Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Slow Roll Toward a Sustainable Hartford

After gorging on walking and biking this weekend, I'm ready to go to bed early.  Late night dancing my arse off at a birthday party has contributed to the battery drain.  Before I nod off to sleep, I wanted to give the good people of Hartford a heads up on some bikey things not to miss.

Chris Clark jumping off some big stuff next to the Wadsworth at Envisonfest
Slow Roll - On Monday, September 22nd you can meet up with some friendly folks to ride in a leisurely manner (a Slow Roll) around Hartford neighborhoods, finishing up at a local establishment for food and drinks.  They are meeting at 6:00PM at the carousel in Bushnell Park and heading over to Red Rock Tavern after the ride.  You really should bring lights with you, and don't expect to go fast.  The group will also be making a point of riding safely - so aggressive a-holes may find themselves unwelcome.   Although this is a slow ride, informal events like this are making big steps toward building a future sustainable Hartford with more residents living in the city (not suburban commuting), using efficient and city friendly transportation, and frequenting local businesses.

Walk Hartford - Hartford's new and bustling group Transport Hartford is organizing the Slow Roll rides.  Transport Hartford advocates for more complete bicycle, pedestrian, and pedestrian infrastructure.  In addition to the Slow Roll events, there will be "strolling" events with a similar theme.  The first "Walk Hartford" is planned for September 28th.  The group will meet up at 1PM at the Bushnell Park Carousel.

Bike History - Through the month of September there are two bicycle related history exhibits in Hartford.  Running through October 7th, there is a FREE Hartford bike history exhibit at the Hartford Public Library on the 3rd floor - Pedal and the Path.  And last but not least, there are some very old bicycles in a small exhibit at the Butler-McCook House.  The Butler-McCook house is jam packed with Hartford history and housed continuously one family lineage for 4 generations and 200+ years.  I highly recommend all both the library and the museum, and not just for the bicycle exhibits.

Certain to be under publicized Cross Race - 2014 is the year of multiple events for Hartford.  Recurring Slow Roll events.  Several bicycle history exhibits.  And now two cyclocross races.  Just last weekend there was a cyclocross race at Riverside Park, and coming up in November (the 8th), there is a race right next door to my house in Colt Park - the Veterans Memorial CX Race.  I doubt the navel gazing cyclocross race organizers will bother to invite the general public.  If you haven't seen cyclocross racing it's rather fun to spectate and / or volunteer.  The course in Colt Park is stacked up on the hill such that you can see the entire course from one spot.  If one cross race makes Hartford more bikey than New Haven, then we're leaving them in the sand pit with two cross races in the same year.  Now if they could just figure out how to get some spectators (and potential future club racers) off their couches and out to the park.  Save the date!

Nightfall - Another plug for this great event coming up on October 11th in Colt Park.  Starts at 5:30PM.  FREE.  And there will be a designated bike parking valet.  BYO food and beverages.  There will be surreal puppetry, music, dance, and spoken word.   Nightfall Hartford.  I'll be organizing a neighborhood cleanup that morning on October 11th to put some shine on before we have a park full of visitors.  Meet at the Sam Colt statue near Wethersfield Avenue at 9AM.  Bring trashbags and gloves, as I'm not going to bother with getting the city or sponsors involved.

1 comment:

MargoLynn said...

There is also an exhibit of 19th Century bikes at the Old State House, including a penny-farthing; a child's tricycle; and "chainless" safety bikes, as well as a velocipede. In the basement permanent exhibit they have a bicycle that belonged to Mark Twain.