If you’re traveling through New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood some morning, you might see a man pulling a red wagon loaded with bicycle tools.

That’s Joel LaChance, the Goatville Cyclesmith, who also painted on his wagon: “a shade tree mechanic.”

He really does work under the shade of a tree, at the corner of Orange and Cottage streets. But LaChance also wears a straw hat to shield his face from the sun.

RANDALL BEACH: A bike man returns, this time without walls


Since it started in 2009 with 200 riders, Rock To Rock has become an annual rite and a major green fundraiser. This year, 500 riders raised more than $50,000 for 14 environmental groups, according to organizers.


Pierre Lallament lived in Ansonia when he got the patent for the first pedaled bicycle in 1886. Then he spent his life in relative obscurity, working for a factory and dying without fame, money or much credit.

Now one Ansonia resident wants to change that — and it starts with a 10-mile bike ride this summer.

As part of the annual International Arts and Ideas Festival in New Haven, a group will bike from the New Haven Green to Ansonia on June 12 to recreate Lallament’s first long ride.


Newly arrived songbirds sing and call in the trees and shrubs. Violets are in bloom, producing purple splashes by the trail. Red maple buds are specks of scarlet in the trees. To the left, a water view; to the right, woods.

Busy Route 10 in Cheshire is a short distance away, but there’s no need to worry about cars and trucks as I pedal the bicycle. All is well. My highway for the morning is the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, open only to foot and bicycle traffic.

STEVE GRANT, The Hartford Courant

“Unbroken Beauty: Walking Or Biking The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail,” April 23, 2011

At an unveiling of the City’s new Smart Cycling Handbook, Mayor John DeStefano had this to say:

“This cycling community did not exist in a meaningful way 20 years ago when I became mayor. It has become such an important part of the city. People see through cycling their connection to one another, finding joy in one another. It’s a really important and big thing in enriching our community.”



Talented, well-loved, musician (Swear Jar) and mechanic (Devil’s Gear).

Area Bands to Play Benefit Show for Slain Peer

Mitchell Dubey Benefit Moved To Toad’s