Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bon Ton Roulet, Day 3 - Seneca Falls to Canandaigua

Route for day 3 started in Seneca Falls to Geneva, then south along Seneca Lake and north toward Canandaigua which is the northern town on Canandaigua Lake. Over 2,000 feet of climbing today. The route on day 3 left Seneca Falls along River Street. Entering the town of Geneva which is at the northern end of Seneca Lake. I guess even cyclists have to stop for road work. The Fox Run Vinyards was a welcomed site at mile 21 - great cafe. Many old homes en route were in great need of repair. This one looked like the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. These are our favorite rides-downhill. Check out the climb at the other end, though. A different kind of road sign. Guess who will be invited for Thanksgiving Dinner? About 3 and a half hours into the ride, thunder and lightning and a downpour. We took shelter under a tree near a house until the rain let up just a bit. We then rode about 4 miles to the rest stop which was at a school. Riding in a rainstorm was very unsettling. No, we were not going to school in Gorham. We were waiting out a thunderstorm, even some hail was reported by some bikers. Everyone was soaked, but glad to be in a warm shelter with snacks. After an hour and a half of rain delay, the sun came out, and it was smooth riding 15 miles to Canandaigua. The "lake" in the background was not there before the rain.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bon Ton Roulet, Day 2 - Cortland to Seneca Falls

Day 2 from Cortland north passing Owasco Lake, and west toward Cayuga Lake ending in Seneca Falls. Total distance 54 miles. 1919 feet of climbing with a short 12% segment near the start. Nice steep downhill with speeds in the 30's. The start from SUNY Cortland was a 6 mile gradual climb.Laurel got challenged with a 12% grade climb today. She enjoyed the 35 MPH downhill. View from the top with a glimse of Owasco Lake in the background. The Fillmore Glen rest stop located in Moravia. The thirteenth president Millard Fillmore was born in a log cabin in the hills above this park. The amber waves of grain. I just had to do a bike lift in the corn fields. Laurel followed me into the fields. Our cleats got filled with mud and it took us about 15 miuntes to dig out the mud. The second half of the ride was mostly manageable long rolling hills. Then a sudden thunderstorm about five miles from Seneca Falls soaked us within a few minutes. I think the worse feeling was the squishing of your socks every time you pedaled, at least our cleats got clean. Tent City at Mynderse Academy School drying out after the downpour. Wow! We made the local paper. End of Day 2. 55 miles in 5 hours and still smiling! Seneca Falls is famous for the first Women's Rights Convention in 1848.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bon Ton Roulet, Day 1 - Auburn to Cortland

First breakfast at the Springside Inn. The official send off, in pouring rain, for the Bot Ton Roulet which means "Let the Good Times Roll".Day 1 route begins in Auburn, around the top of Owasco Lake, the east side of Skaneateles Lake, along Otisco Lake, to Little York, and ending at Cortland. A 49 mile journey. The elevation for day 1. 2,100 feet of climbing.
Over and down the first hill climb of the ride, another one up ahead, many more to come :) View of the Auburn Golf Couse. Waiting for the sun to shine. Can you say Skaneateles four times? (pronunciation: "skany-atlas," preferred, or "skinny-atlas" common) Skaneateles Lake means long lake in Iroquois. It is the highest of the Finger Lakes at altitude 863 feet and is 16 miles long.

Enjoying a Bumbleberry Pie-filled with apples, fresh assorted berries, and rhubarb. I need a shirt like that. All I hear is "On your left!" and those annoying bicycle bells. It's Sunday morning and most shops are closed-too bad. Roads stretch on endlessly, occasionally decorated with wild flowers. Miles and miles, hours and hours of farmland, mostly corn and wheat. Visited a Vicugna pacos farm aka Alpaca. These have just gotten a haircut. Stopped by Frog Pond Farm along Rt 281 in Little York. Carole Ferro is one of "The Ferro Family Artists". Enjoy some of the FERROART.

A late lunch at roadside Bob's Barbecue just before heading into Cortland. It took us 7hrs:30min including stops. Average speed 9.9 MPH.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bon Ton Roulet-Getting to New York

Our bikes are packed, we're ready to go, we're leaving on a jet plane, glad John Denver's not the pilot. . . Off to Syracuse, New York for the Bon Ton Roulet. Instructions to follow on how to pack your bike in one of these. It took me about 2 hours per bike to figure out how to get things just right. Tent City, Auburn High School ready for its inhabitants. No, we are "moteling it" which is good because thundershowers are in the forecast.
Laurel checking out the route guide and worrying about those hill climbs. Many historic buildings line the streets of Auburn, NY. Genesee Street, old town Auburn. Laurel looking for a job at Daut's. Great food, highly recommended while in Auburn. The "Must Like Water" sign portends of things to come.