I had a very nice ride in the 60 degree weather today; actually it was 47 when I left, but 61 when I returned. I’m so used to bundling up for rides these days that I felt very underdressed — I wore only very light covers over my shoes and could probably have gone without them (most people call these booties, but the word seems ridiculous), shorts, tank top, short-sleeve t-shirt, jersey, arm warmers, knee warmers, and cycling gloves — short fingered! — and that’s it. Oh, and a helmet of course.
I rode for 3 1/2 hours, down to the Long Island Sound and back, following what my cycling club calls the beach loop. Or one version of the beach loop — there are many, many ways to get to the beach and back (Compo Beach for those of you from the area).
I did run into some troubles, though, minor ones. Heading south I went straight when I should have turned right and unnecessarily climbed a huge, steep hill, the sort where I was standing up in my easiest gear. I had written down the roads when I did a slightly different version of this loop a year ago, but I mistakenly wrote “left” when I should have written “right” and never corrected it, so when I saw the right turn I should have taken, I went past it because according to my paper it wasn’t correct. And I didn’t remember making any mistake last year. The thing is, my intuition told me I needed to turn right, but Connecticut roads are so tricky that intuition (especially mine) doesn’t generally help much. So even though I sort of knew I needed to turn right, I thought I was doing the best thing by ignoring what I “knew” and just riding on. So now I have no idea whether I should follow my intuition or not if I find myself in a similar sitution — either way, I’ll make the wrong decision probably.
The rest of my troubles were solved by friendly police officers — two of them! I got to a tricky intersection I hadn’t ridden through before and wandered around for a while, annoying the many drivers around me. Luckily for me, there was construction going on just up the road and a police officer watching over things, and he gave me directions. He called out as I began to ride away “I’m jealous!” Yes, I was lucky to have enough free time today to go on a long ride by the beach.
The second police officer was very friendly too; I ran into him while trying to ride down a road that was closed because of a fallen something or other, and he gave me directions around to where I needed to go. This one yelled out “enjoy your ride” as I pedaled away. Very nice!
I also had a rough last 10 miles or so; I think I hadn’t recovered from a hard ride I did on Sunday, and my quad muscles were rebelling. I was also getting hungry; I’d eaten two Cliff bars, which should have been plenty, except I was riding during my lunch time when normally I’d eat more than that and burn a lot fewer calories.
But otherwise, it was wonderful to be out in the spring-like weather. I’m trying not to think about how far away spring actually is.