Finished yesterday's Big Bike Adventure a bit tired, but figured a decent night sleep would end up with a full recovery, and the weather report was looking fantastic, so …
It's Time for a Century!
Temps were to hit high 70's and wind were expected to be from the southeast all day, and getting stronger as the afternoon wore on, so I had a plan to use it efficiently by heading southeast first, and using the tailwinds to get back home. I could head to to Middlesex, just east of Canandaigua Lake, and grab a slice of pizza for lunch, then make a loop though Potter before heading home. Yet another great idea that didn't exactly work as planned.
I used the Auburn Trail to get out of town in the direction of Canandaigua, since it's a great way to avoid morning traffic, PLUS … being in the woods for the most part shielded me from the headwinds for the time being. Once in C'daigua, I made my "regular" stop at the Dalai Java for a red-eye and a chocolate chip muffin —>> ROCKET FUEL.
Little did I know how important that fuel might be.
An AHA moment! Karen and I had ridden the section of the Ontario Pathways Trail from Route 96 to Stanley last year, but we had not yet done the section from Canandaigua to Stanley, and the start point was practically right around the corner. It would take me in the general direction to the southeast, and I could swing though Gorham on the way to Middlesex. Plus, it's more trail riding with tree cover for blocking headwinds. Sounds like an easy Century kinda day … Let's go!
Well, you know how it goes when ya gotta plan, right? The Ontario Pathways route is really, really pretty, partly because it's a mostly natural surface trail. No wide stone dust like the Erie Canalway, but rather a mostly dirt and grassy and single track route since it's doesn't seem to get the traffic it deserves. But, that results in a problem in the spring in that the surface is soft, sometimes wet, and pretty slow rolling with narrower tires like I use on my Rivendell. I tended get mired in soft stuff and mud in a few places and it was tiring, no doubt. (Particularly since I determined I had NOT had enough sleep since yesterday after all!) But the trail is pretty and quiet and there's a fun section where words of wisdom from Pooh and friends are posted to a string of trees. Fun to read, but kills time if you're in a hurry. Which Pooh doesn't encourage anyway.
So, I'm chugging along a for a mile or two, I keep hearing a very faint "tink-tink-tink", trying to figure out the source. It get's to me … I stop … I spin the wheels … and find a little stick stuck to my tire. Stuck? Oh! It's got a thorn and it's stuck in the tire. No matter … it's in the thick part of the tread. I pull it out.
That's a first for these tires. Shouldn't be a surprise since they ARE getting worn after so many miles last year. I commence to doing the flat repair, pump up the tire and strangely struggle for way too long to get it back in the frame. I find that with the tire inflated, It doesn't get past the kickstand plate and into the dropouts, so I deflate, mount it, and pump it up again. Finally, back on the trail.
I reach a cool bridge over Flint Creek. Clearly a pedestrian bridge as it's so narrow; I have to ride a VERY straight course across to avoid smacking the h-bars on the railings. Pretty cool.
I get to Old Mill Road and as I cross, it seems I have a bit of bounce going on and off the pavement. Stop to check. Tire going soft! Pull it out and verify patch is holding fine, but now I have a valve stem failure! Too many of these lately. Hmmmm ….
Pull out the spare tube, get it in, and rethink plan.
I'm almost to the Stanley crossing … THAT goal achieved. But with no backup in case of another serious failure, going to Middlesex is out. So, I decide to head home, and THAT was a fun decision. Now I've got tailwinds like crazy and it's mostly downhill to Canandaigua. It took me 2 and 1/2 HOURS to get to Stanley from C'daigua, but under 45 minutes to get back … what a difference! I grabbed a coke at the c-store and hit the road as it's getting later. I'm still tired, and I've got miles to home. I head northeast to reconnect to the Auburn Trail but hop off before getting to Victor to go see the new roundabout at the east end of town. Up the hill to Victor Road toward Lollipop Farm where I snag the Trolley Trail into Fairport and use the Erie Canal Trail (no cars during rush hour!) to get back into the city.
I had given up the idea of getting a century, but once in the city, I figured I could be easily rescued if I had another failure, plus … Karen has been out riding, and might not be home yet, so I went to GV Park, up the River Trail and wandered through the city streets on my way home. I guess I'll call this my "Five Trail Century".
And I JUST squeaked it out as I pulled into the driveway. 100 miles, in 10 hours … just like always.
One Coffee, One Coke, and One muffin for the day. Karen had to steady me in the driveway as I got off the bike. Maybe next time I'll get TWO muffins ... one there, one to go!
Century #1 for 2021.
Maybe my last!