- 2016 Elections
- Special Reports
- Maps & Data
- Dear Abby
- Games & Puzzles
- Events & Exhibits
- Food & Drink
- Arts & Music
- Movies & TV
Ah, pedaling merrily along, fresh breeze, bright sun, birds chirping, heart pumping – is there a more joyous freedom in the universe?
The beauty of bicycling in our neck of the woods is the variety of terrain: shoreline, farmland, forest – even urban rides have their charm.
You don’t even to own or rent a two-wheeler.
Both New London and Mystic offer free loans of bicycles – that’s right, free – through sharing programs run by dedicated volunteers on a mission to get more people away from their cars and into a healthy, fun activity.
As Mystic Community Bikes notes on its website, bicycling not only reduces energy consumption, traffic congestion, noise and air pollution but also encourages physical fitness.
Both the Mystic and New London programs offers free use of a bike to anyone showing up at various distribution centers with a valid driver's license or ID, and a $10 refundable deposit. They even provide locks and helmets.
“We try to appeal to all levels, from people who commute on a $3,000 custom road bike or a kid on a BMX,” Rob Bareiss, chairman of Bike New London, told me the other day. “We focus on getting families out to ride, making streets safer for riding, and teaching safe-riding habits.”
In fact, the organization will be giving away up to 75 children’s helmets Sunday, June 30, courtesy of a generous donation by the New London Kiwanis Club, as part of it’s fifth annual Bike Fest. The free event, from noon to 3 p.m. at New London City Pier, also includes free bike repairs and tune-ups, a custom and vintage bicycle show featuring Rat Rod Bikes, free reflector tags from Connecticut’s “Share The Road” program, and a Parade of Wheels through downtown, beginning at 1.
Bareiss said Bike New London, which maintains a fleet of 12 bicycles, has seen usage double every year since the organization began five years ago.
Both groups rent adult touring bikes with baskets, ideal for pedaling around town but not for off-road riding or entering a time trial. As such, they don’t compete with local bike shops, and in fact are supported by bicycle storeowners and employees who help out with repairs.
New London bikes are available at the Water Street Parking Garage, conveniently located across from the train station, bus terminal and ferries.
More information about Bike New London is available by email at
email@example.com or by calling (860) 912 6882.
Mystic Community Bikes has 10 distribution centers: Bank Square Books, 53 West Main St.; Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, 109 Pequotsepos Road; Howard Johnson Inn, 253 Greenmanville Ave.; Mystic Depot Welcome Center & Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, 2 Roosevelt Ave; Mystic Shipyard, 100 Essex St.; Mystic & Noank Library, 40 Library St.; Noank Community Market, 17 Pearl St., Noank; and Seaport Marine, 2 Washington St.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (860) 245-8150.
Both organizations rely on donations and welcome volunteers.
During decades of traipsing through the wilderness I’ve slept, or attempted to sleep, in every conceivable indoor and outdoor quarters: in freshly dug snow caves; alongside bug-infested swamps; during thunderstorms with no tent; in the...
The awful story this week about a 2-year-old boy who witnesses said was pulled by an alligator into a lagoon near a Walt Disney World hotel in Orlando, Florida and later found dead serves as a reminder that danger lurks even in "The...
While kayaking the other morning I spotted a small, dark object poking above the lake surface 100 yards or so ahead, and I was pretty sure it was the head of a turtle until I drew closer and realized the sad truth: just another beer...
Shortly before the start of the late-great Rose Arts Road Race several years ago, a 10.47-mile running competition over the hills of Norwich considered one of New England’s toughest courses, my friend Bob and I decided to jog a couple miles...
Lugging back-country skis and poles on our shoulders, my son Tom and I trudged along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway at Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park, searching for a section of road that had not been plowed.
As I clambered toward the crest of the Mist Trail in California’s Yosemite National Park a couple weeks ago, spray from the thunderous Nevada Fall washed over me, but I was already soaked, with sweat, after gaining nearly 2,000 feet of...
Just between us, don’t you hate it when friends or coworkers post photos on Facebook of awesome journeys to exotic destinations – or if they’re really old-school, send postcards depicting glorious sunsets, sparkling lakes,...
It’s difficult to imagine a more outrageous example of idiotic government overreaction than this week’s incident involving a mute swan on Five Mile Pond in Danielson, which would almost be laughable if the outcome weren’t so...
With a blustery breeze making the 8-degree temperature feel as if were a few notches below zero, our group didn’t intend to dawdle while scrambling back to civilization. The mountain hut where we spent the night had been so frigid my boots...