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.


Over the past year I learned as much about myself as about riding bikes through the woods. For the first time, an injury kept me off the bike for months. That led me to ask just what the hell a … Continue reading

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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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