Tuesday, August 30, 2011


You may have noticed that on the right there are two links to the NOAA sites about the CT and Farmington Rivers' activities. You should check them out. Shit's pretty real. (that phrase is still cool, right?)

I'm expecting this year's Eel, if along the river, will be entirely different from last year.
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Obligatory hurricane pictures

Hartford was largely spared by Hurricane Irene. The Park River is underground, so downtown didn't float away. The Farmington Valley didn't fair well and I hear Vermont is a mess. I'm going there next weekend to verify. Southern CT didn't do so hot either. So, anyway, I've ridden around and taken some pictures of big puddles and fallen trees. Do you have better pictures?. And here is the rest of it. Read more!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another D2R2

Cool guy with a cool jersey.

The D2R2 is getting super popular. Almost 1,000 people signed up and despite Hurricane Irene, it appeared that a lot of them and more showed up. The expansion does not seem to serve as a detriment to the logistical execution of the event. It's super-well run and the volunteers are awesome. Also, there are so many roads that they easily absorb the thousand riders. None the less, the increased popularity is making it lose its weirdness and gain some feel of a charity ride. Obviously, I have no claim to cred, because this is only the third time I've gone up there. I can still observe, though.

Anyway, Dario, Peter and I rode the 100k in matching jerseys with camaraderie and style. We managed to miss a turn on the return trip (which made for a lengthier trip and had a pretty sweet road descent down Shelburne Road), but since I didn't want an asterisk next to my name, I rode up and down Hawks and Taylor Roads. It perplexed the people going down the road as well as my riding companions. My 100k became more like a 125k. It was fun, but the 180k is better. The majority of the highlights of the 100k are from the 180k and the 180k has even better parts. It's nice not to commit to waking up at 4am, though.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

D2R2 on the eve of a hurricane

There must be some symbolism. Read more!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In touch with my urban environment

As you know, Hartford does not have "cool" fixed gear movies like Mash sf or, uh, Empire. I've often thought this is because there's only like one guy in town who makes movies and five people who ride bikes. Today, I realized that's not the problem, the problem is that we don't have enough areas with the cool man on bike vs. the future aesthetic.

Until now. With the opening of the Mayor Mike Bridge, one can ride all the way across Constitution Plaza and then down the parking garage of the convention center. There's tons of concrete and gritty urban infrastructure for like a solid mile and it's elevated. It was so cool, that I took some pictures from up there.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Road comfort

Like most days, Dario and I rode down to the Meadows. On the way home, like most days, I wanted to pick up some Miller Lite. We were returning to Hartford via Folly Brook Blvd and I wanted to go to the liquor store on Wolcott Hill. He thought we should go to the liquor on Maple Ave by CVS. He didn't want to go to the one on Wolcott Hill because you have to ride down Jordan Lane to get there.

I don't mind riding on Jordan Lane, but I don't like riding on Maple Ave. Dario is the opposite. Why is that? How do people decide which roads are ok and which aren't? Some are universally regarded as good, but most are in dispute. Can these questions be answered? Does it matter?

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This Week in Saving Stuff

Cedar Mountain Time
Tonight, 7:00 PM at Newington Town Hall (131 Cedar St), please embrace your limited opportunity to stand up for Cedar Mountain, open spaces, and sensible development. At the July 27 meeting, I listened to a Toll Brothers representative explain their proposal to relocate a 1,700-square foot wetlands area that exists where they would like to build houses on Cedar Mountain. That sounded like a fantastically bad idea to everyone in attendance, but they seem intent on diminishing the will of the people and downplaying the impact that 64 houses would have on Cedar Mountain and its immediate and surrounding areas.

Tonight, the Inland Wetlands Commission holds the last public hearing on the matter. Once these matters go behind closed doors, Toll Brothers will do their damndest to make their money and lawyers trump the will and well-being of the overwhelming majority of the public. They're kinda doing that already, come to think of it. Please consider showing up to add your presence and your voice to the debate. Go watch If A Tree Falls at Real Art Ways if you aren't feeling sufficiently moved by this (not tonight though-- you'll miss the meeting).

Ferry Saving Efforts

An "Action Committee" will meet in Rocky Hill this Thursday, August 18 from 5:30-7 PM at the Nutmeg Credit Union at 521 Cromwell Ave. The committee is meeting to discuss starting a private foundation to defray the costs of running the ferry. Here is your chance to be a (Wo)man of Action!

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Monday, August 15, 2011


Johanna is my wonderful girlfriend. For a time, between the ages of 16 and 23, I didn't really ride my bike much at all. I don't remember why, but one day were started riding bikes together. We did it a whole bunch. Around that time, I quit smoking and decided to substitute one addiction for another by riding my bike all the time. Johanna doesn't seem to have the same predisposition towards addiction, or maybe is saner than me. So, anyway, she doesn't ride as much as me.

That's ok and that's not what I'm writing about. What I'm writing about is Johanna's ability to not ride much and then ride a long way. Johanna has maybe gone on five rides with me so far this year, but Saturday, with Dario and Peter, we rode up to Westfield and back. I don't think I could do that. I ride all year so that I can ride 80 miles without perishing. Johanna hasn't ridden that far since last year around this time. It's impressive. I wish I had that kind of latent athletic ability.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quite the Ideal Evening

Today was a good day.  Work was productive, which is rare these days.  Then a short satisfying stint at the Hartford Y doing some literacy volunteering.  I highly recommend the Read to Succeed program to anyone looking to volunteer.  They've got their shit together, to put it the way I do.

I snapped a photo of the snazzy electric assist locked in the stairwell leaving the Y.  Also got a radiant sunset shot of East Hartford while crossing the otherwise ugly Bulkeley Bridge (ugly but useful).  Now I'm sitting on the East Hartford town green listening to jazz, and the kid's bike next to me has a rather awesome frame / fender.

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Another Eel

I haven't seen that movie, "Another Earth", but I saw a trailer for it when I saw "Tree of Life" (and I didn't even ask for my money back). I guess the movie is about another Earth, that's mostly just like this one. I was mountain biking yesterday and thinking about this, but since I don't think very profound thoughts, I was thinking about me on another Earth mountain biking. And then, I wondered if the me on the other Earth would organize The Eel there, too. Would it still be called "The Eel"? I guessed that the other people probably would, but it'd be slightly different. Like, instead of going along the river, maybe it'd go off into the mountains. Maybe it'd be in Vermont. Who knows, except the me on Earth 2?

Which leads me to proposing that another Eel be held. Where? I don't know yet.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Trend setter or follower?

I rode a lot this weekend--up to Whately, MA Friday afternoon, D2R2 100 mile loop on Saturday (to put it succinctly, it was long), and back down to CT on Sunday. All that is well and good, I suppose, but things started to go odd as Tony and I hit the Windsor/Hartford border.

First, there was the sighting of my identical bike (save color and size) outside the town pool. This might not be so odd for you if you own a shiny late-model set of wheels, but when one lugs around 33 pounds of 20 year old Diamond Back Override, it is something of a unique sighting. I managed to embarrass Tony by pointing out to the bike's owner it was older than he.

Just a little further up the road while cutting through Keeney Park, in my usually mode of combing for road-side-finds, I spotted what were in fact the lens to glasses identical to the ones I was wearing. Maybe someone had the fashion sense to jettison their glasses as soon as they say me wearing the same. Good call.

So who else out there has a tattered "Tech Team" handlebar bag attached to their bike with a bungee cord? I know you're out there.
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