It's always hard to get up and get going after you've settled into a really good chocolate croissant and an americano but that's the nature of the Ride for Africycle beast. It's what separates the I'm-just-here-for-the-perks chumps from the it's-all-about-the-ride chumps. I find it takes me anywhere from five to ten kilometres of riding to get my legs going at the same pace as my heart and lungs and mind. Younger readers - be warned and prepared!!!
We set off through Cape Vincent and turned left onto NY 12E, a beautiful smooth road that traces the rolling contours of the countryside that lies about ten km back of the Lake Ontario shoreline. People who admire homes that have been abandoned will appreciate the many old houses and barns that are gradually being reclaimed by Nature and Time.
Eventually we arrived in Dexter.
The bus hadn't made it this far so several riders opted for the ice-cream pleasures that are happily dispensed at the Lickety Split ice cream hut.
(photo Ed Kwaka)
Jerrett preparing Lunch (photo Ed Kwaka)
Time was ticking though and we left this idyllic spot for another year and put the bikes back on NY 180 which melds eventually into NY 3. Riders who had ridden this stretch of road before had been talking about a "huge climb" that was coming up - and it's a good hill to be fair - but we were all surprised when it actually showed up just how not that big it actually was.
The view from the top this year was really good (last year it was entirely obscured by the humid haze that lay over everything) if you look past the dilapidated structures!!
The road conditions for cyclists in this part of New York State are amazing - super clean, smooth, and wide enough so a cyclist doesn't feel like they're squeezing cars out of their lane. We moved along at a good pace, taking turns at the front to pull until eventually we arrived at Taco Bob's Wayside Inn. An oasis that magically appears just as you feel you can go no further without refreshment!
After a quick round of cold Gennie's, all attention was shifted to the shuffleboard table where last year I had been thrashed by Michael VanDerHerberg.
Sadly - and not surprisingly - I was whipped once more by the VanDerHerberg juggernaut. Does he lose at anything?!!! Fortunately I have arrived at an age where I can accept defeat graciously - I have plenty of practice when I hang around Michael!!!
From Taco Bob's we set out for the final stretch of riding - a series of long rollers that taxes both mind and body and which you begin to believe will have no end until all of a sudden there's the right-hand turn into Selkirk Shores State Park.
The park was really quiet. Dinner was amazing once more with fresh fruit and vegetables making a welcome appearance alongside some excellent pork chops. A camper generously donated a pile of wood to us so we had a beautiful campfire before turning in for the night.