Another beautiful day! Another beautiful ride! I know these kind of reports may not be as interesting as reading about food poisoning or snowstorms, but it is certainly more enjoyable from this end!
AfterI posted my blog yesterday I went up to the party hosted by Achim. It was great! He had purchased beer, soft drinks and local wines, as well as snacks. It was loud good fun for all. What a nice thing to do! Iowa Bob's sister Janet and her husband Roger came to visit and brought cake for us all too. I have a photo from the party, but can't post it today. I walked 3 blocks uphill to the Little Falls town library because the hotel does not have a computer for us to use. And the library policy does not allow patrons to hook any outside equipment to their machines... And the usual afternoon thunderstorm was rolling in just as I arrived. (do you feel sorry for me yet?) I expect when I leave here it will already have moved on. Once again I am very glad that this is not a camping tour!
After dinner yesterday I was sitting in the hallway at the hotel, reading a book and waiting for my laundry to get done. Randy asked me how I was doing and told him that my legs had felt like lead the past 2 days. He started to comment, and a woman walking down the hall stepped in and asked about our trip. I told her how far we'd come and where we were going. She asked if it was OK if she prayed for my legs! I told her yes, in the effort to be polite. Randy disappeared real quickly, but Mike was watching through the laundry room window.... She proceeded to pray over my legs, asking Jesus to bless us all and keep us safe, and to release my legs from their pain. Mike was kind of snickering in the window.... he asked me about it today, and I told him the truth--my legs are much better today than they had been the past 2 days. Draw your own conclusions.
Also last night, George and I agreed to ride together because the cue sheet for today had 39 notations of turns, hazards, etc. Then this morning we ended up riding with John, who I think had decided the same thing (make sure George doesn't make any more wrong turns). Don't worry Marj, we'll keep him close the rest of the ride. (he agreed to wait when I have to make a stop).
A storm passed through this morning about an hour before our ride started. So we began our ride on wet roads, but at least the rain had moved on... it was pretty neat starting out. Usually we are all apread out right from the start, but we stayed in a group all the way through Syracuse and out to the country. I would have liked to have a photo of that, but of course can't do that while riding. After we got out of town, we stayed on the back roads for the first 30 miles. It was great--mildly hilly, nice terrain and nice scenery. We could see the mountain ridges ahead of us.
There was a sag at 33 miles, and most of us had checked in by 9:40 when George, John and I were leaving. We all had a laugh about how much we are eating... we know this can't continue after this ride is done! After the sag we followed some more country roads. At the 55 mile mark we had a nice surprise--Don from NY is doing the coast to coast ride to raise funds for Albany County Catholic Charities, and people from that group were out in force to support us. They had homemade brownies, fruit, gatorade, and ice cold water for us, and really cheered us on. It was great! I have a photo that I also can't post from here.
We left the Catholic Charities corner with the plan to stop and eat in Herkimer, around the 70 mile mark. By the time we got to Herkimer, we were chatting with a local man named Tom, also on his bike. We somehow missed the restaurant that our riding partners chose, and Tom led us back to it. I had a passerby take a phone photo of the three of us with Tom, but it did not take! This was to be my photo of the day,which I usually post from my phone... We got inside the restaurant which was very nice indeed. We had a table of 11 cyclists, took a photo on my real camera but of course can't post it either! I examined my phone and it seems to be possessed. The phone works, email works, but the camera is seriously messed up. I guess I'll call the 800 number as soon as I get a chance and try to get it back. Tried resetting the device with no luck.
When we left the restaurant we were in for a nice surprise... all afternoon we had been seeing mountain ridges ahead of us, and now they were on three sides. We expected to do some climbing after lunch, but the 7 miles from Herkimer to Little Falls was downhill--we barely had to pedal in that 7 miles! It was not so steep that it was scary--just a nice gentle downhill. Of course that does not bode well for tomorrow--we will be continuing east and going to Albany tomorrow, and we'll be climbing some of those ridges that always look so nice from afar.