Monday, September 26, 2011

Ride for Africycle 5.0 Day Five Part Two

The Lake Ontario State Parkway is essentially an interstate that has been let go. Paved with concrete that has cracked in many places such that it looks as if it has been forgotten or as Dave Blondel put it (when I suggested that perhaps Cormac McCarthy had passed along it and gained inspiration for his book "The Road") "this is The Road Steve"!!!

Dave (in his own blog on the Ride for Africycle experience which you can read right here) said,

"The Lake Ontario State Parkway. Wikipedia it. The most post-apocalyptic-feeling bicycle riding experience you will have (this side of the actual apocalypse)."

It's funny how scenery like this:

and this:

can almost completely take your mind off the fact that you are riding on this: (here it is without people)

(and here it is with people - truly awesome people!)

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the headwind. This was what we referred to as "our long day". 160 km approximately. When we got onto the L.O.S.P. we fought a headwind that stayed with us for much of the day. Occasionally it slanted at us from just right of centre which has its own special challenge as you push slightly into it and hope that the route doesn't turn back into its face, but for the most part it was an invisible pair of hands pushing at chest, face, helmet - anything wanting to move forward. We hugged as close to each as we could to grab some sort of draft and people were really good about taking turns at the front.

But somehow it found each person and ground us down, one-by one.

During the whole time we were on the L.O.S.P. maybe a handful of luxury cars with heavily tinted windows flew past.

The post-apocalyptic vibe was enhanced by the gathering stormclouds in front of us.

RFA 5: Riders of the Post-Apocalypse (Image courtesy of Dave Blondel)

We stopped for Lunch at Hamlin Beach where we had a superb meal and there was tons of great energy in the air which was grabbed by the Incredible Ben Voss who for a dollar took on the dare of riding a bike down a slide in the Park.

Here's the evidence provided by the awesome Ed Kwaka.

1. 2. 3. 4.

After Lunch we headed out onto The Road again - the wind was every bit the same and there was an endless false flat also to contend with. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?!!!

Eventually The Road came to an end and we dove off onto some small rural roads that more-or-less paralleled the Lake. We stopped for a pie (a whole pie that's right) and coffees at Burnap's Farm Market - a lovely fruit stand that has somehow become embiggened and offers all sorts of other stuff that is tasty and can be consumed immediately. A good place to stop - but we had a long way to go still. We rode through endless cattle farms and fields (the air filled with the interminable scent of manure) and really it was all so very lovely but it was such a long day and the wind had taken the edge off us but still, here we were living the dream.

We stopped in one place for Cherry Dr. Pepper and chips. Stopping in rural America for anything simple results in the richest slice of life you can possibly imagine. All is revealed!!

The bucolic scenery contains stories that could easily become novels.

But, the ride must continue and so it did as we gradually made our way in small clusters to the beautiful Four Mile Creek State Park.

Jerrett decided to try deep-frying a whole turkey - and folks he did it! It was absolutely awesome and combined with fresh beans, broccoli and beers and especially the knowledge that tomorrow was a day off riding - a "rest day", we all relaxed and I've got to tell you that I enjoyed the best sleep of the ride that night!!!

I was so looking forward to the rest day!!!

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