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Saturday Ride

2003-09-01 , ,

Took a familiar ride. Because of the high humidity, I tried wearing shorts under the Aerostich suit instead of my usual heavy jeans. This worked and even with the vents open I stayed dry and comfortable. I looked rediculous with my khaki cargo shorts and black motorcross-height Combat Touring boots but only my in-laws saw me like that.

I needed the bike inspected, so I stopped at Duchess Recreation. I called Friday to see if they were open and I’m sorry the guys were working on a Labor Day weekend but I’m glad they were there. I followed Route 55 out to Pawling, ditched the slow-moving truck and cut up Route 22 into Wingdale. Strange to see the run down institutional architecture of the Harlem Valley Psych. Center and the neat boxiness of the newly built Stop & Shop. Turned East into Connecticut and rode up into Kent and toward Canaan on Route 7. Kent is a picturesque, if slightly artsy, town and I haven’t been through in a while so I ran around it a little. I slowed to take a look at a yellow clapboard-sided Colonial that shouted to me,“dream house!” Later, Maria, real-estate maven, knew exactly where I was describing when I told her about it. The whole town is on the radar and it’s priced accordingly. Another example of my champagne taste to go with my beer budget.

Leaving Kent, the ride went to pot. I don’t know what is going on between the State of Connecticut and its drivers but the highway department posts its roads a good ten miles per hour lower than neighboring states and then, in some kind of demented sympathy, the locals drive another five to ten mph slower than the posted limit. I’m all for safe roadways but puttering along at 3000rpm in 3rd gear on a meandering country highway at 35 in a posted 45 that anywhere else in the Northeast would be posted 55 doesn’t make me take greater appreciation of the pastoral, it makes my (and that of the drivers of the Porsche 928 and the Volkswagen GTI ahead of me) temper simmer. The occasional pissing rain must have been too much for him to handle and just before Canaan the operator of the Volvo with Connecticut plates- not a driver, an operator; Drivers have an awareness of their surroundings and don’t just diddle with the controls- heading the unwilling and fast growing convoy of pissed off drivers pulled onto the shoulder to look at a map. I hope he found whatever he was looking for, he sure annoyed a lot of people.

Having had enough of Connecticut, I headed into Massachussetts (where exceeding the posted limit comes naturally, Hi NEDoD!) through Sheffield into Great Barrington. There I turned onto Route 23 and headed West through more rain back into New York State. I hooked up with Route 22, again, and dodged rain South to Millerton where I got off onto Route 199. This part of 199 is great, clean, well-graded road and was dry. The fun lasted until outside Rock City where I ended up behind an SUV with a Yonkers license plate bezel going 20mph below the posted limit. No matter, swung into Red Hook and down a side street to avoid the (one) traffic light. Discovered they put a stop sign at Tobacco Road. Back onto Route 9 and stopped for ice cream at Holy Cow before heading to Poughkeepsie.

A nice 160+ mile ride but I’m thinking I need to replace my Corbin seat (their picture here). It looks good but I’ve put a little over 2500 miles on that seat since buying the bike and it hasn’t formed to fit me or softened the slightest bit. Within 50 miles of riding I’m squirming to take the pressure off my behind. I think a Russell day-long is the answer. I’ll have to scrounge up another OEM seat.


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