Sunday, June 20, 2010

4 1/2 stars

The hazy early morning sky cleared by the time I reached Old Saybrook. I had filled the gas tank and had my coffee along the way, but wanted to check out the local action so I stopped at the Paperback Café Coffeehouse and Eatery for a bathroom break and something to nibble. I waited until they opened at eight along with about 15 other people; the sign of a good breakfast joint. I saw several outside tables which soon began filling up with all those hungry folks. The pastry case, across from the self serve coffee bar, looked good enough to make the trip for all by itself! There was a triple chocolate truffle cake complete with shaved chocolate swirls on top that called my name even though I had never been there before. I chose their Glorious Morning Muffin, something cleverly disguised as healthy. One bite into it convinced me to return. It was probably tied with the best one I had ever had. It was very moist and tasty. I saved half of it for my return from my ride. (Good thinking, that. It held me over until dinner at home.)

Old Saybrook was settled in the 1600’s by the English. They built a fort at the beginning of the river to protect the English settlers. Many of the houses have those little plaques by the door that read whose house it was, and the year, so they must be on the historic register. There are quite a few, including this tavern and a doctor’s house. Travelling by bike, I had no way to jot down the names, and my memory just wasn’t going to save them today.

The ride starts out on Main Street, a short strip of small shops and Ace Hardware. (So nice to see Ace and not a big, box hardware store. I felt as if I could walk in and ask for help. Too bad I didn’t need anything!) The demeanor of the road quickly changed as I drove past the church and into residential heavens. Oh. My. Goodness. Almost every house in this stretch has waterfront property, and the ones who don’t still have fantastic views. The larger houses have beautiful landscaping, and even the smaller ones look cute. I’d be happy to live in some of these folk’s garages or outbuildings!

The clearly marked path winds around through a few neighborhoods and wanders down to the sea. I had forgotten about riding into the ocean wind, and the workout it creates. But worth every minute of it! There was even a small causeway to cross (just like the bikeway on Lake Champlain).

Okay. The book said that the terrain was flat for this ride, and they were spot on. By the time I had completed the ride I felt like I had only ridden half of the stated 12 miles, so I took a mini loop through the first section and added about another 2 to 3 miles. I pedaled back to the car, finished my muffin, and turned west.

Looking back, my only regret is not riding the complete course a second time. Then I could have had lunch at the Paperback Café, enjoying the live jazz from 11:00 to 2:00. That’s a definite for next time.

Why only 4 1/2 stars and not 5? The beaches are all private/residents only. It would be nice to have open space for the bikers/runners.

Hope your weekend was filled with good things!



farmlady said...

What a lovely thing to do. I'm glad you had such a good time and a delicious muffin. It must be an almost Zen like experience, riding that far on a nice day.
Great post, lovely photos...

Maria said...

Sounds like a fantastic day......And great weather too!