The Ultimate Ride – Day Five – The Urbanist

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It wasn’t all bad, but it was bad and ended on really bad notes. Leaving Washington, we fought city traffic jams onto the GW Parkway. It took over an hour to leave the city. Once on the roads east, things got pretty nice. Crossing the Frances Scott Key Bridge over the Chesapeake Bay was great. I wish I could have done a photo of that. Once on the other side, it was country riding until we got into New Jersey.

I was puzzled that the GPS wasn’t putting us on the turnpike. I finally got a chance to check settings and noticed I hadn’t put settings back from the last time I rode to Lock Haven. It was set to avoid toll roads. After fixing that, we were on the turnpike and racing to the north.

A pano from the Palisades.

We had some GPS confusion on a corner that had at least 6 different directions. The GPS was too slow to give the turns and I missed one. We had to circle around and found neighborhood steep hills, construction detours, and a school zone with the little ones getting out for the day. Another major delay, but we finally got on the Palisades Parkway.

After stopping for the view, we rode north towards the Tappen Zee bridge. As we approached it began a light rain. It was enough for Ilse to pull off in the middle of the bridge (the bridge is huge and has lots of room) to care for her electronics. On the way again, we got to the other side of the Hudson and I stopped to put on my rain gear. We had light rain and it fizzled out for awhile.

Once in Connecticut, it started to rain. Really rain. And traffic decided that top speed would be maybe 5 mph. Miserable cold rain and sitting still a lot in stop and go. It took me over 3 hours to go 20 miles. Ilse took off on her own and caught up the next day. I rode on and traffic finally loosened up to over 40 mph. The rain eased back. This is good, I thought. Then out of nowhere the heavens opened up and it poured. It was so hard I didn’t have enough visibility and I pulled off. I found a nice Greek diner and decided it was time for dinner. It gave the rain time to pass over and I finally pulled into the hotel about 3 hours later than anticipated.

It was a rough day of riding, but had some great moments, too. Tomorrow might be better.