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Long Island’s Dune Road

March 27, 2012

Last week the National Bike Summit came to town, the cherry blossoms were at peak bloom, and the weather was the type you wait all year for.  So naturally, this was the perfect time to leave the city.  Wait.  No, that’s not right.  Oh well, that’s what I did.  But, while visiting family on Long Island, I did manage to get a great ride in.

Around noon, we reached Dune Road, on one of LI’s eastern most barrier islands in Westhampton. The 15-mile long island is surrounded by the Atlantic to its south, Moriches bay on the western end, and Shinnecock Bay in the east.  Despite the late start, the ocean fog had yet to lift.

The bridge over positioned us almost in the center of the island.  We chose to head west first.  There was a slight headwind and a slight incline (maybe).  The pace set was leisurely – after all we really didn’t have anyplace better to be.

Before long, we reached an empty Cupsogue Beach County Park.  Now approaching one o’clock the fog still had not lifted.  We turned around and headed back the way we came.  Aided by the tailwind and the prospect of lunch at the other end, we continued in good spirits.

Fortunately, it was much too early for beach season.  As a result, the only other vehicles on the road were the occasional contractor van prepping summer homes for their city occupants.  Although the grand, classic New England style homes were astonishing, I would be happy with a little plot of land and a tent (easier to pack up and leave when the big one comes, I guess).

We followed the contractors down to the other end where, luckily, one restaurant was open.  Sticking with the nautical theme of the day, my brother had a fried flounder sandwich and I engulfed a lobster roll.  I would like to think that all restaurants situated on water get their fish local, but I don’t know.  Regardless, our delicious meals gave no indication it wasn’t anything but fresh.

I knew the last segment back would be the toughest.  The fog had finally risen revealing a sun that was not in much of a hurry to heat us up.  With cold, tired muscles we rode back into the increasing breeze.  Before long we became convinced this island was not at all flat.  Heads down, gears dropped, we pushed through to the end (or in this case back to the middle).

Thumbs up for Rock and Roll!

A combination of lack of traffic, ideal temperatures, scenery, and company made this an awesome day to rival even the peakest of peak cherry blossoms.

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