Sunday, January 25, 2009

55'ish miles on a nice warm and sunny day, really?

Today Jamie Gartenberg and yours truly set out on a planned 53 mile ride at about 11am. I road to Jamie's house off North Triphammer Road and back after our ride, adding approximately 15 miles to the total riding distance. In an attempt to avoid a frozen water bottle on the ride, Jame boiled his water before he mixed it with Accelerade. He was reluctant to take my advice and use a Camelbak, mainly because of the extra weight. C'mon Jamie, you weigh 137 pounds! I also did not tell him that I think that boiling water was not very good for the protein in the Accelerade, but that's just speculation. After Jamie took an inadvertent sip of his boiling Accelerade we shot a couple of pre-ride pictures and set out to the official start, the Rink on 34.

The ride began very pleasantly. The temperature was hovering around 14F but the sun was shining nice and bright, a rare treat this time of the year. We made our way North on Van Ostrand and then on Sharpsteen, East Genoa and Stewarts Corners. This was a long stretch of a gradual climb, just enough to annoy me. I much prefer the steeper climbs. They give me a sense of accomplishment. We made a left on Long Hill Road, a known friend from one of the rides Misty organized in early November to Moravia. We remained on Long Hill and then Poplar Ridge Road all the way to Cayuga Lake. During this 9 mile stretch we had a constant and nagging headwind of about 10mph. We also discovered the home of Jethro Wood, inventor of the cast iron plough, patented in 1819. His plough was succeeded by a version made of steel by John Deere in 1837. If only Jet had thought steel, we would be seeing Jethro Wood tractors everywhere. For the history of the plough, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plough .

I was very much relieved to ride South and get that chilly Westward wind out of my face. We veered off 90 onto Lake Road. Now that I have ridden in Pennsylvania and Upstate New York, I have learned that roads that incorporate water in their name (Creek, Lake, River, etc.) are never flat, just the opposite. While on Lake Road I spotted a flock of birds (geese I believe) enjoying the calm waters of Cayuga Lake. I thought it would make a great picture If I could get those geese to fly away, so I made my way to the shore. I attempted throwing a small log and a stone at them to no avail. The stone must have fallen about 20 feet from were I was standing. I seem to forget that my arms have little muscle on them. I decided to move closer and suddenly found myself on a sheet of ice as slippery as it was thick. Cycling shoes are not ideal for this type of terrain. Nonetheless, I spent a few moments enjoying the view and annoying the birds, who seemed not to be very intimidated by my presence. During all this time Jamie was observing from the distance. I have no idea what was going on in his mind.

Our ride resumed and after a few more miles we were climbing out from the lake on Ledyard Road. The rest of the ride was uneventful, except for a slippery slope we encountered on Brown Hill Road and the Alpaca Farm on Conlon Road. Unfortunately the Alpacas must have gone back to Peru for the winter, there was no sign of them.

I must say the ride was very enjoyable, except maybe for the last 10 miles. I was getting tired and wanted the comfort of a nice warm home, where I find myself writing this ride report. Lastly I would like to apologize for not posting the ride on the FLCC list, the decision to ride was made late yesterday. Below are some pictures from the ride.


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