Ending my last post, I pondered " … do I stop at 20?". Well, the promise of nice weather sucked me in again, and I scoured the bike club map list for something new and interesting, yet starting close to home. Now, I've ridden nearly every mapped century our club has at some point over the years, but one popped up that I had actually never ridden and completely forgotten about. And as the Maps Director at the time, I even drew the map for it way back in 2004! The Frontier Century got it's name not for visiting new frontiers, but rather for it's start location: Frontier Field, Rochester's pro baseball stadium. That's plenty close enough to home and with a manageable distance of 103 miles.
Yet another sunrise start time (6:30am and getting later every day) and I was headed off toward Canandaigua. And yes, I stopped once more at Dalai Java for refueling. I had a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal at home, and was proud of my discipline to skip the chocolate chip muffin this early in the ride this time, but a strong red-eye served as my rocket fuel for the next few miles. Just at the edge of town, I remembered seeing an unknown trail on an earlier ride, splitting off alongside the 5&20 highway overpass.
Route deviation #1. I had to, ya know.
Very shortly, it became clear why the trail was named the "Switchback Trail". Not sure why it exists, or how it got there, but it's clearly not intended as a skinny-tire bike route regardless how short. The surface was loose crud, kinda like ground up and discarded asphalt at the beginning in the area of the switchbacks. But as it leveled out closer to the top, the surface improved and was pleasantly shaded from the sun. Where it popped out left me off route and I accepted that the day's ride would not meticulously follow, but only "sorta" run like the planned route.
With a couple more variations, I got to the cool part: Goff Road. It's "a bit of a climb" over the ridge separating Canandaigua Lake from the Bristol Valley, but the payback on the west side is too much fun to miss. By the time I arrived at Bristol Center, I knew it might be wise to refuel since the next possible stop would be Honeoye Falls, many miles and hills later. A coke and a slice of pizza at the Dandy C-store was enough to carry me through the rolling cow-country …
… and all the way through Honeoye Falls and beyond to Avon where I had to stop for a coke. Nice weather so far today and I've only had 1/2 of the first water bottle, but it's warming up and I know I'll start chugging it soon. Refreshed, I grabbed the increasing southeast tailwinds and flew down to the Genesee River and up the hill to West River Road, on the way to Scottsville. But heading up that way, I diverted temporarily once again. I finally discovered the access trail off River Road to Wadsworth Junction and had to go off route … and off-road … to check it out. For those unfamiliar, Wadsworth Junction is where the Genesee Valley Greenway and the Lehigh Valley Trails intersect on the west side of the Genesee River next to the old railroad bridge. And it was here that I had an epiphany! A few centuries ago (rides, not time) I "got detoured" off my planned ride up the Greenway by a Trail Closed sign on Route 5. It was not apparent why the trail was closed, but I believe I discovered why today.
It seems some serious trail surface improvements are underway on the Greenway and it appears that the section(s?) between Canawagus Park in Scottsville and Route 5 are getting some attention. Looking like a firm base is getting built up, I suspect that the smooth and solid stone-dust treatment is on it's way! So much for the old rooty bumps and low spots that made fat-bikes the best choice for these sections. I'll look into it, but perhaps this time next year, we'll be cruising' here on not-so-fattie wheels. Fingers Crossed!
I flagged Karen and told her I was headed up the Greenway toward the city, so she saddled up and headed south in time to intercept me at Genesee Valley Park. I told her I was on a mission, with a "destination". Despite my alternates, I "just had to" finish the ride properly in honor of the route's name.
Wrapped it up with 105 miles in well under ten hours even with the delays and detours and only one slice of pizza for food en route. But DAMN … that red-eye carried me pretty far!