The shopping trip afforded me a chance to view the bane of shore community life up close and personal—beach traffic. Fortunately, I was headed in the opposite direction on the outbound leg of the trip. Good thing, too. At eleven o'clock, traffic had backed up on Rt. 4 into frelling East Greenwich. As I motored happily northwards, marveling at the line of cars, I made a mental note to take the side roads home.
I never did find a perfect bike computer, but I did find a cheap one at Wal-Mart that does everything I need, if not very elegantly, that will hold me for the time being. While I was up that way I decided to take advantage of the industrial strength A/C available in the big box stores, so I picked up some summer reading at B&N (a Pratchett and one of Drake's Lt. Leary novels), poked around some at the local Home Depot, and went to the supermarket. By the time I was done it was almost three hours later, and I figured that everybody who was headed for the beach was likely already there, so I ignored my mental memo and chanced Rt. 4 again.
I had my usual luck with that. It wasn't quite as bad, as traffic was only backed up into North Kingstown, but still a couple of miles north of my exit. Meanwhile, the amber alert signs over the highway started displaying the message the all the state beaches in South County were closed. WTF? (It turned out the beaches were closed because the lots were full, and the little country lanes used to get to them were totally clogged. Apparently I was the only person in Rhode Island who
didn'ttry to get to the beach Sunday. Later, they changed the alert signs to indicate that the problem was parking, since a lot of people called DEM wondering if there'd been an oil spill or something.)
Got off at my exit only to find more traffic (I live just off a secondary drag to the beach) which was exacerbated by an accident. Joy. I tried reversing direction to take the long way around via back roads, and ran smack into both the folks turning around to head back to Providence and the backup from the Wickford Arts Festival. Bozhe moi! I finally got home by driving the winding ways of the interconnected suburban plats next my own plat. I hunkered down next to my precious Haier for the rest of the day.
Monday wasn't quite as hot, and I did nine miles on the bike after work to test out the addition of the stem extender. It helps tremendously. In fact, I discovered on the ride that I'd overdone the handlebar raising a bit. I also discovered that the combination of heat, humidity, gusting breeze, and not much in the way of lunch had completely sapped my energy. I was totally beat by the time I finished.
Yesterday the fog started rolling in just as I got to the bike path. The drop in temperature felt great, and watching the wisps of cloud wafting through the trees above the path was pretty neat. I was also thinking how dark the path gets with that much overcast, when I remembered I was still wearing my sunglasses. I'd tweaked the handlebar angle one last time before the ride, and I think I've finally got everything optimally set. It was a good ride, very comfortable, and I had lots of energy this time.
It's still very humid today, but only in the seventies with a nice breeze. We're supposed to get some thunderstorms tonight, which should help.