For today's ride, I brought some things I usually take with me: spare inner tube, tire levers, Park Tool MT-1 and a patch kit. But I didn't need any of them, thankfully.
I did bring two things I definitely needed: water and sunscreen. During the course of my ride, the temperature rose from 27C (81F) to 33C (92F) and I pedaled under bright sunshine, at least until the last half-hour or so of my ride. Also, I spent much of my ride by the ocean or bay, which intensified the sun--and the wind. Fortunately, for most of the ride out, I was pedaling into the wind, which meant that it blew at my back for most of the way home. That's especially nice when you're riding a fixed gear--Tosca, my Mercian fixie, of course-- as I did today.
OK, so everything sounds good, right? In fact, my ride was very, very nice: I felt good, the bike felt great and as hot as the day became, it didn't feel oppressively so. And the rain waited until half an hour after I got home. (You didn't know I had the power to so influence precipitation, did you? ;-)) When I got home, I gulped down some seltzer as Marlee and Max curled up with me. I cooked some pasta to use up the last of a batch of pesto I made a while ago. (I don't know how much longer it would have kept. Besides, I think there's some nice fresh basil on the way!) I dozed off, awakened about an hour later by a friend who called "just because."
You might say I lived a privileged life today. I wouldn't dispute that. Still, I'm going to complain about something. (Aren't privileged people the first to do that?) Here goes: I had everything I needed, and almost everything I could have wanted. Notice I said "almost": I forgot to bring my camera, or even my cell phone, with me.
Funny how, even at this late date, I can recall having spent the majority of my cycling life without a cell phone. And I have done many other rides without a camera. As it turned out, I didn't need the phone: I had no emergencies and, when I got home, I saw that no one had tried to call me. But there is something I would have liked to record with my camera, or even my cell phone.
Today I rode to Point Lookout. I followed the same basic route I've taken for most of my PL rides over the years. I didn't see anything out of the normal or meet anyone new, so, perhaps, there was nothing to record. However, when I arrived at PL, I noticed that it was fenced off behind the ballfield and playground.
Actually, it looked as if only the parking area was blocked. So I did what the German Army did to the Maginot Line: I marched (OK, walked my bike around) it. Although I didn't see anyone else on the rocks or sand by the water, and I didn't see anyone walking their dogs or significant others on the sandbar (The tide was out.), I didn't think I was anywhere I wasn't supposed to be.
Then I heard a whistle behind me. No, someone wasn't admiring my physique. It was that unmistakably shrill tweet--almost a shriek, really--of an "official" whistle, perhaps one of the police or the military. Turns out, the guy who blew the whistle was connected with the latter: the Army Corps of Engineers.
I must say, he was friendly and polite when I asked him why he was chasing me away from the beach. The folks at ACE decided that there was a lot of damage--some from Superstorm Sandy, and some that preceded it--to the beaches, rocks and habitats. To be fair, even before Sandy, I had noticed erosion and other kinds of damage to the environment over the years (more than 20) I've been riding there.
Certainly, I was disappointed that I wouldn't get to spend some time propped up on the rocks, feasting on the reflection of the water and and reveling in the sun and wind against my skin. But, I reasoned, it would be nice for all of it to still be there when I ride to it again: something I may do soon, even if I can't walk on the sandbar when the tide is out. After all, the ride is still great. And I have everything I need.