After a late breaking winter and bright, cold spring, the summer heat (and humidity) arrived yesterday like a groom late for his own wedding. I opted to get out and ride solo early this morning and still managed to work up a lather worthy of a Kentucky Derby winner.
Instead of the regular Friday morning soft-spin out to the green suburb and back, I opted for a route that took me up along a pair of small lakes. I was feeling adventurous, and the warmth hadn’t settled on the asphalt like a wool blanket yet.
Dancing (plodding really) up a short, sharp climb I spied a road I’d seen before, Agawam Road, a steep spur I’d wondered about, so I swung my front wheel onto it’s narrow ramp and headed up. Less than a quarter mile in I reached a cul-de-sac hemmed by large, neat homes, each with a driveway worthy of an Italian stone mason. One of the residents, looking bored and pre-warm, lifted her gaze to meet mine, her eyes asking, “Really? Why?”
This is the second time in the space of week I’d tried a new road and found only a dead end. “Very clever, New England,” I thought. “How about next time we just call that a court and save each other the trouble? Thanks.”
It got me thinking about detours though, those unexpected other ways that sometimes lead to paradise and sometimes to the withering gaze of the intruded upon. I have taken good ones and bad ones. Some have helped me get where I was going that much more quickly, and others have left dog-chased and regretful.
This week’s Group Ride asks: What have been your best and worst detours? What adventures have you found and what disappointments have you courted? On balance, it seems, my meandering has been positive, because I keep turning down roads both obvious and forbidding in search of a better way to go.
Image: Matt O’Keefe