Monday, July 02, 2007

Awesome Beach, Hilly Ride

There are few beaches in New England as beautiful as Wingaersheek in Gloucester, but also few with as small a parking lot (also, there's between a $15 and $25 charge, depending on the day). So my hubby announced: "We'll park behind the police station in Essex and ride our bikes to the beach. It should be about 5 miles, mostly flat. It's at sea level, after all."

Well, we did park behind the police station easily--check. No trouble getting onto the beach at Wingaersheek on a bike--check. As for the other parts: Ummm...not flat and the winding roads make the route definitely more than five miles to the beach. Beautiful place to ride--salt marshes, nice houses. And an equally nice place to push your bike up a hill because it's the sixth hill in a row and your panniers are full and you just need the break (although pushing a bike up a hill is no picnic either).

Nevertheless, thanks to a restorative break at the beach concession stand (very reasonable prices and delicious fruit cups at this time of year) and some water and sand, we felt refreshed. Really--this beach is spectacular, all Edward Hopper-y with a lighthouse in the background and all. And in the end, despite an offer from Jim to pick me up in our van, we all (hubby, The Boy, and me) made it back to the Essex P.D. intact--and a little more fit for the effort. In fact, I blazed through the last two miles on Rt. 133 (we came back a different way) as though I'd gotten some sort of second wind. So I guess I'd do it again.

But next time, I'm getting a topo map first.

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