., trips that begin and end, like all of mine, in the Nutmeg State) is up 16% for the same period!

Could it be that car-loving Connecticut is finally getting wise to the glories of mass transit? (Maybe.) Is there an ever-growing army of folding-bike-toting, multi-modal commuters plying the railways? (Almost certainly not, but when there is, I will lead that army into battle.) This might just be what they call a teaching moment, and smart manufacturers of bicycles would be well advised to devise clever advertising and promotions that sell suburbanites on the glories of functional (rather than strictly recreational) two-wheeled travel (folding bike companies, I'm especially looking at you. Xootr, as we know, is staffed by clever geniuses who understand the real deal, but Dahon? Hello? This is the moment for you to hit the big time). Read more!

How Difficult Would It Be . . .

. . . to hijack a truck? Not that I would ever do such a thing, but, you know, sometimes I get tempted:

(Is this post bike-related? No, it is not.) Read more!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Your bike picture of the day

Nothing so exciting, really. Just a bike route sign in West Haven because we hadn't had a bike picture of the day in a while. Read more!

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!
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Johanna and Brendan ride a long way

I have this on a t-shirt now.

After complaining about not riding up and down enough a few weeks ago, Johanna and I decided to go to Vermont, where things go up and down a lot more.

On Saturday, we did the 11th Annual Claasen Memorial Northeast Kingdom Century and it was great. We saw lots of lakes and took no pictures, so I can only use a google image search to show you where we went. The route had four well stocked rest stops, and at one I got sneak into Canada. If you've got nothing to do on the third Saturday of September, I highly recommend the ride. Johanna liked it so much that she decided the standard 100 wasn't enough and added an extra sixteen mile jaunt to it. I wasn't as hardcore and was in dire need of beer, so I only rode 100.

This is Derby Line. The left side of the room is Quebec and the right side is Vermont. This rest stop is where I snuck into Canada. Don't tell anyone. Here's a Times article about it.

Johanna's family has a lake house up there, so it was fortuitous to learn the roads better so that we can better invent our own rides up there. You can only do the "books", Parker Pizza, East Albany, or Perron Hill loops so many times.

Lake Willougby is pretty.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Hartford Alleycat 4

Sean passing out the prizes

Sean has thrown this alleycat for four years now and really hooked up a great race this year. Baileyworks and Manhattan Portage sponsored with a few bags and there was plenty of PBR and Schaffer after the race at South Whitney House. Joel, Lauren, Krash, Tony and I rode the 30 mile Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour that morning/afternoon and then raced that night. I heard Valdez won a mountain bike race that morning as well. Wow. That's a lot of pedaling y'all.

the list from Sean...unsure of after 10 hub stati

1 Valdez
2 Tj
3 Goo (fixie)
4 Abe
5 Jeremy (fixie)
6 Chillwill
7 Ryan (fixie)
8 Krash
9 Lauren (fixie)
10 Dale
11 Jimmy
12 Drew
13 Nate
14 Sabrin
15 Rob
16 Shane (fixie)
17 Jeff
18 Dan
19 Joel
20 Steve T
21 Willy
22 Darcy
23 Katie
24 Orion
25 Brendon
26 Tony
DQ's Ashley Ross Smitty

1 Lauren
2 Sabrin

1st out of town Jeremy

The checkpoint on the East Hartford side of the Founders Bridge was a bit of a challenge due to the Pilobolus performance at the Riverfront Recapture tent/ampitheater. There were lots of people and rangers and cops along the park on top, which connects Constitution Plaza with the Founders Bridge. The more racers that passed through the area, the more the cops and security yelled. Eventually riders were being stopped and lectured and threatened with arrest! I heard some crazy stories and was super happy i got through very early on with little trouble.

I left Union Place and was about to head to Townley Street when i realized i skipped the freakin' Ancient Burial Ground checkpoint. Fuck! Shit! Damn! Hell! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I prolly lost 4 or 5 minutes backtracking and then rebacktracking right past Union Station again to get to Asylum Hill. ARRGGG! But i did ride extra hard at that point. Cussing myself helped alot.

Steve T, Tony and Rob

more photos after the jump

Nate and Sabrin

Kristen and Bianca are always ready to sign yer manifest!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Once More Unto the Bridgeport

As you read, you will see that this post is about a ride from Bridgeport to New Haven, meaning that it really should have been titled, "Once More Unto the New Haven." But that's dumb, and since I don't work for the New York Post, I don't often get to write punny headlines, let alone headlines that allude to Shakespeare, so allow me some poetic license, OK?

I've extolled the pleasures of intercity bicycle riding in Connecticut before, including the New Haven-to-Bridgeport 20-mile jaunt. But just as Brendan has observed that riding a mountain trail in the opposite direction from what you're used to turns it into a whole new trail, so, too, going from Bridgeport to New Haven feels different than the reverse, as I discovered yesterday. Either way, Route 162 is a fairly nice way to go - not nearly as busy as US 1, nor as infested with endless, sprawling, gaudy car dealerships. It has some hills, but nothing insurmountable, and there are a number of nice glimpses of the Sound. Also, perplexingly, there seems to be a CT Transit bus stop about every 100 yards, but no buses.

Most importantly, just a few days before undertaking this little voyage, I switched from a rear rack to a front basket on the Xootr (not in anticipation of the Park-City-to-Elm-City Invitational Tour, but because on some level, I'm never truly happy unless I'm modifying my bicycle in some way). (I used the stem-like part of the Crossrack with an old seatpost to create a lower, secondary handlebar, onto which I affixed a basket. This makes for a nice low center of gravity and the pin mechanism in the Crossrack makes it easy to remove. See pics below.)

This new setup proved much handier for quick jaunts when I'm carrying a heavy bag, since I can toss the bag in the basket instead of taking the time to secure it to the Crossrack in back with a complicated system of trusses and pulleys. More importantly, it serendipitously gave me the chance to live out my secret dream of being a charming, Audrey Tautou-esque young Frenchwoman who tools around with a fresh baguette in her bicycle basket. Why was this serendipitous? Because when I set out, heading east on Boston Avenue in Bridgeport, I had no idea that (a) upon reaching the turn for the Stratford train station, I'd suddenly decide to keep going straight toward New Haven, and (b) I'd stumble upon the Milford-Woodmont Farmer's Market at the corner of Rte. 162 (a.k.a. New Haven Avenue) and Merwin Avenue.

Naturally, finding myself on a bicycle with a basket, I had no choice but to purchase a fresh baguette (also, two pounds of fresh-caught haddock and some delicious goat cheese, or chevre, com on dit en francais), making the remainder of my ride whimsical and continental. I also saved $2.75 in trainfare, which financial windfall took the sting out of the high cost of the cheese and added further joie de vivre to my already Parisian level of gaiety. Read more!

Riverside Improvements

We could eat lunch on this.

The few of you who read this blog probably think that we don't care about anything but bikes. It's not true. In fact, we're always trying to write about our other interests, like water skiing, painting cats, NASCAR, carpentry, and techno, but our editors shoot the stories down. This post has slipped by because our editors are out sick today:

Come one, come all on October 4th to the confluence of the Park and Connecticut Rivers and help clean it up. In conjunction with the Connecticut River Watershed Council, the Beat Bike Blog is sponsoring a cleanup day there from 11am to 2pm. We all hang out by the river and often ride our bikes there, so it's our duty to clean it up. It should be a great day. Bring rakes and shovels, if you've got them, and the Watershed Council is providing bags and gloves. RSVP to me, Brendan, if you can make it and/or if you want more details. I haven't totally figured out the parking situation, so it's probably easiest if you come by bike. I assume you can park on Van Dyke Ave and I'll put up signs to direct people to the right place. More details will emerge when I'm totally certain about things. 

A map of the general area is below. If you zoom in, you can see where the Park River comes out from underground, that's the area where we'll be.

For more info on the whole cleanup project, visit: http://www.ctriver.org/cleanup/cleanup2008.html. As a side note, I think it's really cool that they've translated all the cleanup stuff into Spanish.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Area newspaper thinks that City-Promoting Event promoted the city well

There's an editorial in the Hartford Courant today about the 2008 Hartford Bike Tour that summed up the general feeling about the event thusly:

As one rider put it, "Wow!" The effect was stunning. If you see the city only from the highway, you are missing something. Hartford has well-documented difficulties, problems that need urgent attention. But to see the great city parks, the historic buildings, the new homes where dank housing projects used to be and the new schools is to realize that there is much here to fight for.

I wonder how they got their quote ("Wow!") from this "one rider" person? That's one hard-hitting interview and quite the display of journalism. They didn't even plug the Beat Bike Blog despite the fact that "one rider" was handing out handfuls of BBB stickers in his (or her) orange vest. Or so I would like to think...

And hey, in the comments so far, there's only one reference to bullet-proof vests!

No read more! Read more!

Hartford's Parks Vol. 1, Elizabeth Park

So I headed over to Elizabeth Park this morning to do some reading and I began to think about Hartford's Parks. As many who read this blog may recognize our fair city has a plentiful allotment of beautiful parks, many of which are highly under-appreciated and underutilized. Perhaps, I thought, people just do not recognize the wonderful resources at our toe clips, many of which less than a 15 minute bike ride from our front doors. This is the first of what will be a series of posts identifying and documenting our scenic local parks.

As I live and work in West Hartford the majority of my leisure time spent in parks is spent in my favorite, Elizabeth Park. Tucked between Asylum and Ferns Streets and straddling the West Hartford/Hartford line created by Prospect, Elizabeth Park was incorporated in 1900, the original plan the result of adaptations made to a former estate property by the first park superintendent, Theodore Wirth. The Eastern, or Hartford section of the park is 19 acres and the larger Western, or West Hartford side is 82 acres. The park's design is more a demonstration of gardening techniques and a showcase of the beauty of the park's flora rather than a unified design manifested in larger landscape parks such as Keney or Bushnell. In Elizabeth it is the beauty of the plantings that really captures the eye of the visitor, rather than the expansive view of rolling lawns and the grouping of trees. As can be seen in the photos above and below this intention is well-preserved and maintained today. Read more.





The rose gardens in the park, many would agree are its most notable feature and as being planted in 1904 are some of its oldest. Another impressive aspect is the park's pond, hand-dug and flooded by a small stream running through the park in 1898. The rustic stone bridges that span the pond add beauty and interest to the water feature.


Another great resource within the park is the Pond House Cafe, a great restaurant with amazing decor, great food, and obviously a beautiful backdrop.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Discover Hartford Walking and Bicycle Tour 2008


Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day for a wonderful event here in Hartford. I have no idea what the turn-out was this year, but from all the smiles I saw, it seems like a raging success. Thank you to the CCBA, all the volounteers, all of the sponsors, and to the walkers and riders for a great morning and afternoon. I got some great photos of all the shenanigans!

I saw many more police officers corking intersections this year, it was great. As soon as cyclists arrived at a manned intersection, the officer stopped traffic to let us through. Yeah baby! I also saw riders, not just marshals, stepping up and corking a bit! Well done! We all felt like VIP’s! I also really liked the waterproof maps and cue sheets. Well done CCBA! Great idea! But, just curious, who uses the cue sheets!?!? Who!?!?

I think Keney Park once again stole the show. The cool shade of the tree lined roads felt great as the day warmed up a bit. Enroute some hateful, racist yelled, “Go Home!” from his car on the bridge near Weston Street. I found that sadly funny as I, along with many others, live in Hartford. Ha! I guess that’s why it’s called ignorance! Anyways, Keney Park! Woo-haaa! The riverfront was also nice, but I spent a lot of time in the beginning of the tour helping people with my mini-pump. I really wish I had brought a floor pump, but I wasn’t expecting to be a marshall!

This dude and his doggy are ready to pedal the city!!!

Not sure what else to write. There’s a bunch of photos of the tour and our afterparty @ Kenny’s (Red Rock Tavern) after the jump. They are all in chronological order since I’m kinda anal like that somethines! Enjoy.

Click read more to see more!

“I do it in Hartford” I want that woman’s t-shirt!!!!

Joel and Kristen hard at work at the registration table! Hey, i think he likes you. Get a room!!!

Bianca and a Velomobile with a sticker saying “Bianca Signs” She's says no relation...but who knows!?!? I think she secretly makes bicycles and signs at night in her basement. I forget the dude’s name…sorry!

Krash and Wizzy on the tandem. They later arrived at Kenny’s (Red Rock Tavern) on another tandem. There’s atleast 3 in town right now scooting around. NICE!!

Rick, ohhh Rick. Another flat! Dang dude! What's with you and flat tires. There’s Babaganoush and Lindsey just about to ride past him wondering the same thing!

I dub thee, “The Yosemite RV!” WOW! What a set-up! I love it! Notice the kid's bike on the rack on the trailer!

Sonny showing how much of a safety man he is…tubes and patches! Good thing too, as he later entertained us with an amazing over-the-handlebars dismount on Fern Street. The average judges' score was an 8.6! We were stopped for Ben’s 2ed flat and the homeowner came out with a floor pump! Yeah! Go Hartford! I have no idea why everyone who got a flat…got two? Wierdness indeed.

Do not attempt to adjust yer computer monitor. The water in this pond in Goodwin Park is indeed green...really green! So green, that stuff floats on top of it!

I actually discovered something new about Hartford!; this pathway between Wethersfield Avenue and Brainard Road. I don’t think its usually open though, but what a great little shortcut!

I always seem to get people into situations like these! I wanted to continue along the riverfront and not backtrack so we went this way to avoid being seen and having people mistakenly follow us. Atleast she has a cross bike and well... this is what it is made for!

Donnie taking orders and making us laugh at Kenny’s. I respect and like Donnie a lot, though I pretty much refuse to call the bar by its new name, Red Rock Tavern! I am going to get him elected mayor someday because he runs a great business and really knows how to treat people and keep them coming back. Corner of Capitol and Lawrence Street. Lots of lockable bike parking along the patio fence.

hmmm…Rick again…and now on a different bike! After his second flat, he stopped home and went for the burly mountain bike!

Amy Z and Big Nick chatting amongst the dozens of bikes in and around the bar!

More bikes at the bar. Krash and Wizzy switched to Amy Z’s and Rick’s tandem, seen here. Lots of tandems around. I like that.

Dawn and I took a ride around the block while waiting for our food. It was each of our first times on such a bike. Fun! I’d like to go on another short ride on one.

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