Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I stand corrected. I thought because the trees were still standing on Cedar Mountain this spring, the spooky mountain was safe. If you saw the front page of the Courant today, you know that the woods aren't so safe from the Toll Brothers (who made lots of money destroying our economy with the subprime mortgage crisis). Like any stupid plan to develop the woods and restrict public access, there's a thoughtful, organized and right opposition.
May 25, 2011
Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission,
I write to you today to express my opposition to residential development on Cedar Mountain. For decades, residents of south Hartford, Wethersfield and Newington have been blessed with several hundred acres of woodland on Cedar Mountain. This area is one of the few large forests remaining in close proximity to the core of capital region and it benefits the area’s residents immeasurably. I understand Newington’s desire to increase its grand list, but there is no reason to destroy forest when there are redevelopment opportunities right downtown. West Hartford’s Blue Back Square, for example, redeveloped the town’s center and increased the tax base without negatively impacting the town’s balance of open space. Developing Cedar Mountain is akin to West Hartford having left the old car dealership in the center vacant and building houses in Westmoor Park.
As an avid mountain biker and hiker, I know that my opinion on this matter is somewhat self-serving, but I know that many others directly benefit from recreating on Cedar Mountain or indirectly benefit from having the exhaust from Berlin Turnpike cleansed by the trees in its forest. A few years ago, the City of Hartford turned down a proposal to develop a 200 acre equestrian facility in the middle of Keney Park. Hartford made the right decision in preserving its northern forest. I hope that Newington makes the right decision and preserves Cedar Mountain.
I understand that as Newington officials, you will probably take the opinion of a non-resident without much weight, but I hope that my writing impresses upon you that the destruction of Cedar Mountain would have a regional impact.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
...I'm usually too busy to blog. Definitely too busy busy to take pictures, so this post will be attended by the inky blackness of night.
Monday, May 23, 2011
I doubt that anyone reads this blog closely enough to recall my last foray up Mt. Hor. Willoughby State Forest is a big old state forest next to Lake Willoughby. It's got some trails and forest roads that are very awesome. For awhile, I've been trying to figure out how to get into the forest from the north. I finally figured it out (Big Valley Lane). I have a mediocre map of the forest and the late, great Dave Blumenthal did some mapping through there as part of XVT, but I kept taking some wrong turn and ending up back on RT 16. Once in the state forest, I ended up deviating from the road and riding/walking all the way to the Mt. Hor summit. Descending from Mt. Hor back to the CCC road was pretty exciting on a 'cross bike.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
At work yesterday, a bunch of Jamaican food appeared and it was very good. There was extra, so I took some rice and stewed chicken home in a couple of empty lunch containers I had at my desk. Since the sun inexplicably came out when I was riding home, I decided to extend my commute down to the ferry landing. I cut through Mill Wood Park and Quarry Park. I slipped and fell on some brownstone extra-slick rock, but was mostly unscathed. It started raining again, but not too heavily.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I unwittingly got an early start on Bike to Work Week with a full-day Sunday work call in South Green. The weather was very accommodating, with the day's heavy rains backing off during the 8 o'clock and 5 o'clock hours for relatively dry commutes. Monday was less rainy, but dreary nonetheless. It's still nice to get out though, and the plants are looking especially lush and green these days, so throw on your rain gear and have at it. There's plenty to do.
Tomorrow, the Ride of Silence makes its solemn way from Elizabeth Park. Meet at the Pond House on the West Hartford side of the park at 7 PM.
Thursday, elementary school kids will attend a 169th birthday party for Albert A. Pope, founder of Pope Manufacturing and Columbia Bicycle, with cake and prizes at lunchtime at the Pope Park Recreation Center, Hartford.
This Friday brings us Bike to Work Day of Bike to Work Week of Bike Month, designating Friday as the Bike-to-Workiest Day of all. Several area rides will funnel the masses to a 7 AM rally at West Hartford's Blue Back Square and subsequently an even bigger rally at the capitol taking place from 7:30 to 8:30 AM. The rally is said to be peaking at 8:15, making that moment the Bike-to-Workiest moment of the entire freaking year! Strange and powerful things have been known to occur at such a moment, so you'd be foolish to pass it up. Also, there will be coffee and bagels.
Bike Walk Connecticut's Events Page has all the details on this week's festivities. Read more!
Monday, May 16, 2011
*** Special Bulletin: I hope everyone is out earning their bike commuting merit badge this week. It's National Bike to Work Week and there is a Bike Rally at the State Capitol building on Friday morning. Put up some flyers at work and cajole your friends. The more the merrier. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming... ***
I don't know about you, but I absolutely love found things. In the last couple of weeks I've beenlucky enough to find several things worthy of a little blogosphere mention. For those that aren't finders, it's pretty simple. Free, not stolen, and bonus points when unexpected. An example would be fresh ramps (wild greens) found on a hike.
Once you 'learn' to dumpster dive, you don't stop. What an amazing source of found things. This quickly brings us to the second found thing. A friend asked me to keep an eye out for a used child trailer to convert into a flatbed cargo hauler. That same day while passing by the previously bounteous salvage pile, I happened across just that item. Score! I tied the trailerhitch to my basket and dragged it home. All it's missing is a proper hitch, but Doug can figurethat out.
The last find is not really a thing, but I'll explain. I've found some folks in the Hartfordarea who like the same offbeat riding that I do. The Detour de Connecticut that Salem organized was a perfect example. Longish mileage, notracing, exploring new places, and very mixed terrain. Late in the 113 mile trek, I distinctly recalla short uphill segment that appeared to be a creek bed. At the end of the all day ride I was justabout bonked, but used my last couple calories to sustain my perma-smile. More please. I'd liketo find more.
In which I become the tallest midget...
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I've been on some nice rides lately, but I seem to have developed some bloggers' block, because I don't know what to say other than that they were fun and involved bikes. There wasn't anything deep or philosophical and I didn't take any pictures. I suppose that sort of ride is the ideal kind, wherein it's only about riding your bike. Very zen (none were fixed, though!).
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Dear Wannabe Thug,
You oughta stop listening to your friends now. They were egging you on to race me after I almost clipped your ass this evening. See, that's what happens when you ride out in front of someone thinking, "oh, she'll stop." No. No, they won't. Seeing that I didn't care, they were yelling, "race! race! race!" so you struggled on your too-tiny bicycle that looked like you outgrew it five years ago.
Here's what's sad. You were winded, huffin' & puffin', and still couldn't keep up. I was in a medium gear, riding uphill (not my favorite), my heart and respiration rate were normal, I was wearing three-inch heels, AND I have about fifteen years on you.
Go home to your mama!
-Schleppi Read more!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
My gross wound from this weekend is getting better, but walking to work is actually pretty nice. Time to collect my thoughts, look at flowering trees, say "good morning" to people, document things on see click fix. Also, I've ridden passed this bike balcony at least a hundred times without noticing it.
Monday, May 2, 2011
On Friday, a ride of semi-epic proportions was planned and happened. Damian, Dario and I set off for Middlefield to meet Peter and Salem. From there, via Tyler Mill (a place I hope to some day ride with a mountain bike), we rode to New Haven. Nominally, it was to participate in that East Coast Greenway ride, but we snails of the Group W bench (not to be confused with the eponymous "clothing store" in New Haven) aren't really joiners. We were the only ones in wool, so we let them leave without us.