A Mystical Ride


Over the winter I sketched out a cancer ride with a ride in every state. It did not come to fruition, yet, but this ride was on my Wahoo. I was traveling from home to Mount Washington, New Hampshire, and had time to try this ride from Mystic, Connecticut into Rhode Island at the town of Waverly.

Barn Island Wildlife Management Area
Stonington, Connecticut

There was one thing I did not account for. The weather. There was a huge swath of rain from Long Island to Boston. It was following me. It had rained overnight where I stayed in Norwich. The forecast did not show any breaks all day in the rain and I was resigned to riding in the rain somewhere. But I saw a possibility. There seemed to be a window of opportunity around 10:30 for about an hour, maybe two. So I went for it.

On paper, I envisioned a grassy beach area near the sound. In reality, it was very wooded and buggy too. I was getting bit up by mosquitoes when I wasn’t riding.

One man’s home is his castle

I parked in the Barn area. The parking at the sound was reserved for boats and trailers although, on this gray and rainy day, no one was parked here.

I took a somewhat country road. It was part country and part suburbs. On the Connecticut side, I briefly rode next to the Pawcatuck River. I missed the one photo op thinking I would have a better one. I didn’t. The rain started.

The Sound at Barn Island, Stonington, Connecticut

I crossed the river and entered Westerly, Rhode Island. The rain picked up. I was following my route through town but I was in town. And it wasn’t fun anymore. The roads were wet. I was wet. On a sunny day, I would have continued to Watch Hill, and if I’m back here again I will need to try that. But not in the rain. Not today.

Westerly, Rhode Island

I turned around and was anxious to see how my new Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt would handle the directions I mapped out. Would it continually try to put me back on route or understand I was headed back? Answer: It adjusted and put me on course to go back to my car.

Two castles

The long way, about six miles, would be to retrace the road I had come from along the Pawcatuck River. Or at 2.5 miles, I could take South Broad Street / Stonington Road. I chose short.

On another day I would have gone long even though cyclists seem to have an aversion to out-and-back or retracing our routes. We prefer loops. But I chose the shortest way to minimize my time in the rain. But Stonington Road is a two-lane road, no shoulders, and pretty busy. It was not a fun ride.

Had it been a sunny day, I think I would have liked this ride. I’m not sure about the Rhode Island portion because I didn’t ride much. I would try it again to Watch Hill and then decide if it really is too sketchy. But it felt good to break up the driving today by riding in two states.