In several ways. In all these century rides I've cobbled together to amuse myself during the pandemic, my "FrankenTrek" has been out a grand total of once. It's actually a pretty hot bike … light wheels, carbon frame, reasonable gearing, and what I think it the best saddle I've ever, ever, ever had … a Flite Titanium. I have two Flites, one black, one white, and the white one is currently mounted on my fixie. The black one resides on the FrankenTrek simply due to weight, and this is my lightest, fastest bike.
I need to occasionally remind myself of this and after riding around city trails with Karen yesterday on my fattest and heaviest bike (Surly Pugsley) yesterday, hopping aboard the plastic bike was like strapping myself to Saturn 5 rocket. Wheeee! I figured today's Century might be quicker than most. I was not wrong, and if fact, was pleasantly surprised.
I shouldn't have been, all things considered. It was projected to be a cooler day than recent weeks, and near the lakeshore, temps are typically a bit cooler than inland particularly with gentle breezes from Canada. Plus, the route … an out and back of the Lake Ontario State Parkway … is about as flat as anything one can find in upstate New York. All systems go, and at 6am, I was outta here. Destination: Lakeside Beach State Park.
Heading out on the parkway, I made a photo-stop at Cranberry Pond as the low morning sun and clouds were projecting wonderful reflections on the glassy water.
A pit stop at Hamlin Beach State Park about two hours from home, and another stop on the bridge over Oak Orchard River overlooking the Point Breeze harbor cut into my time getting to Lakeside.
But so did road conditions. While the first part to Hamlin Beach and a bit past that was near glassy smooth asphalt, the personality of the road changed shortly after. It turned to concrete, complete with seams, potholes and even grass growing up in cracks as there is almost zero traffic out this far. Past Hamlin Beach, I saw a pickup truck drive past, and one state trooper parked in the median, hoping in vain I'm sure to score some action. The Parkway ends abruptly at Lakeside Beach, so about the only "action" he might see is camper RV's headed to the park. And, that's unlikely to yield any speeding tickets on THAT surface. Even the bridge over the river was closed down to one lane … perhaps to save the better lane for later?
The last time I cycled out this way was during one of our "RARE2K" recumbent rallies at Hamlin Beach, many years ago. I remember that the Parkway was in really crappy condition, but that was sooooo long ago, I assumed that repairs and upgrades must have been done since. Alas, it looks just the same. And felt like it too.
So, I arrived at Lakeshore Beach State Park, 45 miles out from home, in almost exactly 3 hours. Not bad at all. I stopped at the shoreline to eat the banana Karen had VERY conspicuously set out for me, watched a hummingbird flit around the tree next to me, and when he left, so did I.
Heading back to Rochester, I must have felt the power of the banana. I didn't take any breaks and in just over two hours at mile 81 of my ride (36 miles later), I was at the Lake Avenue end of the Parkway in Charlotte. I'm not known as a fast rider, but today, I sure felt (fantasized) like one. I texted Karen: "I'm back in town. Where are you?" "Fixing lunch" "I'm headed south toward downtown on the River Trail" "I'm headed out. Meet you downtown"
We met at High Falls, and I mentioned I was starving. A turkey sandwich for breakfast, a banana, and I'm now 89 miles in. We headed for the street vendor downtown and I scored the best Italian Sausage with peppers and onions and meat sauce I've ever had in my whole life! (And, a Coke!) On down to the Erie Canal, and eventually to a 7-11 for more fluids and eventually back home with 102 miles by 2pm for Century #16 for 2020.