Thursday, August 5, 2010

ride for africycle day six (part one)

sodus point to hamlin beach state park 110 km (part one)

awake in the middle of the night
to see the moon
like a piece of blood orange rind
caught between two branches
of a pine tree

really i did!
i thought of taking a photograph but i wanted nothing to come between me and that moment.
i can carry it in my head for as long as i wish.

the lake was huge and still.

little snoring and sleepy breathing sounds hovered over the campsite.


we woke very early and packed in silence.
breakfast was over as quickly as it had begun.
we walked our bikes out of the campsite to avoid wipeouts - there had been several on the way in including me.

the road is made up of dirt and gravel and of course the superfine sandy bits
that catch a skinny tire and stop it cold.
the rider doesn't stop quite as quickly - there's some law of physics that covers that i'm sure.
so leaving the vineyard was a half walk half ride affair until we made it back out onto the blacktop and pointed the bicycles east.

the roads were super smooth and wound in and out of cool shaded little valleys past many super massive houses that had to be worth millions. these homes had what i figured were guest houses that you could easily slide my home inside!

after many beautiful miles we started to approach the outskirts of rochester.
rochester spreads far and wide and has as much big city ugliness as it does beauty.

skirting the lake at times
and then at others passing through derelict neighbourhoods,
we fought the heat, the traffic, and even one monster hill that was packed with morning rush hour traffic.

you need a wakeup call?
try flying down a hill at sixty kph on what is nominally the shoulder/bike lane when the bike lane is littered with glass, gravel, pieces of truck (!),
we even saw the leaf off a truck suspension -
who knows how that would come loose?!!

then of course there's the climb up the other side, but wonder of wonders the other side had been freshly paved, had the bike lane you could dream about but never expect to see in all your life and all through leafy avenues of beautifully kept little homes.

oh wow!

eventually we worked our way towards a coffee shop that had been visited last year.
voted rochester's best coffee shop - and i can't say if that's true or not but the americano i ordered was close to superb and the pastries excellent.
lots of ice water and a clean bathroom.

rochester rick if you're reading this then i'll meet you here next summer!
or maybe you'll be riding with us!!

the coffee shop is located in a small plaza and really you'd blow by it if you didn't know.
here are some of my bike buddies hoovering back tasties.
oh did i mention the temperature that day was over a hundred fahrenheit?
(i translated the celsius for my american friends!)

here's big dave barber blissing out on something special.

i was so chilling out, i ordered a second americano.
we were there for about an hour and a half relaxing and mellowing out.
lunch that day was made by bike buddy mike who prepared a superb sandwich for each of us.
times like that i could cry!


  1. Those big homes you mention are probably the ones coming in to Rochester from Webster. I hadn't seen them before my little morning drive to Sodus a few weeks ago. Amazing. All I could think about was how their yearly property taxes were probably more than my annual salary!! :)

    We do have some pretty cool coffee shops in the city, a few of which might be on par with some in Toronto, say in the Queen East/Beaches area, or Queen West (art district) or the Annex. The one you visited I'm not familiar with, mainly because it's not on my beaten path.

    And yes, I was talking about your ride and Africycle to a couple of co-workers today. I will consider it but would need some guidance on training, equipment and such. Perhaps I could get some kind of support from my place of work, but not sure about that.... I'm very interested!


  2. BTW: I often, after a stressful day at work, take a drive to Hamlin Beach along the Ontario State Parkway. My favorite spot on the beach with those big pebbles we've both written about is very near there.

  3. hello rick! thanks for your comments. yes those homes were spectacularly large - monstrous even!!! i'd be happy to give you whatever support you need to help you if you'd like to ride with the africycle ride next summer. you can choose to ride all or part of it rick so think about that. meanwhile you can contact me directly at if you wish. steven