Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cyclocross and a Cycling Festival in Hartford

The next two weekends in Hartford are not to be missed if you are a bicycling enthusiast, or just enjoy sporting events in general.  This Sunday, September 14th the Riverfront Cross Fest will be zipping around the trails and open areas in the parks near the Boathouse.  You can access Riverside Park by car from the North using Leibert Road.  If you're walking or riding in (earning your karma points), Riverside Park can be accessed via the river front path that starts at Charter Oak Park, runs past the Founders Bridge riverfront plaza and on up to Riverside.  There is also a fun ramped flyover (up and over I-91) bike/ped bridge that connects the north end of downtown (via Pequot St) to the park.  Seriously though, if you're less than 5 miles from a bicycle race, why would you drive there?

The very next weekend is fully loaded with the Connecticut Cycling Festival.  Saturday, September 20th cycling options include a Gran Fondo format with 45 and 100 mile route options.  If you're the competitive type, the rides will be timed.  If you're not competitive, I'm certain that they will be more enjoyable at a reasonable pace, soaking up the beautiful early Fall weather and Connecticut countryside.  If for some reason you haven't ridden in the Hartford area, it only takes a couple of miles to get out into awesome territory and country miles.

On Sunday, September 21st, the CT Cycling Festival will be bringing urban criterium races to downtown Hartford.  If you haven't seen criterium style bike racing it's a hoot.  Super fast and right up close.  Hard and fast turns, and the group screams by your spot every couple of minutes.  Last year I camped in front of Bin 228 and watched a couple of races with my parents who were visiting that weekend.   There are going to be many food vendors and other related events.  In addition to the fun for spectators, they are certainly looking for volunteers that can put in a couple of hours to help make the event successful.  

If the bike racing that weekend wasn't enough, Hartford Envisionfest is all day Saturday, September 20th.  Another reason to walk and bike about in Hartford.  I'm not one for group rides that cost money, so you'll find me puttering about downtown on foot or two wheels on Saturday getting more than my share of arts, entertainment, music, and camaraderie.  Check out the full schedule here, if you prefer to have an itinerary.

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