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.

Mullet in Farrington

When I’m driving to work Monday morning and moments from Sunday’s ride replay in my head, I know it was a good time. We hit Farrington late Sunday afternoon. It was only my third or fourth time there, Ben’s second, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Battenkilling my Choices

So I rode the Medio Fondo of the Tour of the Battenkill yesterday – 42 over-hyped miles. The good part was hanging with my friend Joe, who I don’t get to ride with enough since he moved away. We drove up together, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2820 Calories

You know it was a hard ride when you wake up the next morning still feeling hollow-hungry. Strava says the ride took 2820 calories. Joe and Chris were coming for 2:00. We’d planned the ride with visions of a sunny … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Yesterday I passed a jogger; A chubby guy dressed in sweats and laboring up a slight grade. New guy, I thought. I gave him a thumbs-up when I passed. Adapting a sport like cycling or running is a lot like beginning a new … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The 29er Tavern

Events have conspired to keep me off the bike this spring (weather, bronchitis, a marginally successful attempt to filet a knuckle with a putty knife), but I have been trying hard to remain relevant in my local cycling community. To … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why MTBing Rocks

I didn’t quite feel like riding yesterday, but convinced myself to run to Waldo for a quick perimeter loop. I cleaned the skinny and the new log-overs on Red. I bobbled but then clawed my way up the new and rocky chicane around … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heart of Darkness

Lower Paugussett State Park is a mythical place. I’d heard the terrain was insane. I’d heard the trails were not marked well. And I’d heard that if you got through the gnarl, there was a bootleg trail network built by … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment