I did something fulfilling, yet pretty stupid today.
I live in Bucks County, PA, and figured I would stay at my parents’ place at the Jersey Shore for Memorial Day weekend. So I drove from my apartment to Toms River, NJ, on Friday night. I was supposed to get a haircut Saturday morning at the place I have gone to for years.
Well, I get in my car and go to put my key in the ignition…it won’t go in. I turned the steering wheel a bit to see if it was a wheel lock issue, but no dice. I call the local dealer and he says there is a similar problem with other models of their cars, but not the one I have…hence, they don’t have the part in stock. The best-case scenario is that I’ll have to get it towed to the dealer on Tuesday — thanks to the Memorial Day holiday.
Fortunately, since I wanted to do a little bike riding in the area this weekend — since I did a lot of it when I was growing up here — I brought my 12-speed with me. And with no other mode of transportation available to me, I decided I would go on a long bike ride.
Well, I wound up riding from Toms River to Bay Head and back. For those unfamiliar with the northeastern Ocean County, that is about a 35 mile round trip. Throw in the 5 miles or so of out-of-the-way cycling I had to execute due to road construction and traffic and it probably turned into a 40-mile trek. Now, I used to go on 20-mile rides at least twice a week during the summer in my late teens, but 40 miles definitely marks a new single-day high.
Why was it the bike ride from Hell? I was only going to ride to Mantoloking, which would have probably reduced the trip to about 30-32 miles. But — despite being in not the best of shape these days — I felt really good and decided to go to the northernmost point of Bay Head.
That’s when the Hell part started. It turns out I was tanked…and the wind in my face didn’t help. But I kept going…slowly…and eventually made it back to Toms River — three hours after I departed! After experiencing severe leg cramps for an hour or so and dealing with a really bad headache, which I think resulted from a lack of oxygen getting to my brain on the way home, I am doing OK. I don’t expect to repeat the trek again…at least not for awhile.
To give you a sense of my ride, just go to this Google Map…I left from a bit north of the word “Dover” and rode to the top of the last “t” in Point Pleasant…and back.