My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
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Yes, I actually looked happy anticipating the prospect of riding 71 miles to Rockport. That is because I knew I would have a tailwind the entire way, and I never had to ride back against the wind. One-way trips: My new favorite thing. Too bad it involved Ian driving 140 miles over the course of 2 hours and 40 minutes, in order to make my one-way trip possible.
I have no pictures from the ride itself. I haven’t found a good way to carry my big camera on my bike yet, and frankly that wasn’t a great loss on this ride. I spent virtually the entire time on Route 62 — I hit the eastern end of 62, which means I’ve now ridden it end to end (I think) — and it wasn’t all that pleasant. Lots of strip malls, too much traffic, not enough shoulder; the usual.
A couple notable things happened, though. First, going into downtown Marlboro, not two miles from home, a guy winked at me. That may not sound so odd, but this guy was in a maroon 1990 Dodge Caravan, he looked Italian, had slicked-back hair with a little curl coming down, was probably at least 45, and he included a remarkably lascivious grin with the wink.
Second, around Bedford, I was stopped at a light, waiting in the left turn lane to (I know this will come as a shock) turn left. An SUV pulled up on my right. The driver had his window down and I glanced over. He said, “Do you have to follow all the same rules as motorcycles?” Normally I don’t have conversations with car drivers, but that’s not to say I won’t. So I said, “Well – the same rules as cars.” He made affirmatory (this is a word that means a combination of confirming and affirming) noises. Then, being a humorist, he asked, “What happens if you get in an accident? Do you have insurance?” I said I had normal car insurance; the light turned green, and we went our separate ways. Hopefully I helped educate him and the people in his car about cyclists’ responsibilities a bit.
Third, I got to pass a zillion cars all lined up as they waited for a bridge to come back down. By the time I reached the front of the line, the guard rails were just coming up and I hardly had to slow down. HA!
That’s about as exciting as it got. Ian and I met up smoothly and successfully in Rockport, my final destination. For some reason the camera’s auto white balance turned everything extremely blue, and since I shoot in JPG right now, I’m stuck with blue pictures.
Never overestimate the amount of grit and road dirt that will accumulate on well-sunblocked legs after a long bike ride. My arms looked the same, only the grit had particularly accumulated in the creases on the inside of my elbow. I washed my hands and face very thoroughly before Ian and I ate lunch.
On the drive home we saw this SUV. First we roundly mocked it for having a roof spoiler since a vehicle that big has approximately a 0% chance of lifting off the ground no matter how fast it drove. Then we took in the other evidence: Extremely wide mirrors and a trailer hitch. This led us to hypothesize that the SUV often towed a large trailer and, further, that the roof accoutrement actually served as an aerodynamicizer. When we passed the SUV later, I noticed that the roof spoiler had a hinge that looked like it would lift the flap at the angle you might want for diverting air up and over a tall trailer when you straightened those hinges. Deduction. It works.