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.


When my front wheel came off the side of the log-skinny the bike’s trajectory was right at a tree. Panicky, I was unclipped and putting a foot down before the tires touched the ground. My left foot hit hard and … Continue reading

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Take the Ride

For a couple of days, I’d been planning to ride last night, the only night of the week I wasn’t busy and that had a decent forecast. But the day was warm and humid and I worked outside in it … Continue reading

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Old Roads

The house I worked on last week was on a driveway that initially seemed like a continuation of the dead-end dirt road I took to get there. But that driveway ended at the house, and it would have continued on … Continue reading

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Ferry Bridge Road

Three years ago, I started mountain biking to improve my gravel grinding skills. The guys I was riding with often took our gravel rides down what were once roads, but which now consisted of a hilly single track through the … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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