Over the past month, I started biking for a specific event. A triathlon of some sort, but not that triathlon you’re thinking. After flying and walking to a diner, my husband and I had the crazy idea of flying then biking to a diner. With the pandemic, taxis and Ubers are no longer something I want to do, so biking seemed like a safer and fun thing to do.
The most important part of this story was until May; I hadn’t been on a bike since maybe 2014. I had no interest in biking. Many years ago, we sold my 1980s bike because I couldn’t think of a time I actually used it. Since races are canceled, I liked the idea of doing something new and biking. So for the last month, I logged some biking miles so I could get ready. From the Cape May Airport to the Cape May Court House Diner is roughly 9 miles. We’ve flown and walked to diners, but I had no interest to fly and walk 18 miles roundtrip.
My training leading up was easy. I biked. My first ride, I biked roughly 8 miles in an hour on my husband’s single speed mountain bike. I didn’t have bike shorts, the bike felt uncomfortable, and I was miserable. After that, I bought cheap bike shorts on Amazon and tried again. It wasn’t too bad. My husband used to do a lot of mountain biking, including racing, so his bikes are made for mountain biking. Not for biking around the roads of New Jersey.
After logging about 50 miles on his bike, I decided to invest in my own Raleigh road bike. Like many people during the pandemic, I realized I like the ability to bike places instead of driving. Plus, in rush hour traffic, I can bike faster to work than drive.
So with that and the weather looking good enough to fly, we set out on our adventure. There were a lot of moving parts to including waiting for the right weather day. Which 85 degrees might not have been the best day, but you can fly in heat, not thunderstorms.
After somehow squeezing both bikes into the Diamond DA40 Diamond Star, we set off. We had to remove both of the wheels and bike seats to get them in, but they fit as well as the helmets. The Diamond DA40 Diamond Star a four-seat lightweight aircraft smaller than most people’s cars (as most private planes are).
The flight down was slightly turbulent. Slightly turbulent in the private plane world is people’s worst nightmare in the commercial flying. You bump up and down, the plane shakes a bit, and it’s loud. Nothing dangerous, but private flying is not smooth. Due to random thunderstorm cells, it was relatively cloudy and hazy. I was able to take some photos that turned out better than expected.
After we arrived at Cape May Airport, we reassembled our bikes and were off.
We averaged about 12.6 MPH with stops at lights, etc. It’s a fairly easy bike route from Cape May Airport to the Cape May Court House Diner. We passed several towns, including Lower Township and Rio Grande.
Finally, we got to the Cape May Court House Diner, ate our take out meals outside, relaxed, and headed back.
The ride and flight back were nothing of note. We just got it done.
One thing of note about private flying and the pandemic: The only time we had human contact was when waited outside for the diner food (which of course we wore masks). I never realized what a solo adventure it is. It’s basically like getting in a car and going. Since we rent various private planes, we just properly sanitize before and after.
I’m pleased; I decided to start biking for this specific trip. I’ll continue to bike and now it’s opened my eyes to how many new diners I can go to with a flight and bike. Could we drive anywhere in New Jersey? Sure, but this is more fun.
Other Flight Trips:
Questions for you:
What is the craziest thing you’ve done during the pandemic?
Have you taken up any new hobbies lately?