Waking in a conference room in a fire-station in Upper New York State. Well, it's all part of the Ride for Africycle experience! Jerrett was hunkered over the stove, banging out some oatmeal and toast while the team gathered up sleeping bags, mattresses, and the various odds-and-ends that had somehow made their way around the room in the night into our respective bins which we stacked at the back entrance to the Fire-hall.
The firefighters who had worked the evening shift dropped in to say hi and make acquaintances - all of them were really welcoming and friendly! We gathered the bikes and the bus in front of the firehall and took a pile of photographs with the guys of the Northeast Joint Fire District.
Finally came the time to get back on the road. Today, a 160 km ride to 4 Mile Creek State Park along the Empire State Parkway - surely one of the strangest roads I've ever ridden on. I recall it from RFA 4.0 but that ride was done in sweltering 45 Celsius heat. This ride was way more comfortable and we were able to look around and see the Lake. It's an interesting to me feature of the ride that it was really cool - exciting even - to actually see the Lake. You'd think that after seeing it a few dozen times you'd get tired of it but I found that I was actually really glad to see it.
The weather forecast was suggesting that there was a very good chance of rain and thunderstorms. Oh boy! The longest ride of the RFA 5.0 wonder voyage and it was going to be wet all over again. But you know what? The power of positive thinking kept the clouds - which literally gathered all around us - at bay. We had a super good headwind for the whole day which made every kilometre a prize to be gathered and stored in the warehouse of trophy experiences. You know, the "I pushed through something that was bigger than me" vault.
The day had lots of flats, a couple of broken spokes but it also had sweet smooth roads. Beautiful scenery, beautiful little houses with gorgeous fairy-tale gardens and best of all, after following Rochester Rick's detailed instructions generously assembled by Rick in his spare time, we made our way through Rochester's most beautiful streets,
a little bit of her parkland and then out past a beach that I could happily paste myself to and spend days grilling on!
We made our annual stop at Sips Coffee Shop, although this was a much shorter visit as the day was a long one in terms of distance. I still managed to put away a phenomenal and giant cookie alongside an Americano.
Fueled up with sugar, carbs, and caffeine we headed out and turned towards the Lake to pass through the harbour and then cut across through the beautiful town of Greece. If you looked South you looked over little lakes.