Sunday, August 31, 2014

How Much Bike Can Connecticut Handle?

A veritable fire storm of bicycle events in September.  Toss some logs on would ya?
I've been off the radar lately, largely due to mandatory Saturdays at my employer.  Depressingly my last post about the death of Paul Hughes graced the Beat Bike Blog pole position for an extended time.  With corporate responsibilities on a three day weekend, I'm able to catch up and provide Hartford with a deluge of upcoming bicycle (and pedestrian) events this Fall.  As a BBB reader and all around good person, it is now incumbent on you to further spread the word - either by voice, Facebook share, email, text, tweet, fart... whatever your preferred methods.

  • Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour.  Sadly.  One event that isn't happening this September is the Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour.   Here's why.  I'm listing the non-occurrence of this event to head off questions about, "When is the Discover Tour this year?"
  • Slow Roll.  Gladly - there are other rides in Hartford that you should know about.  The first is a "Slow Roll" happening on Monday, September 8th (corrected) and organized by Transport Hartford (  Meet at 6PM at the Bushnell Park Carousel for a short and slow ride around Hartford.  Transport Hartford is filling the active transportation (bike/walk/transit) void in Hartford.  The organization treats bikes like transportation, with a side of recreation.  For years motor vehicles have been the sole design driver of our infrastructure, even in dense cities served poorly by the resulting space hungry (and resource heavy) designs.  It's past time to get organized and push back for Complete Streets and high quality transit service across Hartford.  Sign up for Transport Hartford's email list to stay informed about upcoming events and advocacy opportunities in our transitioning city.  Spread the word via this Facebook invite.
  • Pedal and Path: Hartford & the Bicycle.  From September 3rd through October 7th, the Hartford Public Library "will showcase vintage Connecticut bicycle maps and images from Hartford’s past association with the bicycle, as well as a 1924 velodrome track bike, featuring components manufactured by famous African-American cyclist [] Major Taylor."  Hartford was home to Columbia Bicycles started by Colonel Pope and can claim many significant moments in bicycle history.  Get over to the library to learn more about Hartford's bicycle roots.  The exhibit is up on the 3rd floor.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Counts.  On September 9th through 14th the Hartford metro region planning organization (CRCOG - Capitol Region Council of Governments) is gathering volunteers for bicycle and pedestrian counts at intersections across the region.  I'll be traveling that week for work, so I set up an alternate count day on Sept 28th for an intersection in Hartford.  More data leads to more action, and data driven action is harder to ignore.  It only takes a couple hours of sitting in a lawn chair.  Contact Mike Cipriano  (860-522-2217 x223) with your preferences for count times/locations.  Map of locations here.
  • Riverfront Cross Fest.  Get your bike dirty or yell dirty things at the cross racers on Sunday, September 14th.  Starting at 8:30AM and the pro race starts at 3PM.  The racing starts at the boathouse in Riverside Park, the northern part of the Hartford riverfront.  You can walk or ride there from downtown.  If you drive there, I'll make fun of you.  That's because cross racing includes a healthy dose of heckling ('cross heckling is de rigueur) - and therefore I'll heckle the wankers that drive to a bike race.
  • Connecticut Cycling Festival and Hartford Envisionfest.  A weekend of awesome events with arts, music, and fast bicycles.  All within walking or biking distance of downtown Hartford.  On Saturday there is a "Gran Fondo" with 45 mile and 100 mile distances.  For some reason, they time the riders, and I'm guessing that leads to pretty irresponsible behavior at intersections (if you get creamed blowing intersections it's your own fault).  On Sunday a closed course criterium zips around downtown and is surprisingly fun to watch.  All over Hartford on Saturday there is a rolling festival at your own pace - Envisionfest.  Check out the day full of events and formulate a plan, or just wander around finding fun stuff willy-nilly.
  • Nightfall at Colt Park.  An evening of music, dance, spoken word, and GIANT puppets to mark the seasonal transition.  This event embraces sustainability with valet bicycle parking.  Bring your bike or walk over from the nearby Hartford neighborhoods.  Nightfall has several community outreach arts events leading up to the main performance on Saturday, October 11th.  Nightfall starts at 5:30PM (get there early for a good spot) and seating is on the hill near Wethersfield Avenue.  BYO blankets, chairs, and refreshments.  I'll be organizing an informal neighborhood and park cleanup that same morning, meeting at 9AM at the Sam Colt statue (also near the Wethersfield Ave entrance).  
  • Interstate Multi-use Trail Summit.  From New Haven to Northampton, MA there is a paved trail that is almost all the way complete.  I've ridden all of it and am excited to see this non-motorized trail connection close the gaps.  On Saturday, October 18th there is a summit in Simsbury, CT for this this cross state (and multi-state) trail.  You should register now.
My view this morning.
In other news, I took the opportunity on this extended weekend to do a quick overnight camp - within city limits.  It can be done, and done well.  Rather convenient to camp within a 10 minute ride of your home.
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