Monday, September 13, 2010

Bikes Outside: Discovered in Hartford

The 2010 Discover Hartford Tour, reviewed nicely here on Real Hartford was just one of three events that brought a bunch of people downtown to Bushnell Park on Saturday. The weather was fantastic, turnout was strong and group spirits were high. As participants trickled in, every tree, railing, post and trashcan in the southeast quadrant of the park began to accumulate bikes of every shape and size. There were plenty of high-dollar race-ready bikes around, oodles of road and mountain bikes as well as more plebeian hybrids and comfort bikes. There were a few nice tandems, some folding bikes, several recumbents and at least two unicycles sitting around before and after the ride as well. There was a little bit of everything to look at, and I didn't get nearly enough time to gawk at or photograph everything that caught my eye. As usual, I did tend to gravitate to the vintage beaters and the oddities among the many hundreds of bikes in attendance. Among my favorites were a flat black ratttlecanned Colnago slumming with a Hercules headtube badge and a home-brewed mostly bamboo bike that appeared to be Raleigh-derived.

The handmade bikes on display from MSH1 Bicycle Works were stunning, if technically ineligible for Bikes Outside. I chatted with owner/builder Matt Klucha for a while and bought some braze-ons from him. Good guy. I'll make an exception for a display bike just this once.

The scene was similar at each of the two rest stops on the 25 mile route, though each time I saw more bikes that I hadn't noticed before. Seeing so many people out on bikes in Hartford really made my day. Thanks to Bike Walk Connecticut, all the volunteers who made it happen and all who participated.

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