“Big wheels keep on turnin…”

When I was a child, I spent many sunny afternoons riding my bike up and down my road-the smell of fresh cut grass that so adamnetly says”summer” filled my lungs as the days shadows played out on the lawns and trees as I rode by in my own world. Who doesn’t love that feeling of freedom with the wind blowing on your face as you glide along? Sometimes I would pretend my bike was a car, taking me to places as quick as grown-ups in their big, shiny cars. I would sing, stop to smell a flower or two, momentarily close my eyes to feel the sun on my face or stop just in time to help a wooly-bear cross the road.

This past May, I was finally reunited with a lost love. After I out-grew my childhood bike, for whatever reason I never got a new one. In recent years I have been longing for one and either didn’t have the money to get one, or as pathetic as it might sound, didn’t have the time to go and actually buy one. Luckily, a special someone bought me one for my college graduation gift. On graduation morning, there it was: my new, shiny purple mountain bike just waiting for me to get on and give her speed. The first time I took it out, those pleasant childhood memories came back and I was almost giddy.

Already this summer I’ve had many adventures on my bike; it even traveled all the way to Cape Cod with me where I went on a very long, but gorgeous bike ride along the shore (Cape Cod has some fantastic bike trails in case you’ve never been!) I also realized how out of shape I was since not riding a bike for the past 8 or so years. I do exercise regularily, but riding a bike uses some muscles I apparently hadn’t used in quite some time. Not only is riding enjoyable, but also a great cardio workout! I’m looking forward to riding my bike through the colored leaves of fall and the crisp air–hopefully all the way up until the snowflakes start to fall. With gas prices as high as they are now it’s a great chance to take out that bike (for some of you, wipe the dust off first) and take a little escapade around town or a nice backroad. For those that live close to town, you might consider biking to the store or to have dinner (then you can work it off that dessert on the way back).

Here are some fun and informative books about biking and bike trails in and around Connecticut and New England:

Pathways Through Connecticut (CT Dept. of Transportion):A colorful, illustrated book about the many trails in Connecticut. The book focuses on the larger towns in CT and shows a map for the trail as well as describing the trail highlights. It also lets you know what you can use the trails for: biking, hiking, roller skating etc. (917.46 PAT)

Short Bike Rides in Connecticut-Third edition by Win Mullen and Jane Griffith: This is the third edition in a series of short bike ride books that we have. It has much of the same rides as the other two, but is a little more updated. This book includes many towns in CT and gives a really nice description about each trail, how to get there and what to expect. There is also a tiny map of the route to accompany the description (917.46 GRI)

The Best Bike Rides in New England by Paul Thomas: For those looking for a bit of an adventure away from home, this book includes the surrounding states, as well as CT. Like the other book mentioned, this one gives a nice description of the trail and detailed directions, as well as a little map for each (917.4 THO)

Back Roads of New England by Earl Thollander: This was a fun book I came across that points out interesting places or scenes in various New England states. There are nice illustrations to accompany the writing, as well as maps of the area described. Who doesn’t love backroading on a beautiful day in New England? Although this isn’t an actual “trail” book, you might still find a nice backroad to meander down with your bike (917.4 THO)

Adventure New England-An Outdoor Vacation Guide by Diane Bair and Pamela Wright: If you are looking for actual biking trips, this is the book for you. Although it includes other outdoor adventures, it has a section on biking trips. Some of the trip prices include dinner and breakfast if its a longer trip. If you don’t want to pay, you can always read about the trail in the book and go at it alone! (917.404 BAI)

Natural Wonders of Connecticut and Rhode Island by Carol Henshaw: Some nice recommendations for biking Bay Island Park, Conanicut Island, and Rocky Neck State Park. The book itself is a fun read about the many parks and wild places in and around Connecticut (917.46 HEN).

~Happy riding!

Sarai is the Publicity person/library assistant and loves reading Sierra Club magazine, riding her bike, and is currently getting ready to enter the baking and photography contest at the Bethlehem fair!

3 thoughts on ““Big wheels keep on turnin…”

  1. Your post brought back many memories of freewheelin’ down the hills as a child– thanks for the flashback 🙂 Maybe I will dust off my training wheels, put a fresh card in my wheel(click clack),ring my bell and I am on my way 🙂

  2. Great Blog ~ I also rediscovered bike riding as an adult – I love going down a big hill and seeing how far I can make it before I use the brakes – happy riding!

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