So, yeah, I did. A club ride got posted for the day after my 1.5 Century, starting from Victor. As luck will have it, the start point is in a park about 19 miles down the Auburn Trail from home, making a “commute” a no-brainer. The route, The Bastions of Bristol, turned out to be a complete opposite of the billiards table west of Rochester. And the group that assembled was peppered with strong, fast and certainly better rested riders than myself. To say I struggled the entire route should be obvious and I was infinitely relieved that the route was only 30+ miles.
Because I still had to get home.
It was a slow roll starting up the trail, but I had enough water and no deadline so I could ramp up the gears as they became “available”. Soon, I was back in Pittsford with a destination in mind before picking off the last few miles (79 total) of the day.
And today, a rest day. A Special Day. Our 28th Anniversary.
We took a road trip, first to North Tonawanda where we visited the Herschell Carrousel Museum. I first discovered the place when I once had to take a bike tour group to an “alternate activity” due to weather and this place fit the bill.
Karen loved the idea, so while looking up info, we discovered a railroad museum just blocks away, so we visited that as well on our way out of town. And to make a mega-day of it, we lunched at a bar & grill in Medina (great burger!) and spent the rest of the day (till almost closing time) at the Medina Railroad Museum, gawking over the biggest model train layout in the state!
Terrific Day. Much needed. Exhausted.
We often do fun rides on our own and we frequently do bike club rides with friends, but sometimes, ya just gotta bust out and do your thing. And I LOVE long rides.
Like today, for instance. At this solar high spot in our calendar, when we are maxed out on daylight hours pushing close to 15-16 hours, It’s a good opportunity to map out a big ride and still hopefully make it home before dark … or maybe dinner. So, with lights attached to my bike in case of “delays” like flat tires … I AM talking about the FrankenTrek … I hit the road at sunrise to help assure a timely return.
Over 1/2 Way To Buffalo
Oh just a shot at 150 miles or so. A visit to the quiet agricultural plains to the west of the city on a day like today offers pleasant temps, moderate humidity, gentle headwinds heading west, but helpful tailwinds on the return, and on mostly flat to rolling terrain. The secret to a timely finish, for me anyway, is to stay in the saddle. Actual SPEED isn’t as much a factor as TIME. Every time you stop, the minutes add up.
I took only two food breaks (and a stop only to grab fluids in a third stop) and all total only spent an hour of the 10 3/4 hour ride on the side of the road eating. The first stop was in Batavia where the Tim Hortons was packed (I REALLY wanted a breakfast sandwich) so I stopped at a c-store and settled for two taquitos and a chocolate milk. Stop #2 was a Dollar General in Ridgeway on Route 104 where I scored a coke and a Nutty Buddy.
Did you know how much fat is in a package of Nutty Buddy? No wonder I was flying on the return!
The final stop was another c-store at Frisbee Hill Road where I grabbed a 50/50 lemonade/ice tea, drank half, and poured the rest in a now empty H20 bottle. I also paused to get a couple landmarks recorded.
Beautiful Quiet Back Roads
I took a couple screen shots of the map and my progress to send to Karen to give her an idea of when I might be home.
Headed Back With A Tailwind!
It was then I realized how great the day was going, particularly since I now had a slight tailwind … always welcome …and temps were cooler as I brushed closer to Lake Ontario. At the end, I pulled into the driveway HOURS sooner than neither I nor Karen expected. The reward for my “Welcome Summer” ride was a visit to one of our fave Mexican restaurants.
Great day. Should go for a ride tomorrow!
I had a task to perform this weekend. Even though June hasn’t presented me with “optimal conditions” quite the way late May did, I still managed to hit a decent milepost today, more than a week before the end of June: 5,000 miles.
(5,026 … but who’s counting?)
My task, originally conceived as a long day-ride to knock off the last 133 miles in one shot, got scuppered by a couple high wind days and thereby morphed into three short day rides.
If you're wondering if I have any "normal" bikes, the answer is ... "Why?"
Anyway ... I hadn’t made any mileage goals for the year, since I’ve learned that a million variables can impact the effort. I decided late in 2020 to go for 10,000 miles. I hit 11,111. I started to shoot for 10K in 2021, but got stopped early at about 8500 miles in October due to surgery for TWO hernias. (Not related to cycling, certainly?) This year, no “goal”, but having hit 5K in just under six months … even before the big mile months of July and August … is just a confirmation that I could go even bigger if I wanted. But …
What better way to make a summer “special” than to plan a bike tour. Yes, of course, I have one in mind, and having satisfied my meta-goal for the year, I’m ready now to switch my mental gearing to tour prep mode. The body is ready. The route is known. The start date is penciled in. The push now is to dial-in the bike and gear setup for a non-standard route that will require some Extra Effort. Not on the level of the Baja or the Great Divide, but one that makes me Really Happy™ that I have the super-bike of adventure machines, the Co-Motion Pangea, that has served me well.
On a lark, I took advantage of a nice weather day and got a late start for a lazy century ride. Nothing fancy, just the idea of spending the day enjoying the peace and quiet of car-free trails and a few miles of required back-roads to stitch them together into a loop. I figured this would take a bit longer than a “regular” (paved road) century, so with a late start, I advised Karen not to wait for me for dinner. As it turns out, I wasn’t that much slower anyway, but I DID get back late.
Today’s Unusual Adventure
On the road at 8:30am, I took the shortest route to East Rochester and hopped the trail connecting Legion Ayer Park to Fairport, over Irondequoit Creek and along the train tracks behind the BOCES facility.
Connecting to the Erie Canalway Trail at Perinton Park, I slid through downtown Fairport, past TK’s Pizza and the site of my old apartment on “State Street” (now renamed “Lift Bridge Lane”) and outta town on the trail toward Macedon. When I compare the mental images of the area from now to back when I lived there (’78-’81), one might not recognize the area at all. Thanks to TK’s, I have a reliable landmark. I still need to order one some evening … just to compare.
Out on the trail, alive with bikers and runners and dog walkers, I meet a couple turtles. I’m no expert on turtles, but I don’t think the first one I met was a snapper. It was digging a hole on the side of the trail, I suspect for eggs. (I do NOT believe turtles bother with their waste products like cats do.) I didn’t bother HER as she seemed intent on a project.
Not 100 yards from there, I meet a second turtle. Smaller, but with a very different shell. I thought maybe this was a snapper, and was pretty convinced when I went to pick it up off the trail. Hard to believe a turtle can snap so fast. I decided to move along while I still have all my digits.
Not So Slow Mover
On down the trail past Macedon, I detoured out onto Route 31 due to construction work near Pal-Mac Park. I noticed a brilliant little bike-infrastructure detail I’m thrilled to see. Where the trail has to share the road shoulder, the DOT marked out the separation by painting a barrier right on the (correctly placed) rumble strips. Very cool!
Back on the trail at Palmyra, it’s a smooth roll toward Newark where I jump off the trail at Whitbeck road and head south to Phelps. Stop #1 (38 miles in) was at the Speedway c-store just west of town on Route 96, and just down the road from the trailhead for Ontario Pathways. I grabbed a chocolate milk there, took it to the trailhead, and enjoyed it with a chocolate crunch bar. Sitting in the shade on a beautiful day, I almost took a nap, but knew that could be a problem if I wanted to get home before dark, so after dropping tire pressures for the trail, I slowly meander down the trail.
Into the Wilderness
It’s an interesting trail. All trails are interesting if you go slow enough and take the time to look around.
It's a Flower, right?
Cottonwood Massacre Crime Scene
What’s a Pooh Trap? What’s a Heffalump?
After about 20 miles, I get dumped out onto the streets on Canandaigua. It’s mid-afternoon, I’ve wisely had a caffeine-free day, and with great discipline, I do NOT stop for coffee at Dalai Java, but blast thru town to Byrne Dairy where I pick up my 2nd chocolate milk of the day and down another granola bar. OK … chocolate has SOME caffeine, but compared to my usual Red-Eye, it’s kindergarten stuff.
Tires pumped back up for the road, I’ve got about ten miles of pavement before I hop onto the Auburn Trail outside Victor, and from there about 15 miles to Pittsford and back on the Erie Canal to the city. In the city, I’m still short about 10 miles of a century, so I rode up the Genesee River Trail to downtown, then “Bled Air” to finish. No, I didn’t soften my tires. That’s a term I learned from skydiving. That’s the technique of making a series of turns on approach to landing to lose altitude quickly so you don’t overshoot your landing. I “bleed air” by wiggling around streets to add up the miles before home. So when you see my track files that show apparent indecision about where I’m going, the only decision I’ve made is to KEEP going.
Today, I felt great even after a loooong day in the saddle (OK ... nothing new here) so after a morning appointment, I shot back out the canal trail to intercept my friend Andy who was on his way back IN to town after a morning ride.
Picked up another 37 miles today.
Looked at my mileage log.
I have a task to perform.
You can tell when the weather gets nice. I have trouble sitting down at the Mac to write when all I want is a hot shower and early to bed. My last post (1/2 a month ago) mentioned two centuries, but this post only has one. A week ago, I set off to “paint some roads”. Yeah.
In the RideWithGPS website and app (premium account?), you can display a heat map of roads you’ve recorded rides on. I only started really using RWGPS to log my miles since late 2020, so most of what I’ve covered over the years hasn’t been captured. But it appears that 2021 was pretty busy and I managed to cover much of northwest Wayne county, but there are still roads to be savored!
Blue lines are where I’ve been. Red line is the day’s ride.
And a nice day it was! A cool start, but it warmed up nicely by the time I stopped for a snack in Sodus Point. Bonus points for discovering a rail-trail between Sodus Point and Route 104. Scored 108 miles on that one.
Another super riding day came when I was leading the “Wayne & Brian’s Ride”. It’s another bike club “Adventure” ride, and yes, there was a buddy, many moons ago, who once called me up and said “Let’s take a f@#*-off day and go ride the hills!” And did he ever find some hills! That was Wayne and we HAD to save that as a bike club ride. And this year … 28 YEARS later … who shows up for the ride but none other than Wayne himself!
And he even rode the same bike!
May started a bit slowly, weather wise, and toward the middle of the month, I was beginning to wonder if I’d end up with fewer miles in May than April. But the last two weeks shaped up nicely, I’ve been getting out on longer rides most days, and I ended up beating my goal of 4000 miles by the end of May, by 220 miles. Terrific!
And the ride that really put me over the top was yet another old, old, old bike club route: Todd’s Turns. With Todd leading of course, we did that ride on Memorial Day in the heat. Most everyone who showed up at the start had announced that they would take a cut to avoid the afternoon heat, except for that one guy.
I had no time commitments and brought two bottles and a hydration pack, so I was OK to give it a shot. The full route of Todd’s Turns is 76 miles and the best part of it is Fowlerville Road, with it’s long gentle downhill to the east. Combined with the day’s steady tailwinds, I was in Avon in no time! LOVE that road.
And I felt good having done a “Good Deed” that day, with the help of another rider, Jay.
Mean, nasty, typical snapper.
We came upon a giant snapping turtle on the road and I HATE seeing critters getting mooshed by cars. Jay expressed a certain “dislike” for snappers, thinking maybe he’s right where he oughta be. But I insisted on saving the big guy, so Jay and I grabbed a couple big sticks and eventually convinced the big green guy (well … we kinda dragged his ass off the road … a good 30-40 lbs worth) to return to the bushes.
And that was the big excitement for the day. Shortly after, I peeled off from the group to ride on with the full route. It was hot, and the wind started shifting by the time I got back. I knocked off the 76 miles in just under 6 hours with only two stops for fluids and was pretty excited to fire up the air conditioning in the car for the drive home!
So May turned out just fine. Stats below.