Looking to cobble together another century ride, I noted that our club has only a few rides "out that way" toward Batavia of particular interest. It's pretty farm country for the most part, but lacks the geologic amenities we so love east and south of Rochester. But if one wants a gentle long day ride, there are plenty of nice back roads to be had there. In fact, farm country doesn't have a lot of traffic as compared to other places, so that is a draw in itself. Wanting to take my Pangea out for a spin, it was a good fit. Comfy riding, comfy bike. To get started, I headed out toward Brockport on the Erie Canalway Trail.
Early morning in Brockport, on a Sunday, with Covid-19 restrictions, I assumed the main street in town would be quiet. Correct. But surprisingly, I was able to score a quick red-eye at the only open biz, Java Junction. Only in town long enough to chug one, I was quickly headed south on NY19, aka "Bike Route 19" with it's clean, wide and smooth shoulder for miles and miles. Nearing Bergen, I ran across a previously undiscovered rail-trail and stopped to chat with a guy and his dog (dog wasn't into chatting much) who had just walked out one side of the trail. He shared that although not very long, the West Shore Railroad Trail is a nice quiet trail and he made a point of assuring if not encouraging me that it's open to bikes! (I would hope so!) Pinned it on my GPS for later exploration.
But in the Bergen area, I picked up on clear signage of political leanings. I went past a row of at least 6 or 7 or 8 properties that enthusistically displayed lawn signs and huge flags promoting the current narcissist-in-chief with slogans like "No More Bullshit" and "Promises Made, Promises Kept" making me wonder what un-reality TV shows the owners tune into. Clearly, I haven't made any plans of homeownership and supporting the local tax base in the area. Feeling sad about the neighborhood, I continued on to Batavia.
Arriving in Batavia's downtown, I'm further offended by the loud noise of a pickup truck driving down Main Street way too fast, horn blaring incessantly while the owner displayed yet another "Bullshit" flag. Getting closer to the main street, I then see a crowd of people gathering around city hall.
Feeling uncomfortable, you know what I'm thinking now, right?
I was wrong.
Stopping at Main Street, I realize that not all the neighbors in the area agree with the truck driver. In fact, there were at least (my guess) about two or three hundred folks there with very clearly different opinions, and entirely in line with mine. I spent a while in the crowd enjoying the unity of the group protesting, peacefully yet firmly in support of Black Lives Matter.
Batavia, you surprised me, but you made me proud. As the march headed off, I too headed off into the countryside heading back toward Rochester. I took another break at a small park in Leroy, to get rid of a fresh-this-morning PB&J. It was just as good as the two week old one I had on an earlier ride. The rest of the day was really nice with only a slight pushback from northerly winds to slow me down, and once getting back to Scottsville after a glorious cruise on Oatka Trail and North Road, I jumped on the Genesee Valley Greenway to hide from the wind and got back in town to rendezvous once again with Karen who was already out cycling.
One hundred and three miles for Century #9 of 2020, making my biggest mileage week (423) of the year. At 3789 to date, my mid-term goal is to hit 5000 by the end of June.
Wish me luck!