Today was beautiful. But it was still hard to believe that summer is--officially, at any rate--just a month a way.
It was pretty brisk when I started to ride down toward Coney Island. But it warmed up fairly quickly as I pedaled through Long Island City and across the bridge into Brooklyn. I could even feel the sun warming my face in the cool breeze as my wheels spun--without any effort on my part, it seemed--by the East River on the Kent Avenue bike lane.
The air felt positively summery as I passed the Botanical Gardens and crossed Empire Boulevard--near the site of the former Ebbets Field--into Flatbush. In fact, I was starting to wish I'd brought one of my water bottles with me. Of course, riding through Brooklyn isn't the same as riding through the Mojave Desert: After all, there are plenty of delis and bodegas where one can get something to drink.
Still, I kept on riding. I felt as if I were actually going to ride straight into summer until I crossed under the Belt Parkway overpass. As soon as I emerged from its shadow, the sun seemed even brighter. But it also seemed about twenty degrees cooler--as if I'd pedaled from July back into April. That's because I was by Sheepshead Bay. The ocean lay not much more than a kilometer away.
That's one of the differences between a spring and, say, a fall ride around here. While the air temperature rose to about 75F (24C), the ocean temperature has yet to reach 60F (15C). The differences between inland and shore temperatures were even more pronounced a few weeks ago, but they were still noticeable today.
As it happened, I'd left something in Arielle's bag that came in handy:
It's an old Sugoi jacket with a light lining: One of the last pieces of cycling apparel I have from the days when I was the "before" photo, if you know what I mean!