June Hates Me

It was getting late for a bike ride.  After 1 PM and I wanted to do the 30 mile loop.  But I really didn’t feel like it.  Standing in my garage, dressed for a ride, staring at three bikes.  I felt like one of those couples on the HGTV show House Hunters.  I eliminated the touring bike by hanging it up for the winter.  That left the road bike and the commuter.  I finally grabbed the Felt road bike, put on the roadie shoes and off I went.

I met a regular young walker on the MUP stopped to say hello for a few seconds and began to ride away.  He began to walk faster then jog to keep pace.

“Are you trying to keep up with me” I asked.

“As long as I can” was his response.

“Good luck with that” I quipped  as I quickly accelerated to 19 MPH on this flat stretch of blacktop.

During the first part of the ride I couldn’t shake the desire to take one of the many bail out option on this route.  Eventually I slipped into the riding zone and before I knew it passed the point of no return. Meaning there were no more side roads to shorten the route.

Because of the late start, I rode past one of the local high schools at dismissal time.  I was also riding west into the low sun.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that there were lines of high school drivers texting while also being blinded by the low sun behind me.  I found a place to get off the narrow country road to let the traffic settle down.

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I sat in front of these two who were both born in the 1700’s as the high school traffic raced by.

The car traffic ended and the yellow buses began to make their way toward me from the school. I began riding thinking the school bus drivers would be a safe bet as they passed giving me plenty of room.  Think again big guy. The buses were traveling faster than the kids in cars and the 50 something male drivers had fire in their eyes as they passed. A couple very close I might add.  I again pulled off to the side to let the remaining buses go by.

From then on it was clear sailing to the country store.  It’s a stop I always make if for no other reason, because it’s there.  A woman inside asked if I was running when she saw my get up.  “Riding a bike” I said.  “Oh, that’s even colder”.   It was chilly, which is different from cold.  45 degrees chilly. I mentioned I only had 8 or 9 miles to go and then she asked how many I had done.  When I said around 20 her eyes bugged out.  I used to think 30 miles was a massive amount to ride a bike in one day.  Now, it’s a decent ride.

Near the end of the ride, I noticed a rider approaching.  As the rider got close I realized it was one of our group riders, whom I hadn’t seen in a while.  As we crossed paths I stopped and yelled “JUNE, howahyah”.  I got a soft hi John back as she rode toward the setting sun.  I think June hates me.

Just a couple of things to end this post.  The road that had collapsed because of the water passing under through the pipe way that was built of brick and stone sometime in the 40’s, is almost complete.  It looks like all that’s left is the blacktop.

Lastly.  If your ankle strap that keeps your pants from getting caught in you chain come off on a country road some day and you turn back to retrieve it.  Keep one thing in mind.  When you unclip you right shoe, make sure you lean to the right when the bike stops rolling.  Don’t lean left.   OK. Now turn up the volume and put on your dancing shoes.

Vivid Imagination

Brand Island causeway
Brand Island causeway

I did go for a ride today with the intention of supporting the coffeneuring challenge riders still at it.  Today’s ride took me to Mattapoisett, on the southern coast of Massachusetts. When I got to the end of Brandt Island road, I began thinking about what fun we had here one day a long time ago. The story is later on in this post.

I made my way back to Fairhaven to do my daily shopping for tonight’s meal.  Did I ever mention that I’m the cook.  Well I am, and always buy food for cooking the same day.  Especially the vegetables and breads. Speaking of cooking.  My favorite food show is on PBS and it’s called, “I’ll have what Phil is having.”  Watch one episode OnDemand and I’ll bet you too will put it one your favorites list.

During the ride I went off road with my pseudo off road bike.  I have a 700×25 tire on the front and a 700×33 on the rear.  You see, the bike is in transition to winter.  I got home about the same time as wifey who you may know from yesterday’s post, is an extreme animal lover. She had forgotten to stop by and feed the feral cats and asked me to go back and do that.  I was tired and almost drove the three mile round trip.  I did come to my senses however, and rode there.  They were waiting patiently and every now and then one would take a peek.

Transitioning to winter riding. I call her Caitlyn.
Transitioning to winter riding. I call her Caitlyn.
Feral cat taking a peek
Feral cat taking a peek

Brandt Island. The Story

Way way way back, around 1970  I learned about Brandt Island.  It was abandoned, had a mansion that had been destroyed in the hurricane of 1938.  The story was that none of the family members survived, nor were any of their bodies found.  A few of us had visited this place once before after hearing “the stories”.   One summer night, under the influence of some decent blunts, I’m sure, we decided to return to show one of our gang the place.  On the way, this very dark, cloudy, windy night, I told the stories to the kid who had a vivid imagination and was making his first visit to Brandt Island.

Years ago a teen couple walked out to the island and disappeared.  During the search of the island, the authorities sent a diver to look around.  He never surfaced.  More divers were sent into the bay and found nothing.

Police were stationed on the island overnight to guard the place.  When the detectives returned the next morning. One officer was missing and the second was found sitting up against a tree.  His hair had turned white as snow and he had gone completely insane doing nothing but stare into space wide eyed and mouth agape.

Over the years, it was said that people walking their dogs tried to lead them onto the island.  The dog’s would cower, cry, yelp and refuse to step off the causeway onto the island.

Back then the causeway had been destroyed by at least two hurricanes and was never rebuilt.  In order to get to the island, we had to make our way across the causeway over large rocks, and cement slabs that were once the road and now sat askew and at difficult climbing angles.

After hearing the stories on the drive to Brandt Island, the new kid did not want to leave the car and walk across the causeway.  The four of us said, “that’s fine. Stay here by yourself”.  We walked away and he figured that was worse so he began to make his way to the island well behind us. What he didn’t know that there were actually five of us making the trip with him.  The four in the cab of the car, and one in the trunk, dressed all in black and wearing a long trench coat.

The kid thought he saw someone on the causeway behind us and began to get excited. He told us we were being followed and we laughed it off and assured him there was nothing to worry about.  On the island, he saw the thing again and his excitement began turning to fear.  He got loud and kept telling us we were being followed.   That’s when we gathered in a circle and began a seance.  We started chanting in ancient tongue and he began to panic.  We tried to coerce him into joining the seance and he started yelling, “what’s wrong with you guys? Your all possessed”. We began chanting louder and calling the new kids name.  Miiiiiike,  Miiiiike.   Our monster had made his way to the high ground about 30 feet away from and above us.  He stood tall, opening his trench coat wide and began moaning.

The new kid was now in full panic and began running back to the car.  The monster started to run after him while we chanted louder and louder, Miiiiike, Miiiiike.   As he was running Mike tripped and fell forward, as he landed on his stomach, his feet were still running in the air above him.  He was wearing boat shoes with white bottoms.  When the monster saw this, he thought is was so funny and began laughing.  When Mike heard the laugh he recognized it immediately.  He jumped up, ran to the monster Ronnie, gave him a huge hug and said.  “F*** ,  Dam, am I glad to see you.”  The rest of us joined them and we all had a story to tell almost 50 years later.

Off road bike path
Off road bike path