The Trail

I’m a liberal, but even I’ll admit big government took the fun out of this part of the park. Are you happy now bureaucrats?

Tomorrow will be a stormy day. That made the sunny skies and mild temperatures of today unavoidably tempting. Helaine, Doppler and I took off for Hamden’s longest, thinnest, most used town park.

I’ve heard this trail called everything. It’s the Linear Park, the Canal Line and Rail-to-Trail. Google Maps calls it the Farmington Canal Heritage Tail. Mostly it’s just “the trail.”

We picked up the trail at Brooksvale Park, a more traditional park with ball fields, playground equipment, a pond and open space. Oh–and animals.

Brooksvale Park has a menagerie of small farm animals. Around twenty years ago the USDA forced the town to build a fence around the fence that penned in the goats, sheep and ponies. Kids could no longer get close to the petting zoo wannabes.

I’m a liberal, but even I’ll admit big government took the fun out of this part of the park. Are you happy now bureaucrats?

We left the park crossed Brooksvale Avenue, then a small bridge and were on the trail. It is a one lane blacktop strip with woods and wetlands on either side.

Before the trail this was the right-of-way for the long defunct New Haven and Northampton Railroad. Earlier still it was the route of the Farmington Canal.

Our section of the trail is flat!

We walked north toward Cheshire.

The trail was loaded with bikers, skaters and walkers. Many like us had brought dogs along. Doppler made a few friends. There are more small dogs here than on Sleeping Giant.

We saw two spectacular small birds up in trees. They were black with orange accents around their shoulders… if birds had shoulders. My cellphone camera was unable to get close enough for a good look, but they were pretty. We weren’t the only ones to stop and gawk.

Later this spring the trail will gain a canopy of trees. Today it was still open to a mainly blue sky.

This is the best time of the year. This is the weather conducive to everything.

Back On My Bike

“It’s a thousand degrees outside,” Helaine warned me as I headed to the garage to top off the air in the tires on my bike. She’s worried I’ll overexert and injure myself.

Today is my day to return to physical exercise. My boot’s gone. I’ve been given permission to ease into biking.

The orthopod told me ten minutes to start. I suppose she’d be embarrassed if I went out and fractured my fibula again. I wouldn’t be too thrilled either.

At least in the short term, my biking will be very easy. No standing on the pedals to maintain speed. Lots of shifting to minimize my second-by-second effort.

I did my little circuit through the neighborhood twice. That’s about a mile, though the distance is inconsequential. There’s no pain. That’s the important note.

It’s definitely hot and sticky outside, but the wind rushing by counteracted all the wilting effects of the atmosphere.

Over the next few days I’ll stretch out the distance until I’m ready to ride the Farmington Canal Trail, a two minute drive from here. I could ride to the trail, but the local streets, winding and hilly, are just too dangerous.

I’m disappointed the 5K run I originally planned for is out. I’ll be thrilled if biking helps me get fit.