The beach loop

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.

Cross-posted here.

5 Comments

Filed under Cycling

5 responses to “The beach loop

  1. That sounds like a fun ride. It’s nice to get warm-ish days in winter. We’ve had slightly warmer weather here, too, but not quite so warm as you’ve had. It’s funny about intuition–isn’t it sort of the same with test taking–you’re not supposed to go back and change answers as your first intuition is usually correct? Or am I making that up?!

  2. Huh, road construction and “fallen somethings” in CT. Imagine that! And I’m jealous right along with that police officer that you were at Compo Beach yesterday. The weather here was perfect for that, but no beach in sight.

  3. Danielle — you’re right, that is a guideline people use for test-taking. But I have a pretty bad sense of direction, so I really don’t trust my intuition there — I don’t know when to trust it and when not to!

    Emily — you’re so right. I saw tons of road construction yesterday — tons.

  4. Sounds like a nice ride even with the wrong turn. And I am jealous your temperature was up to 61! Even when we got “warm” a few days ago we never got abov 40.

  5. Well, the temperature is back down into the 40s again — but yes, I was lucky to have a day in the 60s!

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