A "Well Planned" Century (#4)
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Having learned my lesson on Thursday (and how many times do I need to learn this lesson?), I closely inspected the weather reports on Saturday night and determined it was pretty safe to squeeze in another century on Sunday … with limitations. Most of Sunday should be good, but a blob of green on the radar was expected to appear in the area around 5:00pm, so an early start would be advised. I'm a fair weather rider (except if it's freezing cold, windy and snowin' like hell … THAT's fun!), and not fond of rain when it's below 60 degrees. And 60 was about the tops forecasted for Sunday.
Regular routine Saturday night. Prep the bike, get the kit picked out, etc, etc … and get to bed early. Well, no … PBS had a Moody Blues concert on at 10:00pm … so much for enough sleep. No matter. I plotted a reasonably flat to rolling route that I sorta stuck to, and I had an optional section in it to cut out if I figured I had to cut short if threatened by rain. The route was a mod of my annual Sodus Bay ride. For many years, I've liked to take at least one nice ride out to the beach at Sodus to grab an italian sausage with onions and peppers and meat sauce, of course! From the days when I lived in Webster, that was typically a 60 mile out and back. Make that 80 miles since moving into the city of Rochester. But now, I'm looking at a loop with an optional spur to Chimney Bluffs. I ended up cutting the spur because it's pretty certain I'll get out that way another time this summer anyway. Karen Loves That Ride, so I'll save that to share later.
But cutting was a good move anyway as I made it home less than an hour before the rain started. Whew!
Heading out at 6am again, on a Sunday, during the Covid shutdown, the roads were all mine. The Lake Road (aka: the Seaway Trail) is pretty quiet normally, but almost abandoned now. On the way out, I started to get "distracted". (No discipline!) I noticed a dirt road on my map that looked like it looped out to the shoreline and back to Lake Road on another dirt road. I'm on the "right bike" for that! Turns out, it dead-ended at a fancy lakeside property, so I had to turn back. Too bad … it could have led to a whole day of exploring.
By the time I reached the Sodus lighthouse …
… I had 40 miles of generally flat cruising … but no italian sausage! The beachside food stand was closed, but I expected that. It was early and still a bit cool, but likely closed by current issues anyway. And the rest of town, sans the c-store and Captain Jacks bar was all shut down too. I paused to consider the open door at Captain Jacks. My buddy Dave and I stopped in there for lunch while out motorcycling a couple years ago, and like many others, I'd guess the place is struggling now. I considered stopping to "provide support" (beer and burger) but at 9:30am on a Sunday, it was more likely they were just airing out and cleaning in hopes of a survivable day ahead. Best wishes gang … another time. I stopped at the c-store for a coffee and quickly hit the road for the hills!
By "hills", I mean the drumlins of Wayne County. One might assume that the landscapes near Lake Ontario would be pretty flat, but there was this "event" many kiloyears ago that not only created our gorgeous (gorges!) Finger Lakes, but was also responsible for the unique terrain beginning a few miles south of the lakeshore. The glacial retreat could not have created a better playground for cyclists than the roller-coasters our bike club visits very frequently. Love this stuff!
Sunshine, tailwinds and wild whoop-de-doos make for one really sweet day of riding. At one point, I even thought I was going to get in some fun exploring when I took a turn at a road marked with my favorite sign …
… but alas … it was just another example of human encroachment over what in years past was a network of old dirt farm country roads. What has been dirt adventures in the past are now often paved over for some "practical" reasons I'll never appreciate. But the drumlins are not easily scoured away so the riding was smooth, and a constant affirmation that the super-wide ratios of my bike's Pinion gearbox are an asset even with a bit of added weight.
Today's ride was 103 miles of mostly flat riding, but that section of perhaps 20-25 miles quickly piled on about 1300 feet of climbing. Great fun! But all too soon, I get closer to the city, decide to give my bike at least a little bit of trail for the day and head south to the Erie Canalway Trail. Arriving at Lock 30 in Macedon, I don my brand new bikie-mask (Thank You Bonnie!) and head toward home.
Out in the country where I rarely meet anyone, I'm OK about going naked, but around the trails which have become more popular than before, I'm now pretty disciplined about staying covered up. As the trails get even more popular, I'm spending less time there. Imagine … feeling safer out on busy highways than your local bike trail.
Perhaps, someday, this may pass.
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