Sunday, August 1, 2010

ride for africycle day five (part one)

selkirk shores state park to sodus 120 km (part one)

i woke several times through the night to hear
the amazing snoring machine roaring impossibly loudly thirty feet away.

waking for the day the heat and humidity were there right from the start.
happily we never checked weather forecasts or asked what the temperature was.
later we found out that we rode through the hottest weather in nine years with
the humidex rising into the mid-forties, smog advisories, and so on.
i'm glad we didn't know because a big part of cycling distances in difficult weather is psychological.
it's enough to know that it's difficult, that it hurts, that there's a long way to go.
then you can focus on the amazing journey itself.

we got on the road at 7:30 a.m. and pushed the pace.
i drank lots of water and felt really good.
the only problem was that the water warmed up to luke warm before i could drink it all.
i drank it anyway but warm water on a super hot day is really gross.

we stopped in oswego for mid-morning coffee and pastries.
the coffee shop was air-conditioned, had a washroom, had an ice machine for our bottles. bliss!

starting out again - refueled and recharged.

the roads were pretty good this day - busy, so busy at times - but there was one sweet stretch that had just been paved. when we got to the beginning of the construction zone they were working on we had to wait for a while but then the road crew let us go through without any vehicles either way -
a couple of kilometres - how amazing is that!!

i heard later that a couple of riders who were a kilometre or so back of me got chased by a wild dog that came piling out of the woods and ran after them!
that's one of a cyclist's worst fears.
the hills on this day were really long. i checked one out of curiousity and it was 1.2 km long - uphill the whole way. of course there are two sides to a hill's story so the other side usually made up for the massive effort.

this is what the very best roads look like. smooth, no junk all over the shoulder. lots of room.

after 80 km of riding, we stopped in wolcott for lunch where we were photographed and inteviewed by the local press. a river ran near where we ate - we could hear it but couldn't get near it.
it would've been so nice to dabble our hot bodies in it!

the next twenty km were really hard. the heat was intense and there was very little shade.
the town we were staying near was sodus, ny. a lovely little town with a gorgeous harbour
that made me think of jigsaw puzzle pictures.

it's got a pretty old and well-known yacht club. have a look here for more about that.

the little group i was riding with rode through and out of town as we figured we were headed for our destination - a small vineyard on the outskirts of town where we were to camp that night.
unfortunately we overshot the turnoff a fair bit and added a handful of kilometres to our distance. half those kilometres were up steep hills of course!!!

we decided to turn back and see if the other groups had stopped in sodus at a bar to watch the world cup soccer game and sure enough, we found them, air conditioning, cold beer on tap and a world cup soccer game on big screen hd!!!
nirvana at the almost end of a super-hot day!!!

when the game finished we headed back out toward the vineyard which in fact was a small cleared spot of land on a bluff overlooking the lake. very beautiful views. the downside - no running water, no showers, no washroom facilities. there was a palpable plummet in the team's morale. the kicker - we had to get cleaned up and prepped for a dinner with the local rotary club who had invited us to dinner.

the journey to the dinner was fun. big dave barber, our support driver, most cool boy, and treat finder par exellence must have sensed the need so we all piled in the
back of the bus with the soundtrack provided by daft punk.

bike buddy ben started up the office chair race competition.
how's this done?
put a human in an office chair at the back of a gutted schoolbus.
half way down a steep hill you hammer on the brakes and off goes the chair rider!!!

here goes ben.

keep your legs in folks! (speaking of legs, check out lisa's scraped up knees!)

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