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Old 01-23-03, 05:55 AM   #1
marnan
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Newbie from Haartford, CT

I am a newbie from Hartford, CT and excited to participate in this forum. Lots of great information on here. I am a mid-40 guy with 3 elementary school aged children and my wife. My passion for cycling was re-ignited when I started commuting to work (18 miles each way). It was a great time to ride and exercise when I would of been sitting in traffic and doesn't interfere with time on the weekends with the family. My work arrangement is also great for commuting with showers, lockers, and bike racks inside of covered secure parking. My building at work has 2,000 employees, but only 2 or 3 guys commute by bicycle. Kind of sad, but that seems to be the standard in the Hartford area. My bikes are good, but inexpensive. I have a 2 new Raleighs, a '71 Schwinn tourist from the dump, and a Univega mountain bike. I commute on a Raleigh R300 touring bike. It's low end with Sora components, with a rear pannier for my backpack, SKS fenders, and 28C tires. It's a comfortable ride. My racing bike is a stock Raleigh R800 with Ultegra and carbon fork. I use this for fast lunch rides when not commuting or weekend rides with my brother in-law who kicks my butt or anyone else who also kicks my butt. I would like to somehow strengthen my sprinting capabilities so I could keep up with these guys. Most of them are triathalon or duathalon guys which I am neither. Well, I probably bored you enough with who I am, and I look forward to hearing from you in the forums.
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Old 01-23-03, 07:26 AM   #2
chewa
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With that collection, you'll fit in well here. Welcome to the forums.
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Old 01-23-03, 11:13 AM   #3
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Welcome to BikeForums.

Nice collection of bikes.
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Old 01-23-03, 11:31 AM   #4
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Thats a long commute. I have 17 miles but when I ride the bike I usually take the car the next day. What is your route like - flat or hilly, lots of intersections to slow down for, traffic?
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Old 01-23-03, 06:19 PM   #5
marnan
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AndrewP - I do some consecutive commutes, my record is 5 days in a row. I also do some split commutes where I leave my car at work and ride home and back the next morning. My parking garage at work has 24 hour security. I can also bus home, ride my old Schwinn from the bus stop to my home (2.2 miles) then ride to work the next morning. I have alot of combinations I do and sometimes I leave my old Schwinn at the bus stop for days at a time. It's a secluded "Park and Ride' near the town dump. One thing I cannot do is take my touring bike on the public bus and then bike home. Our public bus won't allow bikes, but I know our local 'bike to work' coalition is trying to get some bike racks on the front of public buses. As far the terrain, it is fairly hilly in western Connecticut, but not like Vermont. The first 10 miles of my commute to work has some quiet suburbia, and some rolling parts through a Pine Forest owned by the town land trust. The next 5 miles is on a congested road with lots of run-off. It is actually safe since the average speed of the cars is 15-20 mph because of morning congestion. I pass a lot of slow moving cars on the right in the run off area. The last 3 miles is downtown Hartford with people, buses, lights, etc.
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Old 01-23-03, 07:07 PM   #6
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Marnan,
The commute into Hartford can be great fun. How do you get into Hartford? I live in East Windsor and work on Airport RD. The ride in is not bad, but the ride home.... I can avoid Airport RD, but I still have to deal with rush hour traffic in East Hartford.
Anyhow Welcom to the form
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Old 01-23-03, 07:47 PM   #7
marnan
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Bentbaggerlen - thanks for the chat, neighbor
I live in Collinsville, CT, an old town within Canton along the Farmington river. To avoid Avon Mountain (no road run-off and steep) I ride south through Avon into Farmington (Route 4) into West Hartford via Farmington Avenue into Hartford. Route 4 in Farmington is my 5 mile section were the morning congestion occurs. I have some other routes through the center of Avon and then notch around Avon mountain to West Hartford plus some others. It's a lot of fun any way I go. So how long is your commute ? and what town are you commuting to ?
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Old 01-24-03, 11:16 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, I live in centrl Mass. My commute is 18.5 miles each way, I ride most of the year, The cold this winter got me, I've been off the bike for 3 weeks now and it's killing me, hope to be back in the Brooks Monday.
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Old 01-24-03, 09:00 PM   #9
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MrFix, You sound like you are a hard core commuter doing the winter stuff, especially this cold winter in New England. I only commute April thru October after daylight savings time changes, but I have done some commutes in March and November. One of my barriers is cost. I would need to invest in lights, clothing, probably some gortex, those bootie things, and would also need to make my mountain bike commutable during the snowy days. My wife will make sure my kids get ski equipment before I get that bike stuff. She already reminds me that I have 4 bikes. I am building up some good excuses here, but I guess the real reason is that it is 'cold and dark' out there and I would rather be sitting around the wood stove until Spring. Let me know how you make out 'back in the Brooks'.
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Old 01-25-03, 01:06 PM   #10
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Marnan,
I know Collinsville pretty well, I ride out there every now and then. I've camped on the banks of the Farmington river many times, and used to live in Unoinville.
I'm not a huge fan of rail-trails, but I dont hate them eather. Have to say the bridge that carries the trail over the Collinsville Ax Factory is really something.
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Old 01-26-03, 08:52 PM   #11
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bentbaggerlen
yes, the rail/trail bridge over the farmington near the factory is nice. I live 3/4 mile up the hill from the bridge. My kids and I ride down quite often in the summer to ride the rail. It is beautiful along the river. Supposedly, an investor is going to develop the old ax factory (restaraunts, businesses) and add some condos along the river.
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