One day last November I took my aging red Schwinn out for a spin, riding from East Hampton over to Shelter Island via the South Ferry. It was a good day for a bike ride – with much fall color and the kind of dry feeling in the air that inspires the urge to move.
Route 114 is the closest thing you get to a “main drag” on the island, but off-season it probably deserves to be called a back road. I pedaled north seeing few cars and soon was off exploring several tempting detours. You can do this all day because there are many routes into the island’s nooks and crannies. There’s one thing constant about Shelter Island however – it’s difficult to ride anywhere for long without a view of water.
After an hour I arrived at the short row of local businesses comprising the Heights on North Ferry Road and crossed the tiny bridge at Chase Creek. The water was breezeless as it usually is in that spot and made me wonder if it was the precise locale they had in mind when they named the place “Shelter”.
Just to the south, I found a blue-green dinghy tied to a dock and framed with orange leaves. A photograph: