Goal made for Danbury man: Bicycle to all 169 towns and cities in Connecticut
SHARON — What does a 34-year-old Danbury man, who dislikes what he calls “the car culture,” do to be true to his beliefs? In 2001, then-24-year-old David Bonan made a vow to give up his automobile and rely only on his bicycle and public transportation.“Cars keep people from interacting,” Bonan said in an interview this week. “In a car you just fly by people and never take time to stop and talk with them.”As a freelance journalist, political organizer and documentary filmmaker, Bonan is someone who thrives on communicating with others.In 2006, Bonan realized he had ridden his bicycle through many of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns. That realization gave birth to the goal of riding his bicycle through every one of them. His goal was reached in Sharon at 2:25 p.m. on Saturday, July 16. He stopped for a visit in front of the town’s Hotchkiss Library. Bonan’s goal was not merely to ride his bicycle “through” each municipality, but to ride through the geographic center, Main Street or “town center” of each one. The Sharon Green met his criteria. When he gave up his automobile, Bonan relied on mass transportation for about 20 percent of his needs and his bicycle for the other 80 percent. He estimates the bicycle now accounts for about 90 percent of the miles he travels. Each year, he cycles between 6,500 and 7,000 miles. He even uses his bike to take vacations, or what he calls, “bike-ations.”For Bonan it is not about saving money or being green. “In my heart I have come to believe the bicycle is the ‘great community organizer.’ It gets people talking to one another, instead of being isolated in their cars.”For Bonan to complete the 41-mile trip from his home in Danbury to the Sharon Green took about four hours and 25 minutes. “I had forgotten how uphill Route 4 is from Cornwall Bridge to Sharon,” he said.Bonan has also bicycled through about 95 percent of Rhode Island. Bonan is working on a documentary film about the Still River, which is in the New Milford area. The Housatonic Valley Association is one of the sponsors of the project.