You know that moment when you’re about to come to a stop on your road bike, and realize that you’ve unclipped from your right pedal, but you’re leaning to the LEFT?
Well, that happened the last time I cycled on the Stevenson Road. This time, I paid better attention.
We live in one of the best places in the world for road cycling here on the Adirondack Coast. And as it’s near our house, I often start off on a ride from the southern end of Stevenson Road in Westport. This is the same place that I began my ride the last time out, but with a surprise ending in which I found myself unhurt, but stunned to be lying on my side, along with my bike, in the road (I quickly jumped up and righted my bike, looking around to make sure that there were no witnesses to my smooth dismount).
From that starting point, I have a few favorite loops, and on this day planned to do a short, 20-miler. I headed north on the nicely-paved Stevenson Road to Westport, a rolling ride of about 7 miles that passes a few small farms and wide fields with views of the Green and Adirondack Mountains.
Stevenson Road ends with a steep decline into Main Street in Westport, next to the historic Westport Library and it’s sprawling public lawn. I took a left onto Route 9N and continued toward Elizabethtown, passing the Fairgrounds, the Depot Theatre and Amtrak Train Station, and leaving the town on the wide shoulders that exist between Westport and “E’town”.
By the time I hit 9N, I had already determined my destination/turnaround point. I was going to stop at DaCy Meadow Farm, as they were serving brunch that day. The Farm is just a mile or so from the edge of Westport, (or what I consider the edge of Westport), and is a working farm with a fully licensed commercial kitchen that’s used for special farm-to-table events and weekly brunches in summer.
Every Sunday between Memorial Day and Columbus Day, Dave and Cynthia Johnston (the “Da” and “Cy” in DaCy) serve an all-Westport-sourced (except salt and olive oil) brunch from 10am-2pm in their Localvore Gallery. The food is local, and the building is also an art gallery; so one can see how adept the Johnstons are at naming stuff.
Today, the idea to stop at DaCy was prompted by a friend’s mentioning on Facebook that he’d be heading there mid-day. However, since I was only halfway through my ride, I couldn’t allow myself to eat quite yet. But I thought it would be fun to stop there, say hi to the Johnstons and see if my friend happened to be there at the same time.
Brunch this Sunday consisted of sausage or spinach quiche, fruit, kale salad, toast, orange juice, coffee or tea, with a homemade chocolate or mint chocolate chip ice cream to finish. Now, despite the delicious offerings, I managed to just experience the food through photography, rather than actually ingesting any of it. (And I knew what I was missing; I’ve recently had brunch there, and IT. IS. AWESOME.)
My friend wasn’t expected for another hour, so I chatted for a few minutes, took a picture of the cattle in the nearby field and got back on my bicycle to head back toward Westport.
When I passed the junction with Stevenson Road this time I continued straight on 9N south until it intersects with the Camp Dudley Road, where I took a left to follow this great, short road that passes by the oldest continually-running boys’ camp in the US after which it’s named, complete with a view of Lake Champlain just before it loops back to meet 9N. A left onto 9N, and a quick right onto the 1-mile long connector Napper Road brought me back to the midway point on the Stevenson Road, where I headed back south to where I’d started.
And as I approached to the southern end of my loop, I unclipped my foot, set it down as I came to a complete stop, and dismounted. I looked around for witnesses, and no one was watching this time, either.
RESOURCES: This route is partly represented in the Lake Champlain Bikeways' Mountain Coast Connector loop. Download a PDF of the Adirondack Coast Bikeways Mapguide.
-Kim Rielly is the director of communications for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, and a fan of quiche.