Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24, 2014. Erie, PA to Dunkirk, NY. 57 Miles.

The snack table was out at 7:30 this morning as promised. We load up on snacks before we leave every day.  You think you're going to see the SAG in 20 miles but you can't be sure. We made very sure to have our cue sheets accessible today--there were 20 turns in the first 5 miles! Dianne followed me as I navigated and led us through the outskirts of Erie. Most of the turns were to keep us on State Route 5 East, but we went off into the lakefront neighborhoods early in the ride too. There were mansions along the lake for a couple of miles and then there weren't. We went from affluence to poverty in the blink of an eye.

After we were out of town we had the first construction area; at least the road was dry, unlike the newly paved wet road we rode on yesterday!


Right from the beginning we could see vineyards off to our right and Lake Erie on our left. In some areas there were vineyards on both sides of the road.

Cindy had the SAG set up at a vineyard, which was a great choice! Some of the riders, including Dianne, bought bottles of wine and stashed them in the SAG car. Here is Cindy with Ann, staring at a bald eagle circling over the lakeshore. I saw several more bald eagles a few miles down the road.

We battled a headwind all day today, which took a lot of energy.  After the SAG at 18 miles we headed back into the wind, stopping again for a break at the New York State Line. This is the same sign I stood under in 2008 on my cross country bike trip! I recognized some places along our route yesterday too. This is indeed the same road I rode on that other trip.


We stopped again about 10 miles later, to take a break from the wind. We found John, the solo self supported rider we talked with yesterday, at Barcelona. He ate lunch there, as did some others from our tour, but we just had a snack, took some photos of John and the lighthouse, and got back on the bikes. 11:00 is a bit early for lunch.

We decided ahead of time that we would stop at Lake Erie State Park, about 10 miles after Barcelona. And we were ready to stop! We did not see the SAG again, and needed a break. So we rode into the park, had a snack, refilled water bottles, looked at the beach, rested 10 minutes and got back on the bikes.

There was another construction area, and then we got behind a highway painting convoy. Oh well, they were not going much slower than we were. Dianne passed them and I did not. I remember once spending an hour trying to remove highway paint from my bike after riding on a wet stripe!

Finally we were at Dunkirk! The first restaurant we came to was Demitri's on The Lake, and Dianne, Ann and I hauled our bikes up the stairs to the upper level outdoor balcony so we could see them while we ate. The food was very good, but service rather slow. Below is the view from our balcony.

We had the best dinner so far on this tour--salmon with goat cheese and pesto, quinoa with pineapple, mushrooms and onions, asparagus, and cookies and watermelon for dessert!  After dinner Carolyn, Kathie and Joan played Quiddler, a word game with cards while Dianne and I played Scrabble (what else?).


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