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.

Rockhouse Cherry

NEMBA put in a new trail system not far from me. With a big, potentially season-ending snow storm forecast, a ride was in order. I thought there were about 5 miles of flowey, mellow trails there, and that the pack … Continue reading

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Two Kinds of Ride

The first few times I rode a mountain bike in modern times were on Waldo’s NEMBA-built trails, with flowy turns and gentle climbs and wooden bridges. That was plenty challenging for me then, and it’s still fun. I like the … Continue reading

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Winter Trails

We’re in that great patch of early-winter weather when the temperatures are cold but not frigid. The trees are bare, and the trails have either been blown clear or the leaves are packed down. (I’m an agnostic regarding the controversy … Continue reading

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Baby It’s Cold Outside

The first time I tried Jeff’s Preserves ride, I broke my wrist about halfway through. That was a year and a half ago. The second time was a year ago, and the group wanted to ride faster than I had … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Eve

Four of us rode back across the stream and got a little wet and cold. But riding along the edge of the field right after, we saw the full moon just risen over the ridge to the east.  We turned … Continue reading

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Trail Work

The Yellow trail was the last piece of Waldo still disrupted by the May storm. A lot of us put in a bunch of hours reopening the park. Some of the work was sanctioned, but I’m sure not even close … Continue reading

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Family Bonding

Eighty percent of the way through a busy weekend, I snuck out on Sunday afternoon for a Waldo session. I rode well, cleaning everything except what I didn’t try. I PRed one segment just by hitting everything smoothly. It felt … Continue reading

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