At the start of this video showing Steven Mitchell's TEDx talk in Hartford, Mitchell mentions a grand journey he took at the age of 20. Starting in New London, he rode a bicycle across the country to Tillamook, Ore.
"The most amazing thing about that trip is over those 35 days I probably had a couple million cars and trucks that passed me, and not one of them hit me," Mitchell says.
He uses this point to segue into the topic of the conversation, namely that bicyclists like riding where they don't have to worry about getting hit by a car or truck. Ten years after the cross-country ride, Mitchell was hit by a vehicle in New Hampshire but survived with minor injuries.
Mitchell goes on to talk about the East Coast Greenway, a sort of bicycling companion to the Appalachian Trail. Stretching 3,000 miles down the East Coast, the project looks to link urban centers with shared use, traffic-free corridors. The trail starts in Calais, Me. and ends in Key West, Fla.
It's an ambitious project and it's still underway. The trail has 198 miles proposed in Connecticut, but only 28 percent of that is complete and another 28 percent is under development. Unfortunately, the East Coast Greenway also excludes New London, making a jog from the shoreline through Hartford before swinging through the Quiet Corner and exiting Connecticut via Sterling.