By roaming emmet
I felt like Gilligan.
I planned to take my traditional shakedown bicycle cruise this week on Wescott Road in North Charleston, near the home of South Carolina socialite John Purcell. The Trek Multitrack is strapped to the back of the car in Camden and driven south each “Spring.” I call it spring when I drive south of the snowline, calendars be damned. I use the Red Sox spring training as an aim, but the real reason for the annual trip is Cabin Fever.
This trip, the poor Trek suffered indignities on the road to Manteo on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The two hour trip from Rocky Mount was on a snow-packed road, highly irregular for a Carolina February. When I reached the temporary home of Jefferson Phil, The Trek was coated from stem to stern.
When I finally reached North Charleston, the bike had gracefully thawed. The annual routine calls for the shakedown cruise along Wescott road, about six miles. That is a lot for aging fat man. But I must. The annual cruise is doubly enjoyable since Maine is buried under 14 storms of snow and ice. I am not.
In the Charleston area, a new development seems to popup every year, along with a new shopping center. Since the sidewalk was crowded with pedestrians, I decided to take a “shortcut” through this new development, to get back to the Purcell manse, and a well-deserved libation.
I would just keep taking lefts until I got back to the house. Right?
As I now look at the map of Gilligan’s Island development, it is a huge circle, from which a number of cul de sacs have been constructed. No one told me this. I turned down Harroway Road. It ended in a big circle. I headed down Wyman Boulevard. Big circle.
I thought I saw Thurston Howell III.
I would have gladly asked for directions to the escape route, but Gilligan’s Island Development seemed to be uninhabited. When I did see someone on the lawn (was that Ginger?) they would scamper into their house to avoid human contact. Around and around I went.
Franconia Drive. Markley Boulevard. Kellum Drive. Shadow Glen Drive. I thought I saw The Captain working in a garage.
You must understand that this was the first time on the bike since last…I don’t know when. Since “Brain” Willson got run over (twice) on his bicycle in Rockport, I have avoided pedaling the public roads of Camden. Now, my ankles hurt. My Irish behind hurt. My hands were falling asleep since I left my padded bike gloves in Camden, Natch. I forgot my bike gloves. I forgot my vital Poland Spring water bottle. I forgot my iPad and was pedaling without music, a cardinal sin.
On I went. Another turn. Another cul de sac.
A person! I spied an actual eight-year-old person walking on the sidewalk. I pulled up and begged for the escape route. Out of the corner of my eye, I waited for his mother to come out of a house with several weapons to protect her son. It was South Carolina, after all. He didn’t know the names of the streets (neither did I) but he pantomimed the correct way to civilization. I followed his directions religiously and escaped Gilligan’s Island.
By the time I got back to Purcellville, the shakedown cruise had encompassed 9.6 miles, way too much for the first ride. But that would allow me to take the next day off to soothe my aching back, rear end, ankles and knees.
It really was a three hour tour. Next time, I will bring my brand, spanking new iPhone. It has maps and GPS. Honest to God. They should have that phone on the Minnow.