Author Archives: swampyankeecyclist

About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class white 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 4 bikes; a ten year old carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a new GT Grade 105 gravel and commuter bike, a 20 something year old Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike, and now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 30 year old Ross MTB that I don't ride enough. All of them have Brooks saddles, which should tell experienced cyclists a little about me. I created this blog to write about cycling, perhaps to inspire others to ride. I commute to work by bike year round, ice permittine. It's a 32 mile round trip, so a good week sees me doing it 3, maybe 4 times. 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'm a senior editor at Fine Homebuilding magazine.

Relating to the Real World

I’m not a particularly skilled mountain biker, but I’m far better than I was 6 months ago. For this to happen, something changed inside my head which I’ve only recently articulated. Before, I’d ride down a trail and see rocks. Now, … Continue reading

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Keeping Honest

I rode Waldo two nights ago, a fast tangle of singletrack loops where almost any rider can have fun. Last night, Chris, Korey, and I rode what we call the River Road Preserve, an out and back with one loop in … Continue reading

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Slow is Hard

After 15 or so years as a roadie, last October I went for my first mountain bike ride in decades. My purpose for that ride was simply that I thought mountain biking would improve my bike handling skills to help … Continue reading

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Indian Trail Opus

Indian Trail is a local icon. It’s dirt, and twisty, and steep. When you realize it’s part of a route, you to take a deep breath and look inward. I climbed Indian Trail last night, with five other cyclists. But … Continue reading

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Mind Over Mind

I had a great ride yesterday, and dreamed about mountain biking last night. The night after a good mountain biking session, I frequently dream of riding. I don’t remember any other activity having this effect. Why this is I don’t … Continue reading

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What’s the Hurry?

I got into an argument with a friend on Facebook about cyclists using the road. This particular fellow is a good guy, someone I’ve known for years, someone who’d help me if I needed it. Hell, he’d help you if … Continue reading

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Please Don’t Tell Me to Be Careful

It’s a refrain every cyclist has heard: “Be careful!” I know people mean well, but every time I hear it, “Be careful!”, pisses me off just a little. Do people think that idea never would have occurred to me otherwise? … Continue reading

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