Sunday, August 22, 2010

On the way home

I don't know about you but for me once the trip is over and you are on your way home I really want to just reach into my pack pull out my communicator and have Scotty beam me home. A number of the riders who live in the proximity of Boston were driving home. This one rider who lives not far away had parked his car in a car park and when he rolled in he grabbed his bag and bike and climbed into a cab and was gone. Most of us have long flights to take to get us home. Several of the riders from the UK and Holland will be in transit for more than 24 hr.

Last night we were staying in the Gloucester High School which is home of the Fighting Fishermen. Most of the high schools were home to the cougars, eagles wolverines etc. So Fighting Fisherman congered up an interesting image of what the team mascot must look like. There was no outside camping so I set my tent up inside. It was really crowded on the floor with all the other tents set up inside and all of the regular floor floppers. However I noticed that the door to an upstairs balcony was open so I set my tent up in the balcony and had the spot to my self.

The harbour tour which Greg had organized was a huge hit. The ride was almost 2.5 hour and everyone had a bunch of margaritas. It was pretty neat seeing the harbour where Perfect Storm was filmed. The smell of the salt air and seeing all the fishing boats was great. It was also the perfect venue for all of us to have one last get together. I really had a good time. It is sure going to be different going back to reality.
After the harbour tour Tom, Cynthia, Patrick and I went for a late supper before returning to the camp. Riding with these friends sure has been great. It wasn't just these friends but all of the new friends and the old friends which made the trip great. Seeing the Mushorns for the first three weeks was really fun. I thought they were strictly motel types but they sure showed me that they are avid campers. Having Earnie come out to ride with us for a week sure meant a lot. I really appreciated your help when I needed it. I am really looking forward to the next ride. AND I mean you JH!
I have put up a few pictures from the trip in no order as no body needs to see the inside of an airport.

Where to next?


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Atlantic Ocean -- Wow!

This morning was bitter sweet as it was the last day of an unbelievable trip. There were so many great things about this summer. I really don't know where to start. The people were great the weather was unbelievable. The route was ninety plus percent down tree lined country lanes. The food was well beyond expectations. The organization of Cycle America was phenomenal. I don't think they missed a beat anywhere and if they did I sure never noticed as it was so small.

Today's ride itself was pretty. However we have become so jaded that we thought it was just another 63 miles. Ed and I set out from the university cafeteria where we had a wonderful breakfast which included made to order eggs. Yes that is right no green eggs! Ed set a hot pace and had me panting to stay with him. Ed claimed that he had been riding with his wife and so had had four days of rest. It is true that he had been riding with his wife but it was a pretty hot pace. We were flying down the road so fast I didn't dare reach down for my camera, I had to hold on to the handle bars or I would have flown right off. As a result we we down at picnic at around 9:30 AM.

With only twenty three miles to go before we hit the finish line it should have been an easy roll down to Gloster. However Ed was in the lead and I wasn't going to let him drop me. We charged down though the final leg which is pretty congested with lots of winding roads and a lot of Saturday traffic. Ed even ran down Jo, who is this woman from UK who is a professional racer, and clearly the fastest rider on the tour. I think she passed me every day and some times twice. When we got to Gloster Greg was still painting a finish line on the road.

The final leg of the trip was a one mile trip behind a police escort down to the beach for a front wheel dip in the Atlantic Ocean signifying the completion of our journey from Pacific to the Atlantic. Some riders charged into the water, however most of the riders including my self settled for a quick dip of the wheel in the water and then a photo. A lot of the rider's husbands and wives were in attendance so it made for quite a scene.

Tonight we are headed out for a harbour cruise with the whole tour group. It should be a blast. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.

What a long strange trip its been.-- Grateful Dead.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Second Last Day

To day was the second last ride day of the coast to coast. It is really hard to believe. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were in Everett Washington and getting ready to leave for our first ride day. The summer has just flown past. I saw trees which were starting to turn colour, and I saw leaves on the road.

The ride was 84 miles today and the weather prediction was for upper 80's so I was keen to get a bunch of miles in before it got to hot. However I was slow getting in line for breakfast and wound up close to last in line. So I didn't get out of camp until 7:10 Am. Camp was in the Fryeburg county fairgrounds which is a really neat place. There must be 20 or so buildings for the fair. There are hog buildings, steer buildings, goat buildings, you name it they got it.

Once I was on the road I made good time and even though I was almost last out, I was passing a lot of riders. The road was exceptional. It had just been paved a very short time ago so it was very smooth and made for a great riding surface. The wind was supposed to be out of the North which was great as we were headed due south to Durham. However the wind didn't know which way to blow and swirled around from all directions. It would be right in your face and then turn and be a tail wind. There were a lot of ups and downs and lefts and rights as we were headed down what was a country road which had close to zero cars on it.

About five miles out of picnic I spotted Patrick and thought I could catch him. So I jumped on the pedals and sprinted after him sure enough a few miles later I was close. When he hit a hill I used one of his tricks of pulling up with your ankles to accelerate on a hill. Then I was right behind him so I gave him the big dog bark. I was out of breath and the bark came out like a lame old
Newfoundland, but it worked and I scared him into thinking that a big dog was about to take off one of his legs. We both had a good laugh and rolled into picnic a mile or so later.

After picnic it was hot but at least the wind had settled down to become a tail wind. I was content that I had lots of time to make camp so I was riding slow and Patrick caught me and we rode along together until we came to the Lone Oak Ice Cream stand. This place is the place to go in New Hampshire or so I am told. We rolled in, and I had a "Kiddie Cone" which had to have over a pint of ice cream on it. Patrick had some sort of a float which was huge. While we were there a lot of other riders rolled in and everyone was enjoying ice cream and the tail wind. As a side note I see that place are now advertising an new item "Lobster rolls". I may have to try one.

I rolled the last 15 miles on into Durham and past the University of New Hampshire. It is an absolutely beautiful campus. The building are all set on the rolling hills and are surrounded by beautiful lawns.

Well tonight is the last awards night. I wonder how many there will be.

Lets Ride !


Thursday, August 19, 2010


When the alarm went off at 5:35 Am this morning the first thought; "Was do I really have to do this?" It has been a long trip and now we have only 3 ride days left. It was only 48F so crawling out of my sleeping bag was double hard. I decided that I would put on my new Lake Placid riding kit. There is something wonderful abut about putting on a jersey and new shorts. When I did crawl out of the tent there was a morning haze. I was really glad that I had put my arm and leg warmers on.
With only 63 miles to go I was in no hurray to leave breakfast. So I rolled about 7:15 AM. The sun was well above the horizon and the fog was almost gone. I had been hoping to get a few photos of the morning mist, but it burned off so quick that I didn't get any shots.
The stunning moment came when I had stopped for a moment and a local rider going the other way calls out great blog. I turn to look and he wheels around and comes up to introduce himself. Tom has been reading my blog and following my progress across the US. He recognized the silver surfer on my bike. Tom did the coast to coast in 2002. What an amazing thing that he would spot the silver surfer from across the road while going 20 mph. I was totally stunned that he recognized me. WOW! Thanks Tom! you made my day.
I rode down the `Notch`which is this place between two hills leading up to Mount Washington. There is something like 10 miles of up to 13% grade. It was this pass which lead the development of the interior of the New Hampshire. It was a great down hill.
Tonight was graduation for the coast to coast riders and we were given plaques commemorating our achievement. It was a very emotional celebration. All I have to do now is complete the final 150 miles to earn it.
Lets Ride!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Into New Hampshire

Well Vermont didn't last long. The states are pretty small in the NE. Today's ride took us from Stowe VT to Littleton New Hampshire. We were on a back road when we crossed the state line so the only note was a small sign on a bridge. I wouldn't have even known but I spotted the sign.

However I am getting ahead of myself. It is only appropriate that I mention that last nights supper was in the Sunset Grill. It was a barbeque and It was fantastic. There was barbequed chicken, ribs and meatloaf. No barbeque is complete without beans and the beans were perfect. It was a real meat lovers heaven.

I had a great time to day. The ride was a lot of short steep rollers. On some of them I would charge up just going full tilt. Standing and pounding the gears. On others I would shift down and grind away. Of course for every climb there was a decent so on some I would just glide down and on others I would power down, shifting as I gained speed. I don't think there was a single flat spot the entire ride. The cue sheet gave the ride 4770 feet of climb over the 70 miles however, I heard numbers as high as 6000 from some of the riders.

Besides the fun riding I had a lot of fun taking pictures. I was with a lot of riders so I got a lot of action shots. I total spent the battery on my camera and at one point the card showed that it was full and I had to stop and start deleting pictures. I stopped at a farmers market and there was this young couple selling the most amazing kinds of vegetables. I don't think they had many costumers, but they had a beautiful display and when I asked to take their picture they gave me the biggest smiles in the world.
The big dog was out in force as well chasing down riders and barking at them. I managed to scare three rides, which makes it a record day. Two of them were sectional riders so they had never heard the big dog bark however one of them was a coast to coast rider. I came up very quickly and kept well to the right so i would not be seen. Scaring Janet made the day. As I passed she was cursing a blue streak at me for scaring her so badly.
Littleton is a historic town or so the signs claim. For what I am not sure but I am sure you can Google it. One thing it is famous for is Chutters on Main Street which claims the worlds longest candy bar. When I when in I was amazed. It goes on forever. You take a bag and start filling it. There were things I had not seen since I was 10. You take a bag and pick your own. So I took a couple of these and a couple of those and some of them and by the time I got to the end I had a pound of candy. Having not eaten since 10:00 and it was now 1:00 PM, I ate the works. Supper wasn't until 5:30, so it was OK.

We are camped at the Littleton High School tonight and when I got there I was really disappointed as the camping was limited to this tiny area where the tents are less than 3 feet apart. However on closer examination I found a spot around the corner which was just big enough for one tent and I got it.

This morning we started a little later as the ride was only 42 miles. So it was nice to get the extra hour of sleep. We ate breakfast in the university cafeteria, which was great. The kids sure have it good. It sure wasn't like that when I lived in the dorm at university. Ya ya I can just hear the groans from those kinds of statements, about how it was up hill both ways to school.

I set out with Ed and his wife after breakfast and rode along with them for about 11 miles. When they stopped for a drink of water I rode on. A few miles later I came upon Robert who is a sectional rider. He is in the Australian Navy but is on assignment with the Canadian navy. As I rode up I could see that he was having trouble so I stopped. Robert had suffered a blow out in the side wall of his front tire. I stopped and within 10 minutes I had the tube changed, a boot in the tire, and the tire inflated and the wheel remounted.

It was only 34 miles down to picnic so it came up very quickly even though I was trying to take my time. It was such a beautiful day, and the road was so pretty. This section of Vermont is absolutely picture book quality. The rolling wooded hills look just like the pictures you see in the calenders. I was just having a ball on the rolling hills and twisting roads.
After lunch was a special treat. The Ben And Jerry's ice cream factory was only two miles after picnic. I rolled in and took the factory tour which included a sample of a new flavour which is only available at the factory, Choocholate, which was vanilla with dark chocolate cows in it. The two miles further down the road was the Old Cider Mill. I stopped in and had a large cider and a cider/Cinnamon donut. I like a good cider once in a while however finding good cider is not easy as most of the available commercial cider is over processed and tasteless. This cider was fresh and very tasty.
Tonight's camp is two miles out side of Stowe VT, so as it was still early I rode on into town. Stowe is a very picturesque town. The church in Stowe is the one which is used in all the Vermont promotional literature. The town has a 5 mile bike path which leads up to the Van Trapp family estate. The Van Trapp family settled here in Vermont after fleeing the Nazis. Well who hasn't seen the Sound of music. I rode up the path however it was very congested with slow moving traffic. It is pretty.
Well time to roll.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Best and Worst List - A work in progress

It was the best of times it was the worst of times. Oh! Wait that line has been used already. The Good, the bad, and the Ugly. Used as well. Ok How about? The Terry Wiechert "Top Ten List". No too close to David Letterman. So how about just a list of what was great and what wasn't so great about the last 9 weeks. I have been talking to lots of the coast to coast riders and have been hearing ideas but everyone on this trip has seen something different and done different things. Part of that is becuause we all past the same point at different times and part of it is because we all take our own perceptions into every thing we do. So this is really my list an not some body elses list of what was great,not so great and maybe just so. Check back to this list as I am going to continue to work on this list.

Best Ride:

I think that the Needles highway/Iron Mtn ride into Mount Rushmore was the best ride. The ride was very challenging but not a killer. We saw unbelieveable scenery, the weather was perfect, and the ride took us past Mount Rushmore which is probably the best known American Icon. There were so many great days that this was a really hard pick. I will elaborate on this choise later.

Worst Ride:

I am going to give this spot to the day into Spokeane whch was hot and we had terrible head winds. We only had a couple of days with bad head winds and this one seems to stick in my mind, I just hate head winds and here was a day riding past not much for scenery with relatively busy roads into the wind.

Best Meal:

A lot of the riders liked the Elks club which was in ____. However I think that they are selecting the Elks club because of the people who were our hosts. They were absolutely the best. They were so freindly and welcoming, you just wanted to hug them. I thought the food was good but not outstanding. My favorite was the Chapati restaurant in the Achibald House in Northfield. It was an Indian restaurant which had the best Gulab Jamun. Of course I like indian so it was really my ticket.

Worst Meal:

Hands down it was the rolled turkey in Grand Coulee. Although there was a lasgana night that I walked out on which looked pretty bogus. However as I walked out I cannot comment on it. Reports have it that the night I went to the hospital with a bee sting was pretty bad as well.

Best Breakfast: I just said that people were picking the Elks club for the fellings for the people and not for the food. Well now I am going to go 180 and pick the best breakfast as the breakfast we had in Niagara Falls in the Minolta tower. The food was pretty much all the same. Bacon is bacon. Scrambled eggs are scrambled eggs. However the view and the atmosphere were unbelieveable. You were in another world upthere looking down on the whole world.

Worst Breakfast: Ya we ate a lot of green eggs and ham this summer but let me tell you about this one. The breakfast at Star Lake was unbelieveable. The scrambles eggs really did have greenish tint and had the texture of jellied foam. The ham was floating in this yellow greenish soup, making it quite chewie. There was one toaster and 70 riders so forget having toast.
Best Camp/School
Worst Camp/School: hands down Ennis was the worst school. They kicked us out of the gym. Kicked us out of all of the rooms in the school leaving access to only the foyer. They couldn't turn on the hot water. I run some extremely complicated oil processing plants and let me tell you there is ZERO excuse for not having a hot water system running. Camoping was on an extremely limited piece of ground as the school is on a hill. Cannot use the athletic field behind the school. Might make some tent peg holes. Ya We felt real welcome here.

Best thing About this trip:

Well this is kind of the one big question. I think that there are really four things which have all come together to form a near perfect storm. The first is the organization. Greg is hitting on all cylinders. He never misses a bet and everything has been executed in near perfect form. The second has been the riders themselves. What a great group! To a person they are all great people. I am so pleased to have had the oppertunity to meet and ride with every one of them. The third thing is weather which has been so good and has propelled the rides into the exceptional catagory. The fourth is the route which has taken us across America on basicly back roads. We have seen the very heart of rual America.

The Worst thing about this trip: No to name names but three sectional riders by the names of Jack, G (he is too cool to have a name), and Gary show up and act like total asses the entire week. On Saturday the tried to wreck me. The antics of thes clowns was insane. Greg should up a warning on his web site when these guys show up. You ya I have heard about what great club riders they are and how they are such great riders. Maybe somebody should tell them about how to act in public.

More later

Ferry Ride Number Four Aug 16

Our stay in Lake Placid was out at the horse show grounds. On the first night there was a wedding in the big pavilion so everyone had to camp. However, last night the pavilion was not being used, so this meant that the pavilion was open. It was a terrible old place with creaky floors. There was a lot of clouds with a chance of showers so a bunch of the floor floppers moved into the pavilion. Oh! It might rain ooh too scary! Of course it didn't and they all got a terrible night sleep because of the squeaky floors.

There were lots of clouds in the hills when we got up but no rain. So down to breakfast in the beautiful old Northwoods Inn. As we only had 40.1 miles there was no hurray, so I lingered over breakfast and then Steve and I rode off. The ride was pretty much all down hill as lake Placid was at 1738 ft and we were headed for Port Kent on Lake Champlain at 79 ft.

We get to the 30 mile mark when the was a huge crack of thunder and it started to rain. So Steve and I stopped and put on our rain jackets. We rode down five miles and went in for coffee. After about 30 minutes the sun came out and we cruised on. At Port Kent we had picnic in a beautiful park along side the Ausable Gorge. The Ausable River goes over several water falls here before entering the lake. Just as I crossed the bridge there was a huge bump and my camera jumped out of my bento box, and hit the road a 20 mph. The shock proof Olympus took the hit but suffered a little road rash.

After picnic we rolled on down to where the ferry was which would take us across Lake Champlain to Burlington VT. I had no idea that there were all these ferries involved in crossing the US. This is ferry ride number four on the trip. I guess that when you take the back roads there are still lots of ferries in operation. The ferry turned out to be an open deck ferry of the 1950's vintage and Lake Champlain is very large. The wind was just howling down the lake, with a three foot chop, so there was a lot of roll to the old ferry. There was spray coming over the bows and everyone was crouched near the back out to the spray. It was a fun forty minute ride across to Burlington.

Here in Burlington we are staying in the University of Vermont dorms. It is a beautiful campus over looking Lake Champlain. There seems to be a mix of old and new buildings. I think there is a group who are headed out to saample the local night life, tonight as tomorrow we have a 50 mile day.

Lets ride!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lake Placid Aug 15

The much anticipated day off has finally arrived. So I thought I would celebrated by sleeping in. However my internal clock had me up at 5:30 any way. I lay in bed until 6:30 and caught a couple of cat naps but by then the sun was streaming into my tent so it was time to go. I pulled on my running gear and headed out for 45 minutes. I was intending to turn around at the 22 minute mark but getting my legs stretched out felt so good that I pushed it to 30 minutes before turning around. I paid the price later by being quite stiff for a couple of hours. Long Beach could be a long marathon.
After the run I cleaned my bike and headed downtown. I had two tiny lanterns for my tent but they got rolled up in a wet tent and that was the end of them, so I needed a replacement. I found a very nice one in a camping store which is actually far brighter and can be dimmed. I also found a couple of gifts.
Patrick and Tom have been eating breakfast in McDonald's rather than with the group. McDonald's is selling the Marvel comics action figures so they have been buying them. Tom is Captain America. So they made me the Silver Surfer. I took a few minutes and mounted him on my handle bars. He looks good. We will see if he makes it to Boston.
I had passed up buying the really nice cycling jersey and matching shorts the other day in the local bike shop. However I changed my mind and went back and got the kit. Having cycle wear from Lake Placid is pretty cool. Besides it is good to look fast even if you are not. It keeps the the club racer types from hitting on you. They look at you and think "Wow, this guy has cycled Lake Placid. Better not hit on him."
One week to go and only 390 miles to go. Not far considering we have covered 3900 miles.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Last Day of the week

From Star Lake to Lake Placid was 73 miles and to say it was rolling would be an understatement. There was nothing but hills. You were either grinding up one or sailing down the other side. There was probably 50 to 350 feet of elavation gain between each crest and trough. I think that each climb was about a quarter mile and so were the decents. I guess if you do the math that means we climbed 150 hills today.

Ed and I were out of the chute early this morning and made great time down to picnic by 9:30Am. So we hung around there for a while. With 30 miles to go we were taking our time. We stopped in Sarnac where we had a milk shake. Then we rolled on into Lake Placid. We arrived by 11:30 Am so we cruised the town which is a big long tourist trap. The town has lots of pubs and fancy shops. I think it is for people coming to see the past olympic facilites. I understand that there are training facilities here but I didn't see them. We stopped in a cycle shop and Ed got some new clips for his shoes. I almost bought a jersey and matching shorts which said "Lake Placid" on them, but they were kind of expensive.

Tomorrow is a well deserved rest day, before the final push to Boston.

Blogspot will not take pictures so I'll add them later???


Sixty Three to Star Lake

When the alarm went off this morning at 5:25 Am the last thing I wanted to do was get my cycling gear on and head down the road. Last night I had insomnia and I remember looking at the alarm clock at around 1:45 Am so I did not get a bunch of sleep. However with only a few days left on the ride there is no way I am giving up my EFI (Every Fantastic Inch) and getting in the van. Micheal has crashed twice and is covered in road rash and his one wrist is swollen, but he has not being in the van. Besides it is only 63 miles and there is only 3500 feet of climbing.

After a quick breakfast I set off with Ed but he dropped me like second period french. So I rode along catch a few riders here and there. As I did this I was talking to them about their trip. I want to write a separate blog entry which is going to the kind of the "best of/worse of" Of course it is very subjective and everyone has a different point of view. Some of answers I got were very illuminating. Some made me wonder if I was on the same trip.

just before the first water stop there were a number of riders who were all strung out so I thought it was time for some action shots. So I jumped on the pedals and rode on ahead. Once I was about 300 yards ahead of the first rider I jumped off my bike and lay down to get the best angle. By doing this your perspective makes the riders seem taller and the action seems more imposing. First rider goes past -- great shot. Second rider comes up but there is a semi truck and I am sure he thought I was injured as he jumped on his brakes. I waved and he flashed his lights. At the water stop Bruce who is a sectional rider took my picture from the ground.

Picnic at the 35 mile point came up by 9:30 Am and I hung there as long as I could but after vacuuming up all of the watermelon I had to leave. I rode the "Jan Express" for a 15 miles and got his opinion of the best and worst. Jan is this really strong rider from Holland who always seems to be pulling an assortment of riders along behind him. So with 12 miles to go I stopped for a root beer. The last 12 miles were though this winding country road. There were a number of steep climbs and descents. There was forest on either side of the road as we have left the farms and are now starting a different sort of terrain. Star Lake where we are staying is a tiny lake surrounded by small summer cottages. It looks like there is one bar/hotel, a gas station, fire hall, and an IGA.
One day to go before a rest day. Yahoo!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lots of adventures Aug 12

The morning started out great with a wonderful breakfast.There was no bacon but there was breakfast burritos which were excellent,but it was the pastries which really turned the difference between a great breakfast and a wonderful breakfast. I am a baked goods fanatic and after the first two, I knew it was trouble and managed to get out the door with only a few more.

There was a lot of cloud cover in the morning and no haze which was a change from what we have been riding though for the past few days. I had teamed up with Ed in the morning a we were making good time. The area was much poorer than what we have been through so there wasn't much in the way of photo opportunities. We were 25 miles down the road by 8:15 and with only 17 more miles to picnic we stopped for a coffee. After coffee we were riding along and steadily gaining on a couple of new sectional riders. So I said to Ed, "Time for the big dog bark". I jumped on the pedals and we were right behind them when I started into the barking. It sacred the heck out of both of them. Everyone had a huge laugh all the way to picnic.

Picnic was at the Southwick Beach State park. It was a beautiful white sand beach along Lake Ontario. The beach was completely deserted and stretch for as far as you could see. I didn't go swimming as I didn't feel like riding another 30 miles in wet shorts. If it had of been warmer then your shorts dry and it is OK. The wind had come up and was now bordering on being a nasty head wind. So it was time to roll, so Ed and I were off. About 5 miles later we caught Jim who had a flat. So we stopped to help. Before I could get the pump off my bike Ed had the old tire off and was sticking a new tube in. I pumped the tire and the whole thing was over within under 5 minutes.
We had some excellent pavement and it made up for the head wind, however we had no sooner commented on how nice the pavement was than we were routed though Henderson Harbour. It was a beautiful beach community and we had a good time rolling through. I had been saying that we have to stop and get some apples out of one of the orchards we have been passing however we had run out of orchards. Ed spots a couple of apple trees in a yard and yells to stop so we had some apples of the tree. They were perfectly ripe and very tasty. We were no sooner on the bikes when we spotted two ladies walking a huge Golden Retriever. So we stopped to meet him. His name was Buddy and was the Henderson Harbour mascot. It was pretty neat getting to meet the mascot of Henderson Harbour.

The route took us through Sackets Harbour, which played a key role in the war of 1812. The fort there prevented the French from controlling in important supply point along the south shore. In the state park we saw a re-enactment. It was a beautiful little town with a lot of tourist art and craft shops. We didn't stop but it would be fun to explore and wander through.

We had caught up to Chris who took me to hospital a few days earlier so the three of us rode along together and stopped for large strawberry milk shakes.

The route sheet had the ride from Oswego down to Watertown scheduled for 71 miles but I think it came in closer to 80 miles. Although I was wonder what I was going to write about as the scenery was a bust there was still a lot of adventures.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You are thinking that I got lost but that isn't the case. The route took us down two sides of a triangle. The direct route was only 40 miles but that was down a major road so we rode two sides of the triangle. The routers on this trip are ingenious. They took us over some incredible back lanes and out of the way places to get from Sodus to Oswego. Of course the back lanes have some really steep pitches in them so there was a total of 2500 feet of climb in what was a net zero day.
As I headed out the sun was just coming over the horizon and I caught a couple of riders and took their picture. It was perfect riding temperature and I was making good time. I had just rolled into Wolcott where there is this fountain in this town square when Ed rolled up. I told him I would take his picture if he would get into the fountain. He wouldn't, so I did and he took my picture. From there the route took us a long way inland to Baldwinsville, where we had picnic. It is on the Erie canal. However we did not ride along the canal. Ed and I made good time and were into picnic by 9:30 Am so we had lots of time to cover the remaining 30 miles after picnic.
We hung around picnic until it started to cloud over and so then we made a bee line for Oswego. However as we approached Oswego the clouds blew away and it turned hot. So we arrived at just after 12:00 Am and the school where we are staying wasn't ready so we had cool our jets in a near by sports bar where pints were $2.75.
What a great day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sodus NY Aug 10

Last night's rain storm forced me to take my laundry down before it was completely dry. So I hung it up on the cloths line which I have strung in side my tent. The cloths line works great for hanging your lantern, and all manner of things. It still wasn't dry when I went to bed last night so I just left it hanging. Then about 2:30 Am this morning there was this huge man standing over me in my tent. It was quite scary and I was trying to cry out but couldn't. Finally I was able to reach up and grab the man who was in my tent and he turned out to be my jersey.

This morning was humid and kind of foggy but it was a great day. It is always fun riding when there is some fog on the horizon. The ride went straight north to the coast of Lake Ontario where we turned east along a parkway where there is a bike lane beside the parkway. The bike lane had a lot of loose rocks on the pavement, but there was no traffic. The miles flew by and before I knew it we were at picnic which was in Rochester NY. The routers had plotted a great route though Rochester and we were able to slip though a major city without hitting any big streets or major traffic conditions.
The water stop after picnic was at this fork in the road where there was a peach orchard. The peaches had been picked but there was the odd one still on the trees. They were perfectly ripe and very delicious.

At the 82 mile mark there was an option to ride out to Sodus Point. This added seven miles to the ride. So I took the option and it was worth the ride. Sodus Point is a beautiful little village right on Lake Ontario. There is a historic light house there which has been restored and is in magnificent condition. The grounds are trimmed with loving care and the homes surrounding it are fabulous.
The small downtown has several bars and I meet a couple of other riders in one where we had a beer on a lakeside patio. It was great, and hard to get back on the bike to finish the ride into Sodus, where we are camped. With the option today's ride was 91 miles.
A great day!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Into New York State Aug 9

This morning we had a very special treat. We went for breakfast in the Minolta tower, which over looks Niagara Falls. You go into the lobby and take the elevators to the 26 th floor and there is a fancy dining room. The dinning room was perfectly positioned so that you could see the river above the Canadian Falls, the Canadian Falls were directly in front and then off the left was the American Falls and the Rainbow bridge. The lower escarpment was all laid our in front of you. The view was stunning. Of course we are not use to eating off real plates with real silverware and tablecloths. It was a great way to start the week. I loved it. The ride also started an hour later so sleeping in an extra hour was great as well.
Taking the elevator down was tough to do. However day light was burning and we had to get across the Rainbow Bridge and into the US before it got busy. As it turned out there was nobody there and I rolled right through. On the US side we rode along what is called the Sea Side trail which was past magnificent homes over looking the river and Lake Ontario. There was nice tail wind so it was pretty easy, and it brought picnic which was at the 47 mile mark up by about 11:30 AM.
After lunch, I teamed up with Ed and having only 25 miles to go we just rolled along. The roads were very rural with virtually no traffic and beautifully smooth pavement. We stopped to take pictures of these giant pumpkins in a field. Then at about the 67 mile mark we spotted a very old cemetery so we stopped to investigate. It seemed like there were three or four family names in the cemetery so it may have been that they were all related. I think the oldest date was 1825 and it ran to the 1865. We caught up to Steve and Jim just on the edge of Albion NY where we are staying so I invited them for an ice cream. The cue sheet said there was one just before the school so I knew we would find ice cream.
I was going to go for a run today but I just couldn't find the motivation. The temperature is 85 F and the humidity is probably close to 100% so everything is stuck to you. It is now pouring which will clear the air.
Let's Ride

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Day In Niagara

Tom, Patrick, Dan and I had decided that we were going to be on the first sailing of the Maid of the Mist in the morning. The Maid of the Mist is the boat which takes you right up to the base of the falls. So we were up early ate at the Flying Saucer Inn which is a local landmark and headed down town. We were there in plenty of time and got prime locations right at the front of the line. We talked to one of the workers and he indicated that staying on the main deck was better than the upper deck as you are closer to the water, and I think he was right. We had a great time and the views were exceptional. It is really hard to describe how big and how powerful the falls really are. I guess you have to experience it to understand it.
After the boat ride the four of us jumped on our bikes and rode out to Niagara-on-the Lake. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a very exclusive area and a very historic area of Canada. There are lots of ice wine vine yards. We were not dressed appropriately so we just kind of peaked over the fence. We had forgotten the keys to the Rolls Royce so we couldn't get in. The bike path out there however was great and we had a great ride. We had lunch in the Angel Inn which is reputed to be the most haunted place in Canada. I had the Steak and kidney pie and it wasn't scary, it was delicious.
Tomorrow we re-enter the United States and continue our journey. There are only 12 ride days left. We have covered close to 3600 miles to date so the original estimate of 4200 miles would appear to be low. It is looking like it is going to be closer to 4500 miles. Bonus Miles -- YA!
Lets Ride!