My last couple of bike rides have been longish. Rather than driving down to the bike path riding, I've started riding the bike to the path. It's about 7.5 miles from here to Kingston Station, so it's a 15 mile ride right off the bat, plus however much I ride on the path. Tonight it was 22 miles all told. The ride down Rt. 2 is easier than I thought it would be. Well, except for the wind. The road is modern and wide, with tall trees on both sides that seem to focus the wind like a wind tunnel. I've had the wind right in my face on both rides down to the path. It's like biking through molasses. The ride back is a bit tougher, mostly because one of the uphills is steeper. And of course by the time I started back, the wind had calmed some, so I got little benefit from what little tailwind there was.
Sunday I left thinking I had plenty of time to get back before the thunderstorms showed up. I started getting rained on at about the farthest point from my house on the entire ride. Fortunately, it was just a few wind blown drips. I didn't return via Rt. 2 on that ride, but instead took South Road up to Kingston proper, then took the back roads from there to Slocum and home, passing my old apartment in the process. The back road route is longer, but since I didn't double back on the bike path, overall it was a shorter ride, about 20 miles. As I rode down Slocum Road, I discovered that the drips I'd felt had come from a cell that had deluged Kingstom and Slocum. It wasn't raining when I got there, but I got soaked from the rooster tails my tires were throwing up as I rode.
I passed my pre-2007 personal best total mileage on Sunday's ride. Last year that didn't happen until the middle of August, so go me. Tonight I passed 600 miles for the year.
The critters have been out in force. Saturday there were death bunnies and death chipmunks dashing across the path. One chipmunk tried to make it between me and an oncoming rider. It just barely missed me, but as I passed the other rider, I heard the distinctive ping of something hitting a bicycle spoke. I stopped, as did the other woman, but the chipmunk had already vanished. I also saw three of the biggest birds I've ever seen take off as I got near to where they'd been clustered. At first I thought they were gigantic crows, but then I got a better look. They weren't crows, but turkey vultures. Another death critter bites the dust, apparently.
The road route has it's own set of critters. There's a dairy farm along the route, and twice as I've passed I've been chased by large dogs. That's not fun at all.