I rode my bike yesterday. I wasn't sure I was up to it, but it was sunny and 50°, and forecast is for colder temps the rest of the weekend, so I bundled up and went. It was chilly, but I was warm enough, and the wind wasn't nasty for a change. Even better, no lungs were hacked up in the process. It was the first time I felt close to normal in two weeks. It was a short ride, 12 mi., just enough to nudge me over 1750 for the year.
Afterwards I took a ride up to the big box stores in Coventry to lay in my truffle making supplies. I took the back roads up to avoid the misery that is the interchange between Rt 4 and I-95. To wit, there is no interchange between 4 N and 95 S. One has to exit 4, negotiate the three traffic lights on Division Road as it passes between a shopping center and a multiplex, and then north on Rt 2 to the 95 S entrance ramp. Another of RI DOT's many hall of fame designs. I try to avoid the area as much as possible, but it was the best way to get to the big box complex off 95 from where I live.
That is, apart from Hopkins Hill Road, which runs straight down through Rhody's backwoods from Coventry to Exeter not far from my house. I often came home that way, because the return through Division Road is even worse. The only problem with the whole scheme was that when Hopkins Hill hit the Exeter town line, it turned into a dirt road.
Now, I like dirt roads. I enjoy the nostalgia of a simpler time. I think they're neat, so I don't mind occasionally driving on them. Hopkins Hill was kept up pretty well by the town, so it was bumpy, but not atrocious. But they're no fun at all in lousy weather, and they take a toll on the shocks. So I didn't use Hopkins Hill all the time.
Then, last September, they paved it. Now it is wonderful, sailing through the woods and past the farms smooth as silk. Of course it is dark as pitch at night, but that's what high beams are for.
I'll miss the dirt road a little. It was the only one I drove on with any regularity. There are a few other still in Exeter, so I can still indulge occasionally. Although there is another one I'd love for them to pave, Ten Rod Road from where it stops being Rt 102 to where it intersects with Rt 3. That would be so useful.