They said it would be windy today. No kidding! Steady 15 mph+ from the west-southwest all day, and slightly stronger in the afternoon. I've been looking for new (this year) places to ride and I'm running out of options, so when I decided that the Silver Lake-Warsaw area was a potential target, I resigned myself to a long slow slog uphill and against the wind, with the promise of a huge payback for the return home.
With a "late start" (6am instead of sunrise), I knew it would be a long day by the time I got to Caledonia. I paused downtown to get a photo to share with my friend Lisa who has a hobby of shooting Post Offices. The library in Caledonia …
… started as a post office. Does that count? Actually, that's just an excuse to pause and catch my breath. Even though I decided to twiddle and take as long as I needed, a short break out of the wind was useful. I took another break at a c-store in Greigsville (routes 36 and 63) (or was that 63 and 36?). Got intercepted by a guy who noticed my bike and started chatting about the Tour de France, Greg Lemond and sharing his cycling and randoneering exploits, but sold his bike and quit after a crash. After hanging a bit too long, I turned the corner to see a steep climb right in front of me … AFTER I had cooled down. Great timing. And truck traffic with a narrow shoulder. Oh fun.
But that was about it for unpleasant riding. Just a few minutes more and I turned onto a sweet little Tuttle Road and about 5 miles of carless roads before getting to a detour sign. Of course, I had to go through to see if it was another "bikeable" closing, which most are, but this one was active with tons of equipment and workers, so I had to turn around. I didn't return to the marked detour route because I found a seasonal use road that offered a much shorter go-around. And yes, like most others, "seasonal use" means dirt.
Back on route, I got to Perry and turned down to Middle Reservation Road. This is one of the really sweet roads near Letchworth our club uses on a couple great rides. Nice to be here again, if only for a short piece, as I turned up Hathaway to cross RT63 onto East Lake Road …
… past Silver Lake and leading to Silver Springs.
Just a couple miles from Silver Springs, I'm at the high point of the ride in elevation, but I'm also at the point where I turn from riding INTO the wind and now headed north with a tailwind. The computer stats reveal just how slow the first 1/2 of the ride went.
But now for the fun. With a tailwind and a nice downhill, I coasted a decent portion of the next 5 miles to Warsaw since I've spun out my top gear! This is gonna be GREAT! A quick stop in Warsaw for a drink and a sandwich and I'm off, flying up the valley for about 7 miles before a turn uphill. Uphill? What uphill? The wind was blowing so strong from the WSW that I barely noticed the short climb up Lemley Road or the the whole sequence of left-right-left turns and rollers all the way to Mumford. Stopping once again for a drink, I cruised on up McGinnis Road …
… and was back in Rochester in no time. 6 hours down, 3 and a half back. I was in town so early and having hardly worked at all for the last three hours, I figured I'd go ahead and bump up the numbers and ride around town a bit and score a double metric century … 127 miles. OK! That's century #13 for 2020 and it's only June!
So once again, the lesson is: Wind can be a cyclist's enemy if you fight with it, but if you accept it's price gracefully, it can also bear wonderful gifts.