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02/9/2006| 0 comments
by Paul Rogen
Woody's Cessna 182 and bikes. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com/Paul Rogen.
Woody's Cessna 182 and bikes. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com/Paul Rogen.

Take a Flike

Can you be at Tweed Airport in New Haven in thirty minutes with your bike?

My friend, Woody, was on the phone asking if I could be at Tweed Airport in New Haven in thirty minutes with my bike.   Woody and I had biked up many mountains last summer in the Alps and on long slogs he started to talk about taking his Cessna on short flights around
New England and tucking his bike in the rear seat.   We needed to think about such flights of fancy on the long pull up
Mount Ventoux. in July 2005.   Now, here he was six months later offering to change the fantasy into real adventure.   On this late January morning he was proposing we fly to
Block Island with our bikes and ride the day away and be home for dinner.   I took about 30 seconds to decide, ?Can you give me 45 minutes instead and I will be there raring to go??


I zipped through my Friday home chores and gave my commuter bike a quick check.   I left a sweet note for my wife as I started to think what it would be like to go down in a small plane in winter into Long Island Sound.   Talk about cold; we would last about fifteen minutes.   I grabbed an extra pair of cycling tights and slipped them on toward what end I do not know.   I had never flown with my fellow bon vivant , Woody Hittle.    I knew him to be a reasonably careful and thoughtful guy, but how much can you trust a biker who calls you up in January to go cycling at Block Island, nearly a hundred mile distant over the cold North Atlantic?  


When I pedaled up to Woody he was already laying out his bike and going over his safety check list on the airplane.   Airplane?  What?  I feel best on the ground on my bike. I do combine running and biking which the triathletes call bricks, but what is a flight and bike combination?   A flike.   Sounds very close to flake, and had me wondering.   We broke our bikes down and slid them into the rear seat and cubby of the Cessna 182.   After stowing our bike bags, we donned headsets and Woody began babbling numbers at the control tower.   In moments we taxied out to the runway, did a test power up and, given clearance, shot down the runway to rise over
New Haven
harbor.   We were at 1500 feet before I even took my third breath.   We leveled off and turned east up the shoreline over the
Thimble Islands.  It was a bright and spectacular day.   Woody said it would only take about 30 minutes to get to Block. Island.   The last time I had gone to Block with my wife nearly ten years ago it had taken us over two hours to drive to Point Judith in Rhode Island and then over an hour by ferry to get to the


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