Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bon Ton Roulet, Day 7 - Trumansburg to Auburn

We actually saw a sunrise today from our room at the Copper Beacon. The weather forecast is for thundershowers in the afternoon, though.Our room was called "Under-the-Eves" and it had two full beds, an in-room bath and a sloping roof - Ouch! Hit my head a few times. Laurel and I decided to hang around for breakfast and treat ourselves to Eileen's home cooking. We couldn't decide what to choose from the menu but I think we tried almost everything - eggs, bacon, French Toast, potatoes, home-made muffins, fruit, coffee, juice, and maple syrup, jellies, and butter made on the farm. What a way to start a day! It was past 9:30 AM, and we had to get rolling.This was a straightforward route heading north along the west shore of Cayuga Lake back to where we started seven days ago in Auburn. There was not much sightseeing, just a long steady bike ride with time to think about our past week riding in the Bon Ton Roulet.The last leg was a downhill out of Trumansburg and a gradual easy uphill climb back to Auburn. Total ascent was 1,385 feet. The straw from the wheat crop that is left behind after the combine does it's job is baled and used for livestock bedding. . . and hay rides. This must be where old tractors come to rust while they wait to be sold on E-bay. Today was the kickoff for the 22nd Annual Route 90 Garage Sale, stretching more than 50 miles where "garage sale junkies find paradise". Unfortunately, today's route back to Auburn took us on SR 90 for about 3 miles. If you sell it, they will come. People stopping, parking, U-turning, door-opening, J-walking, trunk-loading made for a challenging ride through the neighborhoods. Besides, we were also trying to check out what was for sale. The final stretch back to Auburn. Since we had a late start, we saw none of the other riders on the road. We did the 45.6 mile ride in 3 hrs:40 min with only one 15 minute break, averaging 12.4 MPH. We were the last ones in, just before it started raining again, and in time for our shuttle ride back to Syracuse.
Congratulations! 291 miles in 7 days
Total bike time: 38 Hrs:30Min
Total Ascent: 11,362 ft
Total Calories: 14,723
No flats, no falls, many good memories.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bon Ton Roulet, Day 6 - Watkins Glen to Trumansburg

Today was anticipated to be an enjoable ride: a downhill start to breakfast, two lakes, two water falls, two wineries, a home made ice cream shop, and blue skies. Plus we were staying at a bed & breakfast tonight. Two steep climbs today, 2,315 feet of total climbing, 45.5 miles, 4 hrs:24 min ride time. Average speed 10.3 MPH, max speed 32.5 MPH. With rested legs we made this climb out of Watkins Glen with no problem-o. The bridge on HWY 414 crosses right over Hector Falls as it cascades 165 feet into Seneca Lake. As they say in Hawaii: "The weather is beautiful, wish you were here." First rest stop at mile 15 was the Wagner Winery and Brewery. We enjoyed the last views of Seneca Lake from the outdoor patio. Lake view and Leg view. Now you know why the "pros" shave their legs.
After a nice downhill traveling east from Ovid to Cayuga Lake we arrive at the mile 30 rest stop at the Sheldrake Point Vineyard and Simply Red Bistro. Enjoying the blue sky and Cayuga Lake. After a 3 mile, 500 feet, leg-burning climb we were rewarded by Taughannock Falls - one of the highest falls east of the Rocky Mountains.
The tourist pose - one for the scrap book. Wish you were here. Our first stop in Trumansburg was a stop at the local ice cream shop for a Texas Hot Dog and a double scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip - Yumm-o! After some maneuvering through "T-burg" we checked into the Copper Beacon Inn. Laurel soon enjoyed the hospitality of Eileen and Gerry Collins. Fresh lemon-aid and ginger snap cookies in the "best room" was perfect after a long day in the saddle. Gerry also treated our tired legs by giving us a ride to and from the Trumansburg School so we could enjoy the Bar-B-Cue dinner with the rest of the riders.
There were many gardens surrounding the farmhouse, great for relaxing. Or spend your hours watching a combine harvest wheat.Or visit Eileen's Herb Shop - a special place where she packages all her organic specialties and conducts classes on cooking with herbs.
The Copper Beacon is 5 stars - no doubt!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bon Ton Roulet, Day 5 - Rest Day

Day 5 was a rest day so we slept in a little, spent the morning at the laundromat watching the clothes go round and round and the rain come down, had Chinese food at the House of Hong, and spent the afternoon on Captain Bill's Seneca Legacy. We even got to see a movie for $3 at the local theater. Photos taken by Laurel during our cruise on the lake.

The US Salt Plant has been in business for over 100 years. Wells extend into the earth for over half a mile to tap into an unlimited reservoir of underground salt created by the evaporation of sea water more than 300 million years ago. The small white structure in the clearing on the hill is the Lakeside Inn where we stayed while in Watkins Glen. Not quite "lakeside" and quite an uphill 5-mile bike ride from the town. The owner was very friendly, though, and gave us a ride into town. There is taxi service only twice a week in town, and on days when the taxi has to come from another town the fare is $45 for the 5 mile ride. A Northern view toward Geneva. Seneca Lake is the largest of the Finger Lakes and measuring 38 miles long, it is the second longest. It is fed by underground springs and is replenished at a rate of 328,00 gallons per minute. Hector Falls on the East side of Seneca Lake. We will be biking on that bridge tomorrow so more pictures to follow. As the story goes, back in the late 1700s when General John Sullivan was avenging the Wyoming and Cherry-Valley Massacres, he chased a group of renegade Iroquois, up from present day Athens, Pennsylvania (then known as Tioga Point) to a point somewhere along the cliffs of Seneca Lake. The Indians escaped down a narrow footpath to canoes that they had hidden earlier in the underbrush. They used these canoes to paddle across the lake to safety. Later they came back and painted these paintings in commemoration of their escape. A Bald Eagle soaring overhead checking us out. Nice telephoto shot, Laurel.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bon Ton Roulet, Day 4 - Canandaigua to Watkins Glen

Our fourth consecutive day of riding took us along the east shore of Canandaigua Lake, more farm lands, Weaver's Bike Shop, Penn Yan (the northern city of Keuka Lake), and the Vineyards along the south west shore of Seneca Lake. Destination was the Watkins Glen High School, but it's not about the destination. It's about the journey. We knew that tomorrow would be a rest day so today's journey was especially energetic. We also knew that the finish would be downhill, so that also helped. Rain was in the forecast again, but maybe we would get lucky. 2,315 feet of climbing today, mostly long rollers with a long steady climb out of the town of Penn Yan, then a nice downhill into Watkins Glen. Laurel has figured out a technique for riding "rollers" as much of ride was today. She races down the downhill and coasts up the uphill part as much as she can, and then shifts to her low gear and crawls to the summit.Our first rest stop today was at the Rushville Fire Station. All of our rest stops introduced us to the local community-schools, parks, and community centers. Some of them prepared home made goodies and always offered hospitality. Laurel behind some unusual traffic after our lunch stop in Penn Yan. The Amish and Mennonites are well represented in the Finger Lakes farming area. We made a quick stop at the Glenora Winery overlooking Seneca Lake and then a nice-paced downhill ride into Watkins Glen. The weather today was overcast with a slight breeze to keep the humidity manageable, and no rain!