The Best of Plans, Right? You look at the weather reports, including wind directions and speeds over the course of the day. You figure out from that, what can you do taking advantage of all that to put together another century and possibly to somewhere new(ish). Wolcott and Chimney Bluffs aren't new destinations … we go there on club rides nearly every year … but I did a century earlier this spring with the idea of going to Chimney Bluffs 1st time this year yet ended up skipping that part, so here's attempt #2.
Winds were looking favorable for a quick and easy cruise eastbound to Wolcott, having 5-8 mph tailwinds from the west in the early part of the day. Afternoon winds were predicted to shift from the west to the north/northwest, so an afternoon return to Rochester along the lakeshore should bring cooling crosswinds off the lake. Perfect!!
The eastern skies were partly cloudy and on fire with the morning sunrise. Beautiful! I took the "Main Route" out to Sodus: Empire Blvd to Webster and Old Ridge Road out Sodus where I caught a glimpse of something reminiscent of last summer's visit to Guffey Colorado on the Trans-America Trail. Lizzie Mae's Shack has eluded my attention all these years, but never again.
Out of Sodus, I forgot about the road closure for a bridge out along my planned route. Karen and I discovered the project on a recent motorcycle day trip but did I remember it when I was trying to plot it out on "Ride With GPS" and the app refused to let me go that way? Noooo. Kudos to RWGPS for it's accuracy while illustrating how my brain functions continue to decline with age. So, with an unplanned detour, I took a significant detour to eventually get back on my route that led me down a road that passed just north of North Rose. By this time, I was really cruising with those tailwinds, so I decided a quick exploration of "booming" North Rose was in order. I have time.
Not much happening in North Rose, but I discovered a future (post-COVID) day-trip. I noticed a sign on an old factory-type building: "North Rose Railroad Company". As I approached for a better look, the owner stepped out the door and we chatted. He has a HUGE model railroad installation inside, normally open to the public for tours but currently only open to close friends during the pandemic. I can't imagine how big this is, but he said he has over 10,000 feet of track, and lots of "animations" including a nine foot tall mountain. Sounds like a real show! I mentioned I have a friend who is a "Live Steamer" hobbiest from the nearby Marengo club and he says he knows that gang … many have visited. (Tim … have ya been there?)
Back on the road, it's a fun cruise on rolly-polly Salter-Colvin Road (Wheeee!) to Wolcott where I stop for a coke at a c-store/gas station. Yup, now the ride changes. I lose my tailwinds. I slow down. It's getting warmer. I head northwest out of Wolcott into … ummm … gentle head/crosswinds. I'm noticing how humid it is. On Lummisville Road, I pass a new historical marker and realize I didn't get the memo and am late for the meeting.
This is orchard county. Apples and cherries and who knows what else. I stop to sample the young cherries next to the road and wish I had something to bag up a few; they were sweet and juicy and I could have delayed there for a while if not for recognizing the change in riding conditions. In the drumlins, my riding slows down even more.
I get to Chimney Bluffs, but add a short detour into the little community on the side of East Bay, just east of the bluffs. There's a loop road that connects to a series of little dead-end side streets with access to the bay and all named after a state. But one has a steep drop-off to a public boat launch.
It was a small challenge getting back UP out of there, but I finished the loop and got to the destination-of-the-day. We have a club ride that starts from this point … Chimney Bluffs State Park. Not the "New" park, but the original spot that has been the access point to the bluffs for what seems like eternity. I won't share details of my old Coast Guard days in the '70's when we drove out here, climbed out to the bluffs, sat out on the edges and … and ... (never you mind!)
Obviously, erosion of the lakeshore along Lake Ontario has taken it's toll over the years but I keep dreaming of the day when the Bridge Will Be Built. It's ONLY 41 miles to Prince Edward County. Can it be THAT hard?
After a brief stop, I head into Sodus Point via the back-roads and am sorta … but not really … shocked by how packed the village, the bay and the beach park are, what with July 4th weekend approaching. Thrilled that the snack bar is open, but heartbroken that it no longer serves my traditional annual Italian Sausage, I settle for a (great) cheeseburger and (lousy) fries and TWO cokes. Yeah, I'm beginning to feel a bit dehydrated, TWO cokes didn't seem like quite enough. I still have plenty of water on the bike.
But by the time I get to Pultneyville about ten miles later, my water is low. I pull into B. Forman park and find NO sources of water. I get into P-ville and take a shade break on the turn near the marina and watch the kids on paddleboards in the water, wishing I was out there cooling off. I finish my water knowing I can refill at the store at the corner. I ask for a liter of water at the window. They are out, and only have ONE bottle of Coke Zero left. I'll take it. I sit in the shade and kill the coke. HEY. I remember there's a cemetery just outside town, and people are always watering flowers. There HAS to be water there and sure enough, I find a spigot with a hose leading to four cans of sprinklers.
Topped off, I head on toward Rochester. I'm soaked in sweat, but safely drinking water as needed until I pull onto Wall Road in Webster where I take a break in the shade of pine trees for a few minutes. I'm beat and feeling a bit dizzy. Dripping profusely in sweat. It's hot and waaaay too humid for my liking. The last few miles home were nearly unbearable, and as I got off the bike at home after even by-passing Netsin's Ice Cream shop, I could feel the first pangs of cramps building up in my legs. Karen pulled out ice-bags, I started drinking cokes, orange juice, tomato juice and cold water from the fridge and massaging my legs to help prevent the inevitable cramps to come. Moderate success. I had a few jolts in the evening, but managed to get through the night in bed without waking in agony.
What I expected to be an easy century turned into a 117 mile death march by the end. Although I've adapted well to dry desert heat in my last several years of touring out in the southwest, I'm increasingly challenged by the humidity of the east.
That which does not kill us …
… might eventually. Be careful out there!