Connecticut Beer Trail holds second official “Bikes and Beers” tour in Granby July 31st

connecticut beerFar be it from the People to not abide by the Constitution. On July 31st, Granby is holding its second “Bikes & Beers” tour along the Connecticut Beer Trail (it’s the Constitution State, FYI. Yeah, I didn’t know, either).

Connecticut seems obsessed with food and drink-themed pathways: there’s the new Hot Dog Trail, the Ice cream and Sundae Drive (cute), and the Wine Trail. Why the fixation? Who cares? It’s a cool idea, especially when partnered with pedaling.

Bikes & Beers is a collaboration with Connecticut’s Pedal Power bike shops. Riders will get to enjoy beautiful views along the 17.2-mile loop, as well as some cold ones at the Cambridge House Brew Pub, an award-winning producer of craft beer. It’s just one of 10 craft breweries featured on the Beer Trail, a social media organization dedicated to promoting local breweries, the craft beer community, and related tourism (how cool is that?) statewide.

Better look out, West Coast and Colorado–Connecticut’s craft brewers are gaining on you.

The Connecticut Beer Trail and Pedal Power are planning future rides; click here or go to Pedal Power’s site for updates.

[Photo credit: Flickr user roboppy]

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The 2011 Tour de France begins today!

The 2011 Tour de France begins today!One of the biggest sporting events in the world begins today when the 2011 Tour de France gets underway in the Vendée region of western France. Over the course of the next three weeks, the best cyclists in the world will pedal through beautiful towns and villages, past sun flower-filled fields, and most importantly up the Pyrenees and the Alps, to determine who will eventually ride into Paris wearing the champion’s Yellow Jersey.

The pre-race favorites are without a doubt defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain and Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who has finished second to Contador the past two years. Other contenders include Australian Cadel Evans, who led the race last year until he crashed, fracturing an elbow in the process. Samuel Sanchez, also from Spain, finished fourth in 2010 and has been boldly predicting a higher place finish this year, while Belgian Jurgen Van Den Broeck has proven he can ride with the likes of Contador and Schleck as well.

The physical challenges of the race are quite staggering. The riders face a route that is more than 2130 miles in length, spread out over 21 stages. Of those, ten are flat and designed for the sprinters to strut their stuff, while the climbers will have their turn on three medium mountain and six high mountain stages, four of which have a summit finish. There will also be an individual time trial and a team time trial thrown in for good measure, along with two rest days.

As usual, the 2011 Tour will most likely be won or lost in the mountains, and this year’s course features the famed Alpe-d’Huez, which has been missing from the route the past two years. That all important summit finish comes in Stage 19, two days before the ride into Paris, and will probably determine who stands atop the podium on the Champs Élysées.

On an annual basis, the Tour is one of the most watched events in the world. There will be more than 2000 journalists on hand to cover the race and it is broadcast in 188 countries across the globe. Additionally, an estimated 12-15 million fans will line the stages of the race, cheering their favorite riders on to the finish line.

Photo of the day: open road in Texas

There are plenty of motorcyclists in Texas and there’s also plenty of open road. Texas: where summer never really fully ends. I haven’t ever driven a motorcycle myself, but I have spent hours upon hours hitching rides as a motorcycle passenger–it’s fun. But not only is it fun, it’s also so… summer.

Whether you’re navigating roads this summer on a bike, by car, or on foot, there is something distinctly comforting about the view shown in this shot. The open road is one of the first images that comes to my mind when I think of travel and photographer Dani Way caught this open road image with beautiful accuracy.

Wish we’d feature your photo in Photo of The Day? Just upload your shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool then!

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Video: Cyclist hit by car and lands on feet

Bikes are an awesome way to get around, but there’s an ongoing and widespread problem cyclists everywhere face: drivers. Austin, for instance, is home to plenty of avid bike-riders. Some friends of mine rely solely on their bikes to get around and the complaint I hear most often is that many drivers just don’t pay attention and put cyclists in dangerous positions in cities everywhere, not just Austin. Nonetheless, bikes are handy–especially for travelers looking to see a city in a new way.

This video depicts a cyclist being struck by a car in Seattle. Fortunately, the cyclist was quick on his feet (literally) and not injured. Check out the footage and take some notes… you never know when you may need to follow suit and react as quickly as this guy.

[Thanks, Seattle Bike Blog]

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Video of the Day: Riding a bike through Paris

Seeing a city by bike is an entirely different experience than just walking around. Even here in New York, I discover new things every time I take my bike out for a spin. That’s why we’re enjoying this bike tour through Paris today. Through narrow streets, wide boulevards and past countless Parisians, the rider experienced a wonderful day in Paris.

Whether you’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower or never been to the City of Lights, this video will give you a whole new appreciation for Paris. We just hope that cameraman wore a helmet!