This past weekend was a great one for Bikes Outside. Nothing short of the last Discover Hartford Tour put as many bikes on the street as this year's Puerto Rican Day. This year, Hartford's parade was moved from its longtime route down Park Street, A.K.A. "New England's Hispanic Main Street" to Main Street, which is just "Hartford's regular old Main Street." One of the nice things about this change of scene was that the added street width meant the parade floats kept to the right of the double yellow line as they headed north. This turned the southbound side into a handy bike-cruising lane. It was here that I made a few passes on the Mundo while Real Hartford's staff photographer snapped away from the cargo platform.
The Boricua bike representing was strong all weekend, with some classic cruisers and lowriders, vintage road bikes and three speeds, and a huge amount of BMX bikes, with Mongoose as the prevailing brand of choice. My favorites
included an early 1960's Royce Union 3-Speed and a 1970's Itoh 10-speed in a somewhat darker shade of the eye-assaulting apple green livery of my own bike.
Aside from a Sunday afternoon
downpour, the weekend was blessed with decent riding weather. The heavy traffic meant that pedaling was by far the fastest way to get around town, though you had to keep a sharp eye out for some of the
more rowdy car and motorcycle drivers engaging in smoky burnouts and other motorized jackassery. It would be a hoot to ride around, or in, the parade next year, but I saw that the loud paint color on the Mundo was not enough. Next year I will need a sound system, or at least a loud horn.