Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014. Dunkirk to Buffalo, NY. 49 Miles.

We started this day cool and sunny with a light tailwind. Perfect!  We were told last night about some construction at mile 46, and our leader assured us that the route had been driven just 2 weeks ago and we were good to go.... NOT!  Just a couple of miles into the ride we came upon this construction area. We did not take the detour because we'd been assured we could follow the route sheet.

I find it hard to believe that this whole scene arose in the past 2 weeks! Mandy and Monica were behind us. Once we got past the construction we turned onto Lake Shore Dr./SR 5E and saw cornfields and vineyards. There were signs for wineries but we did not stop.  We had to stop, however, when we saw a huge collection of outdoor décor just past Silver Creek.

We stopped again at Burger King a few miles later for a comfort break and met Karen and Bruce. They are riding across the country to raise awareness and funds to  help victims of human trafficking. They started in Bellingham, WA and will end in Halifax, Nova Scotia. If you'd like more information go to (Women At Risk, Int'l).

Robin had the SAG at the entrance to a state park, so we stopped and filled water bottles and had a snack. We rode through some residential areas and along the beach for 5 miles and then Lake Shore Drive took us past miles of mansions on the waterfront. Each estate was gated, some with wrought iron fancywork, some with stone walls, some with tall hedges, but all were meant to be taken seriously. We caught a few glimpses of the lake between the estates. It hardly seems fair! At mile 32 we saw the sign for Graycliff Estate, a Frank Lloyd Wright house. We rode in, but the gift shop was placed such that we could not even see the exterior of the house unless we paid $15 for a tour, so we had a snack and went on our way. I saw these bikes parked in a handicap parking space while there. If I was a police officer I would have given them a ticket!

Our cue sheet said "turn left at onto unsigned Hoover Rd. by Hamburg clock". I don't think anyone missed that turn! After the clock we waved and rolled by the second SAG, thinking we would eat on the way into Buffalo. Not to be!

We rode onto SR5 again, but now it had morphed into a 6 lane highway and it was very busy! The cue sheet read "consider using sidewalk when shoulder disappears". The shoulder disappeared and we used the sidewalk--it would have been suicidal to ride that road!  We were only on it for 1.4 miles but at one point we had to get off the bikes to squeeze through a narrow passageway between the busy highway and a bridge wall. We breathed a sigh of relief when we turned off that road, but the road we turned onto went right through the projects, many blocks of projects. We were on high alert, but all was fine. 

Soon enough we were on a very nice bike path that took us past a busy marina and a park where there were many kites flying overhead. That was fun! But we turned onto Ohio St. then, and found the construction we'd been warned about last night. We took the detour and rode through a heavy industrial area and over a metal bridge into Buffalo.

We got to our hotel, and were told the room was ready, but had not been inspected yet, and the chief inspector was on break so we would have to wait. Okay, we waited. We got our room well ahead of 3 PM, the normal check in time so we have no complaints.  We showered and walked out to a very good lunch about a block away.  After lunch we walked around Buffalo a little.

Above is the Liberty Building; the statues on top are replicas of the Statue of Liberty.

The obelisk is dedicated to President McKinley; it is in Niagara Square, about 4 blocks from our hotel. Below is a beautifully restored mansion from the 1860s. There are many such buildings here.

We walked out again for dinner with the group, paid for by Woman Tours, since this downtown hotel is not a good place to cook in the parking lot. We ate at the Pearl Street Brewery, and the food was great. We preordered last night so as soon as we arrived they started on our entrees. Tomorrow is a rest day here in Buffalo, and some are riding their bikes to Niagara Falls, some are going on a 6 hour garden walk, some are shopping. I intend to rest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda
I'm following your blog with interest because if the planets align, i'm going to do the WomanTours Erie ride in 2015! Enjoy, ride safely and say 'hi' to Dianne, Ann and Lorna!
Joanne from the Ontario ride