Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22 Canandaigua to Syracuse, NY: 68 miles

It was another great day for cycling! We started out without leg warmers or jackets this time--it was that nice this morning! We also started late--an 8:00 start instead of the usual 7:00 since it was a short day. The route started out hilly, a lot like when we came in yesterday. We were on route 20E again, with the same nice wide shoulder that we had yesterday. We stayed on that route through the lovely town of Seneca Falls, and turned off shortly after that. The road we turned on was not a highway, so it was a little more hilly, but nothing too difficult. Got into the small chain ring a couple of times.

I was riding with George for a long time this AM. He went on ahead when I made a pit stop at a gas station, but I saw him again at the sag. The sag was at the 38 mile point, which was over halfway through the ride. Amazing how our concept of a short cycling day has changed... After the sag, I took a shade break, since it was getting pretty hot. There was a light breeze, enough to do some cooling but not enough to make cycling difficult. At the 55 mile point we came to an Erie Canal Park and small museum. I had been there before on my "Cycle the Erie Canal" tour in 2004, so I did not stay long. Meredith and Mike and I decided we were hungry (we had planned on eating at Erie Canal Park but there was no food). I asked if anyone at the park had seen George, but no one had. I figured he'd put his head down and headed for the barn,

After the Erie Canal Park we could see an awful high steep hill ahead of us... but our route took us to the right, just before that hill! We carried on through the back roads of upstate New York for another 10 miles until we came to the town of Liverpool, and I saw a restaurant off to the right called the Retreat. We pulled in and had a great lunch. It is so rare to get such good food on this trip! With only 5 miles to go to the hotel, we came out of the restaurant fat and happy. We could see this afternoon's thunderstorm heading toward us, but we had plenty of time to get here before the storm did.

All in all another great day on the Coast to Coast ride! And we have drinks tonight at 5:00, courtesy of Achim because he just had a birthday... and because he likes us. He and Alex were at my table at dinner last night, and they explained that although they had been to the US many times, this was the first time they really got to know any Americans. Always before the people they interacted with were hotel and restaurant workers, and it was not the same as spending time with the same people for almost 2 months and really getting to know them. We asked them if they liked us, and they said they did.

When I got here, I found out that George took ANOTHER wrong turn and went out on the freeway again. (second time in less than a week). We all gave him a hard time about being so independent that he can't wait a couple of minutes for someone to take a drink or a pit stop! He made it to this hotel somehow.

I also heard that Beverly took a spill today. I saw her a moment ago and she has quite a raspberry on her hip, and abrasions on her arm and shoulder. It is scary out there for sure. Paula was back on her bike today for part of the ride, which is commendable. Noreen, Ron and Paula all took such hard falls that they broke their helmets and got back on the bike as soon as they could. Beverly got up and got back on her bike and finished the ride today.... I hope I would be able to do the same if it was me hitting the pavement. Kudos to all of them!

Just 5 days to Boston. We all have mixed feelings about this adventure coming to an end.


marj said...

Is anyone keeping count how many times George takes a wrong turn because I carn't keep up with him, give him my love anyway....Marj

kaz said...

my dad (george) is sooooooooooo competative . always has been. tell him to slow down please
his daughter karen
ps enjoy your last few days all of you

Anonymous said...

Wrong turns, no such thing, we call it taking the scenic route, and George does like his scenery.
He does seem to be doing incredibly well when you consider that he only started to ride his bicycle a few weeks before this event, indeed he purchased the bicycle only a few weeks before.
Tell him to take it easy and enjoy the remainder of this ride, it`s important to absorb and remember this whole experience so that he can relate it in detail when we have our army reunion in September.
Regards to the whole team, be good and stay safe.
Ray & Margaret Wilcox. England.