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.

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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On the Continuum

Turning the corner from Purchase Brook onto River Road about 6:15 on Tuesday morning, another cyclist hove into view. I don’t know about you, but when I see another cyclist my brain goes into full assessment mode, trying to place … Continue reading

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Riding in the Rain, Just Riding in the Rain

It was a good week – Nearly 100 miles in. Between bronchitis and injury, I’ve lost the better part of two months of riding this spring. But finally, I can breathe without coughing up a lung and it doesn’t hurt … Continue reading

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Epic Vignettes

With a lingering wrist sprain limiting my riding, I’ve been remembering some of the times I could ride. Flying along the cinders of the old Erie Lackawanna rail bed on my Stingray with my best friends Doug and Mike. Both held … Continue reading

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You Know What’s Coming

You know you don’t have to ride it this way, but you know you will for no reason other than that the notion is in your head today and you feel you can. It is hot. The leaky tree cover … Continue reading

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First Hot Ride

I had a side gig with my friend Patrick this morning doing some demo in a basement. Even demo is fun when you’re working with someone who gets it. Got home around 11, and went for a bike ride. It … Continue reading

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Chasing Limits

I’m no natural athlete. My efforts at organized sports all failed by 7th grade. Life changed though, and at 55, I’m in something like the 90th percentile of fitness for my age. A year ago, I decided to get a lot better … Continue reading

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