There might be no better way to show off Hartford than to take people around the city on a walk or bike ride.
That's what the Central Connecticut Bicycle Alliance was betting when it started the Discover Hartford Bicycling and Walking Tour last year. The thousand or so folks who took part in the tour Saturday overwhelmingly agreed.
The best views went to those doing the 25-mile bike ride. They rode from Bushnell Park to the handsome new Riverwalk along the Connecticut River to Riverside Park, where a cross-country meet was getting organized.
They pedaled through the North End, past the Circus Fire Memorial, to the woods and meadows of huge Keney Park. Thence through Asylum Hill to Elizabeth Park and the West End.
The counterclockwise loop continued through newly refurbished Pope Park, then along the South Branch of the Park River, where a new trail is under construction, to lovely Cedar Hill Cemetery. The two-wheel tourists went through Goodwin Park down to the South Meadows, worked their way back past the Colt complex to downtown and back to Bushnell Park.
As one rider put it, "Wow!" The effect was stunning. If you see the city only from the highway, you are missing something. Hartford has well-documented difficulties, problems that need urgent attention. But to see the great city parks, the historic buildings, the new homes where dank housing projects used to be and the new schools is to realize that there is much here to fight for.
If you missed the ride, go next year.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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