Woke up to a bagel with cream cheese and a bowl of fruit, yogurt and granola! On top of that, Lori made me 3 sandwiches for the road! PB & Jelly’s and one had bananas in it! Oh the little things that get me going..
She also made a breakfast sandwich for one of her boys and Stuart (the dad) said he never gets sandwiches made for him. He also said that was okay with that cause he doesn’t like her sandwiches anyways! Haha obviously he hasn’t had the PB & J with banana sandwich cause man I loved them during my ride today! It wasn’t the nasty jiff PB either, it was the organic, stir before you scoop kinda stuff.
How I would describe my ride today: Suburb cycling.
I rode through many suburban streets, past houses small and large. Along the Long Island Sound with sailboats littering the docks and kids learning to sail in little dinghy’s.
It was a pleasant ride, but I was looking forward to a brewery as it had been a few days!
Most of the breweries I would pass by weren’t open until Wednesday or Thursday, but today I noticed two breweries in Stratford were open.
First stop: Two Roads Brewing Co.
It was a large facility and you could tell they pump out a lot of beer there! It came out what I was doing – riding Key West to Canada going brewery to brewery and the bartender was stoked and reached out to their social media marketer.
She got some pictures of my and the bike in front of the brewery and then I went back to drinking.
A little bit later, they came out with a cycling jersey with their name and logo and asked if I wanted it. It is normally like $70, but they said they would give it to me free of charge as long as they could get a picture of me in it.
I said of course!
On top of that, they hooked me up with the free beer flight that I had ordered, a tank top, and some stickers.
Then came in one of their tour guides/brewers.
He was waiting for a group and took me on a private tour of their facility.
After the tour, and before I was about to leave, he asked if I wanted to take a 12 pack of beer with me free of charge!
Luckily tonight I was staying with a family that has been following my journey on Instagram and they only live about 10 miles from the brewery. So I said sure!
It was an IPA mixer and one of the hosts, Mark, loves IPAs so it worked out great!
Before that ride though, I went to the second brewery. It was right next door, and was owned by Two Roads! Score!
I was able to get a free flight there as well. This place is their experimental brewery called Area 2 Experimental Brewing. The beers there are more sours, farmhouse ales, saisons, barrel aged beers, ect.
Not just because I got everything free, but I really liked the beers at both places.
Biked my 10ish miles to Nancy and Mark’s place and was glad to unload that extra weight on the back!
They made burgers and potatoes, and went out for icecream afterwards!
Super cool that someone who found me on Instagram opened up their home, fed me, gave me a bed, and made great company.
Woke up to some overnight oatmeal filled with blueberries and other goodies.
Speaking of goodies, Nancy also made me a goody bag full of protein bars, snacks, chili, soup, and an avocado!
She wrote down all the cool places along my route today that may be worth stopping and checking out, including where I can get a Connecticut postcard for my wife.
They were spot on where to get that – at the Yale bookstore.
My route took me through downtown New Haven which is right where Yale University is. There are some beautiful buildings! I didn’t get a picture of their library because of too much construction around it, but it is covered with huge slabs of marble that let in cool looking rays of sunlight.
Right down the street was Louis Lunch, a burger place that opened in 1895 and still cook their burgers vertically through some old looking cookers!
I didn’t think I would get to try them, but I only had to wait a few minutes for them to open, and it was worth it! Some tasty burgers. Just white bread, medium rare burger, onions, and tomatoes. Don’t ask for ketchup!
Back to biking, my destination today was New Britain as I found another warmshowers couple that were willing to take me in for the night on a last second request.
From New Haven, there is a great bike route that pretty much goes all the way through Connecticut and into Massachusetts. This made the ride much easier and relaxing!
There was a lot of rain in the forecast later today and tomorrow. After riding about 52 miles arrived at their place literally 2 minutes before it started dumping!
Thank you Lord! What perfect timing!
After I showered, Jimi and Molly surprised me and said they were going to take me to a brewery!
They took me to New Park Brewing and bought me a couple beers and we shared a couple food truck apps.
Jimi has biked from San Francisco south to San Diego and then across the whole south of the US ending in Orlando! It was cool hearing his stories and seeing a large map of the US with pins of all of the places he stayed.
When we got back home, Molly served us some beef stroganoff and little did she know, that was one of my favorite dishes growing up!
It was an early morning, but it hadn’t started raining yet, so it was a great time to get going.
Since the weather was calling for rain and thunderstorms all day, Jimi called his dad and got permission for me to stay the night at their place tonight!
This meant it was going to be a short riding day with plenty of time to explore Hartford and try good some breweries!
After a long morning at Rebel Dog coffee shop, I set out for a couple things that the internet told me I should see.
I saw the Mark Twain house, the capital, the science museum, and the Riverwalk.
The capital was actually really nice looking!
Next up was trying some brewski’s! However, I was kinda stuck on the Riverwalk.. There was a bridge that went across the interstate but the elevator wasn’t working on it. I ended up carrying my 80+ pound bike up about 6 flights of stairs pictures below:
Right downtown was a brewpub called City Steam. I asked the bartender if they did flights and he convinced me to just try a bunch of samples for free and then buy a pint.
So I did just that! He also hooked me up with the pint which was a real nice hazy IPA.
Earlier in the day I got a voicemail from the other guy I met back in Virginia. He is doing Key West to Canada but on a slightly different route and he said he is almost to Maine!
Way ahead of me! Still, he has done about 700 less miles than me though..
Next stop was Thomas Hooker Brewery. They were impressed with my venture and got me to take a picture in the brewing area with some of the brewers.
I was also given a free flight giftcard from another customer after I finished my flight so I was able to try all of their beers. I can’t say I liked them all, but there were a couple that I would have again like their Tropical Storm IPA made with coconut.
After filling up on beer I made my way to Windsor Locks – home of the 2nd largest NE airport and the 1965 little league world series champs.
I was staying with Jimi’s parents and his dad, Jim, made us some big hunkin steaks, mashed taters and asparagus. I ate it all! He got two meals out of it – packed the other half for tomorrow’s lunch.
Jim then took me to a brewery as well! We went to the nearest one to his place called Problem Solved Brewing.
After drinking there (both for the first time) we decided their name should be more like “working on solving the problem brewing” or “Problem Not Solved Yet Brewing”.
We chatted and talked to a few of his buddies that happened to be there as well.
I am super grateful for all the kind acts people have been showing me lately. Like taking me to breweries, making me real good food, giving me a place to stay on last minute notice, giving me money for food later on, giving me food to go, etc.