Monday, October 28, 2013

The Long Journey (Brooklyn to Montauk) Part II

Part of the rationale of this long ride was to get out of my head.  As of late, my mind has been contaminated in unexpected ways.  Riding is that opportunity to get out my mind and just not think for an extended period of time.  The repetitive action of pumping the pedals, pulling your legs back up then thrusting them down again becomes all that matters.  The repetition and knowledge of traveling distance is cleansing.  It is, if only momentarily, healing and being 60 miles away from home was lovely as well.  Montauk was getting closer and reaching the destination became all-consuming.  That was all there was to focus on.  

And that is where I left off a few days ago.  Patchogue was surprisingly cool.  It is a town I plan to revisit in the future and maybe get to know a little better. The time at this point was about five after three in the afternoon and needed to cover some major distance.  This was when the very important aspect of continuing moving without stopping became all important.  There was major distance to cover and it was getting late.  The idea of catching the sunset out there was becoming more and more fleeting and seemingly impossible.  That was okay at this point.  I paid for a hotel room out there, so refused to eat the $140 that cost.  I was going to get there, but stopping would have to become something I did very little of.  There were also friends who went out to surf in Montauk and I really wanted to see them there.  They were these secret motivators to ensure I completed the ride.  Nichole is a co-worker of mine and her husband, Justin, celebrated his birthday the day before.  Seeing them in such a different context would be amazing.  So, they deserve a major shout out for being silent enablers to keep me moving along the highway.

The air out on Long Island changed.  Even though there was a constant flow of cars to my left, the sea was to my right and although I could't really see all that much of it at this point, you still knew it was so close.  25 miles later, I reached the town of Quogue.  I hadn't been there in more than ten years. I recalled an inn I stayed in that was right on the water, but cannot remember the name of it for my life…..  It was beautiful and quite surreal.  My companion and I arrived there after work and quite late on a Friday night.  There was a note left for us explaining how to find our room.  There was also this gigantic hound dog, with humongous, floppy ears and massively overweight.  His eyes were bloodshot. He pretty much lived on a beer diet and I find that to be extremely depressing now, but back then I thought it was kind of romantic.  The owner placed a beer tap at the check-in desk and it was to be consumed on an honor system of paying something like two dollars a pint.  I'm pretty sure I was extremely dishonorable.

The next town was Hampton Bays and the road hugs the water and your lungs are filled with salt water air and it feels great.  Seeing towns with "Hampton" in their names became another major boost.  You just know you're getting closer, but just not close enough.  But, you know you're getting there and you're feeling invigorated even with a drastic headwind blowing against you.  Man, the wind on most of the ride was working hard against me.  At times it felt a bit defeating, like the earth itself was rooting against me.  Perhaps, that is just my self-defeating mind frame these days, but those crazy, asinine thoughts worked their way back into my mind.  The thoughts don't truly go away, but they are kept at bay for hours at a clip.  But, like flies to shit, they make their way back and need to be pushed out again.  Alas, the pedaling continues and you keep on going……….

Areas passed through:  Bellport, Brookhaven, Shirley, Mastic, Moriches, East Moriches, Westhampton, Quogue, East Quogue, Hampton Bays.

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