Thursday, July 5, 2012


While we're spending a few days on the far end of Long Island, I decided to take a couple of short rides to try to keep what little condition I have. I also wanted to see how the bike survived the first leg of its trip. Accordingly, I set off on Tuesday to explore the eastern edge of Long Island.

View Southampton in a larger map

Just before I left San Jose, I did a dumb thing: I updated the firmware on my Garmin 500 cycling computer. I thought that process had succeeded, but when I turned the computer on, it indicated that it was completing the process, and then hung on the Garmin logo. Uh oh.

Still hopeful that it would resolve itself, I started out around 9 AM, on a warm and humid day. I rode toward Sag Harbor, and through town on Route 114 toward East Hampton. At some point along this route the computer came to life. Apparently it had to update each of the existing .fit files, and since my device was full, it took quite a while. I could have sped up the process by removing those files, but it all turned out OK.

Route 114 has a nice bike path, and is dead flat. In East Hampton -- or near it, I guess I should say -- I got on Route 27 and headed west. This road also has a nice bike path, but was very loud and busy on this morning.

A rustic shack near Southampton, NY
My goal, at this point, was to meet my family on a beach near Southampton. I went past downtown Southampton and took Meadow Lane along a thin spit of land that separates the Atlantic from Shinnecock Bay. There are sandy beaches very near where we're staying, but since the kids were trying to surf, I guess being on the ocean is advantageous.

Once I found the right road, I tediously walked the bike through loose sand to say hello to everyone. The waves looked good, and the kids were approximately able to stand on the board, however briefly.

I bid my goodbyes and headed back up Meadow Lane, past stunningly immense estates, huge mansions with guardhouses and other outbuildings larger than my house, all obscured by 10 foot hedges. Some people have a lot of money, it seems.

This time I rode through downtown Southampton, until a local cop who appeared to be in grade school told me it was illegal to ride a bike on Main Street. I was incredulous; he said it was posted. I went around, but when I stopped for a (very expensive) bottle of water, I looked for a sign. There was none.

I decided to head generally back to the house, but after riding most of the way so far on the main street of this area, I wanted to take more obscure little roads on the way back. I took Main Street north to the train station, then took Powell over to a road of many names, all interesting: it starts off as David Whites Lane, then becomes Flying Point Road and Seven Ponds Road. That road then splits; I took Lower Seven Ponds Road to Head of Pond Road.

These are country roads, passing by farms, but they are very busy. I didn't have any problems with any cars, but there wasn't a shoulder, and there was enough traffic to make it dicey. The roads were very pleasant, but it was hard to enjoy them due to the need for constant attention.

This all changed when I turned off Scuttle Hole Road (I'd love to know the origins of these names) to Brick Kiln Road (this name I could figure out). Brick Kiln Road climbs a little and enters a shady wood, which was welcome on this sweaty day.

At this point I had no more goals in mind, but it hadn't been a very long ride and I was enjoying this wooded area with less traffic. So rather than head directly back I continued on Brick Kiln as if I were going to Sag Harbor, then turned on Noyack Road back to Long Beach Road, and then to the house.

Elevation profile
Tuesday's ride was 44 miles, with a whopping 300 feet of climbing. With all the sightseeing, it took nearly four hours, three hours in the saddle. Actually, since my computer wasn't working for the first part of the ride, I guess it was slightly longer, but still with zero climbing. Nice to get out, though.

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