Friday, June 25, 2010

Drive To Bike To Work

Last Friday I was invited to accompany a Bike Walk Connecticut Board Member to Elm City Cycling's Bike To Work Breakfast in New Haven. It was a well-run, well-stocked (good food!) and well-attended event that made me wish I could have attended a Hartford counterpart this very morning. Last month's one-time deal was all well and good and fun, but I would love to see it continue as a year-round monthly event, however low-key.

Since neither of us had the time to pedal the 90-mile round trip and Amtrak's bike policy is a sorry load of crap, we reached the Elm City by station wagon, suffering the mild indignity of unloading our bikes in a parking garage and wheeling them up the sidewalk. The weather was beautiful, people were in good moods and a small set of speakers were hooked up to provide the morning noshers with tunes and announcements from Elm City Cycling and Bike Walk CT. People lingered a bit after 9:00 AM. It was a casual Friday morning to be sure.

We followed up the breakfast with a guided mini-tour of New Haven that included some neighborhood landmarks, the East Coast Greenway route and waterfront vistas.I shook my fist in the general direction of Amtrak (and, by default, Metro North, which is better than Amtrak but has miles of room for improvement regarding bikes) as we passed the train station. I later biked to a job interview in Hartford, so my conscience was cleared of guilt from partaking in an unearned free breakfast.

Right here in Hartford, this month's Critical Mass ride will be visiting the West End Farmers' Market for some locally-grown goodness. Meet near the Bushnell Park carousel this evening at 6 PM.


Brendan said...

I thought the whole point of critical mass is that there's no planned route.

Schleppi Longstocking said...

What I'd Like to See for Bike To Work Hartford:

1. A different location each time. We do not all work downtown, which means that we likely are biking in the opposite direction from where we work. I am a proponent of accuracy. Maybe we could call it Bike To Breakfast in Hartford so that we can be more inclusive of those who have been fucked by the economy.

2. Breakfast. Honest to God Breakfast. Can we seriously stop with the Dunkin Donuts? There are wicked awesome local breakfast joints and purveyors of baked goods that are locally spawned and run. I nominate Ashley's, JoJo's, La Paloma Sabanera, Lox, Stock & Bagel, Mo's Midtown, and First & Last Bakery to step up and donate some breakfast goods. That's six places. Each could sponsor two of these per year. It won't break them.

3. The occasional brunch. Some of us are physically pained by leaving the house before 9 a.m.

When we have our renegade Bike to Free Breakfast, we should consider all of these things.

Interstatement said...

I never said there was a planned route, just an intended stopover.

Hartford's monthly ride from the park is a Critical Mass ride in name only. It has basically been a casual group ride for a while now, which suits me fine.

Schleppi Longstocking said...

I thought the point of Critical Mass was to stall traffic. Guess I've been doing it wrong.