Biking and Beer Mix Splendidly in Middletown

The popular series, which celebrates bicycling and local craft beer all across Connecticut, stopped at Eli Cannon's on Main Street last week.

The CT Beer Trail made a pit stop in Middletown Monday evening for its fourth installment of its Bikes and Beers series.

Around 90 people attended the event that started at the Pedal Power bicycle shop at 359 Main St. and ended at Eli Cannon’s Tap Room at 695 Main St., for some beer and complimentary food, said Bryon Turner, founder of the CT Beer Trail.

The popular series celebrates bicycling and local craft beer all across Connecticut.

Turner said there were four different riding groups depending on distance capability. The A through C groups were for more advanced riders and the D group was for more “casual riders,” he said. Groups A through C had a 32-mile ride, while the D group had a 13-mile ride.

Mike Mullaly of Wethersfield came to the event with his wife, four children, and one of their children’s friends after hearing about the ride on a friend’s Facebook page.

“It’s a beautiful day to do it,” Mullaly said about the ride.

East Hartford resident Ann Bogucki said tonight’s ride was the first of this type. She mostly rides her bike alone and occasionally rides to her job in Rocky Hill. She competed in a diabetes fundraising ride in June, she said.

Beth Lapin, who hasn’t been on a bike in two years, said she has “never done a ride like this before” and thinks the event is “a great idea.”

“Petal Power is a Middletown resource which we should take advantage of,” Lapin said.

Danny Boehning of Bristol called the ride wonderful. Boehning, who moved to Connecticut about seven months ago, found out about the ride on Facebook and decided to “just go for it,” he said bicycling 13 miles.

Boehning, who was born and raised in Indiana, said Middletown reminds him of home. Before coming to the city for the bike ride, he had never visited. The ride is “a great way to meet people with the same interests and a fantastic way to get away from everyday life,” he said.

“It is the best of both worlds to be able to go out to get exercise and be part of the community,” Boehning said.

Liz Viara of Manchester said the event was her second ride. Her brother, Matt, who works at the Pedal Power bike shop in Vernon, got her and her boyfriend interested in these types of rides.

Bud Gould, of Portland and Westbrook, said he helps out the rides the bicycle shop puts on every Monday, which he has been doing for the past four years. The event corresponded with the last ride of the season since the sun setting earlier, he said.

Gould started riding after he couldn’t run anymore because of bad knees.

Turner said he was very happy that Eli Cannon’s Tap Room supported the event and found out about the band, The Clams, a local instrumental band that specializes in 1960s surf music.

The Tap Room’s General Manager Carrie Carella said the business wanted to do something with Pedal Power and to support the CT Beer Trail. Since the business is closed on Monday nights, they were able to sponsor an event for them, she said.

Pedal Power and the CT Beer Trail have two additional rides planned for the remainder of the year, including a ride scheduled with Plan B Burger Bar in Simsbury and a Halloween costume-themed ride with the folks at Willimantic Brewing Co.  More details on upcoming rides can be found at www.ctbeertrail.net

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