This week I finally took a bike trip that has been on my mind for several years: a three-day, 210-mile journey from my hometown of Morrisville NY to West Hartford CT. During the seventeen years that Beth and I have lived in Connecticut, we’ve driven back and forth dozens of times, and on those occasions when we avoided the interstate highways, my mind fixated on finding a bike-friendly route with places to stop along the way. The key was to ride east on US 20 (which now has a bike lane), to NY 145 south through Cobleskill NY (overnight #1), then NY 23 east across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge (with a separate pedestrian path) over the Hudson River, then MA 23 east to Great Barrington MA (overnight #2), then MA/CT 183 south into central Connecticut. See the full-screen map or the smaller version embedded below:
If you don’t mind a few big hills (see the elevation maps below from http://BikeRoll.net), it’s a pretty nice ride, mostly through beautiful farmland, and for me, many familiar towns from my adolescence. Thought a lot about how much my 12-year-old self began to see the world, one very small town at a time, by riding the school bus with our high school marching band to county fairs and fireman’s field days. Plus, I was incredibly lucky to have dodged several showers and thunderstorms, and didn’t face a drop of rain during my ride. Got home in time to take a shower before sitting in a dentist’s office for a procedure that I had put off for many months. For me, a good bike ride helps to push those unpleasantries out of one’s mind.