Christmas Eve. I wanted to get out early to get a decent ride in before the mandatory family dinner. I also wanted to not get up early seeing as I had gotten to my parents’ place the night before. So a mid-morning start it was.
My plan was to take a familiar route with a bit of modification in the middle. The first notable feature of this particular loop is a hill about 2 miles from the start. Here is a foothill of the hill:
About to head down the other side:
A recurring theme this week: everything was frozen. The temperature was hardly a problem after a few minutes of riding, though. That is not Jesus in the photo below, but a guy ice skating.
It’s Christmas, right? Here’s a church:
There was a decent wind blowing from the North.
I crossed over the Long Island Expressway, roughly 70 miles east of NYC. A little while later I rode over the tracks of the Long Island Railroad.
I guess that the pavement was a lot colder than the air temperature, because there was a copious amount black ice on all of the back roads.
Speaking of cold, I needed a “nature” break.
Good job, moron. At least I discovered a new use for tire levers.
I soon reached Mill Road, in central Suffolk county. There are many Mill Roads around. This one is not only my favorite mill-themed road on Long Island, but one of the best roads around in general.
Not a car in sight. This little pond is at the end of Mill Road and eventually connects to the Peconic Bay between the forks of Long Island.
If you’ve ever been to Reykjavik, you’ve probably seen road signs like this:
Eventually I reached Riverhead, a town lying on the westernmost part of the Peconic Bay. Here’s a crappy automatically stitched panorama taken at the same spot as the photo below.
After getting through Riverhead, one immediately encounters vast empty farm fields and pretty nasty wind–no matter what the weather report indicates. The cross wind was not too bad today. I managed to take photos with one hand on the bars and didn’t fall over.
Having turned north to reach my goal for the day, the “not so bad” crosswind turned out to be a hell of a headwind and I spent a few minutes in the drops looking down at my front hub while trying to ride as straight a line as possible so I didn’t have to look forward. But immediately at the end of this northern leg I hit Briermere Farms.
If you are local and don’t know Briermere, I suggest that you visit. One word: pies. Hey, the riding is nice out here too! Anyway, having reached my intended destination I turned back west and began to ride that northeast wind back to where I started.
I took a detour toward the water near Port Jefferson. This route is the most hilly approach from the east. You begin literally at sea level.
This is the first hill, and it sucks worse than it looks. Grading must have been an afterthought when this road was being built. Good thing it is short.
But that’s not all. Here’s the approach.
After a couple of more hills, it was time to descend into Port Jefferson. Going down this is sketchy in any conditions. There are ruts across the road in the worst places imaginable for the line a cyclist would take around that left turn. I’ve passed cars here more times than is wise (no times is wise. I am dumb).
I had so much fun screaming through Port Jefferson that the below photo was a bit of an afterthought. After coming down that hill, you make a left through an intersection and begin a very gradual climb that only gets steep after you leave town. There are many ways up and out of Port Jefferson, but I took a few photos of my favorite. The short railroad tunnel near the top reminds me of something out of the Giro.
And that’s a wrap on Day two.
Distance travelled: 100 km
Unfortunately my Garmin battery seems to have died after being left outside after the ride, and the ride file got corrupted. I was able to reconstruct the ride from the files that came off the Garmin, but all of the data besides distance is inaccurate.