Author Archives: swampyankeecyclist

About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.

A Ride in the Woods

Thursday night I met some of my old crew at Waldo, then rode into the woods for the first time in 11 months. The last time I rode there, I crashed, burned, and tore my left ACL. The doc installed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hills

Between the shitty weather and being busy after work, I didn’t ride this week until Saturday. Even then there wasn’t a lot of time. Instead of distance I opted for some climbs, going back to familiar hills both to test … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spring!

The weather made not riding not an option. The temperature was 60F and the skies were clear. Rode a lot of dirt and felt like I was riding, well, normally. The bike was moving at a good clip and I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Getting Out

Now that I’m done with physical therapy and we’re finally back on DST, I need to commit to getting out a couple of nights a week. That’s a little harder working a physical job again – A lot of nights … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saddle Broken

A week ago, I set out to ride a Dirty Thirty, the first since June. With the thermometer at 55F and the sun in the sky, I had to ride. February is literally the month of fever after all. The … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Day to Ride

Coming back from an injury is an interesting process. You’re at zero, but the tabula isn’t rasa. You know what you used to do. You know what it took to be able to do that. And you know what you … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Name Dropping

It’s been a mild winter. I rode yesterday because it was 50F, taking a variation of the bad-knee route I’ve been using since The Incident. It’s a good basic ride with lots of possible variations. The first climb is an … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment