Early in today’s ride, Matt and I reached 200 hours cycling on our trip. Now there are lots of ways to spend 200 hours…you could watch 100 movies, go to 67 baseball games, listen to 4,000 songs or watch 600 episodes of Seinfeld which I believe my children have done. Matt and I have been fortunate to be able to spend that time doing what we enjoy most, riding our bicycles. However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t had some obstacles to overcome. We’re both starting to notice the little aches and pains a little more. Nothing major that would cause us to not be able to ride, but just those little messages your body sends you to ask when you’re going to let it rest. We’ve also been more frequent in our mid-ride application of additional chamois cream!
Today was also a mental barrier for us to get through. It was our last planned long mileage day of our trip. The last three days we’ve ridden 270 miles and in the final four days of our trip we also ride 270 miles but with an extra day to do so. Matt was a little more chipper than me today but both of us were looking forward to the ride being completed and enjoying a day and a half in Cooperstown, NY. Today was also a reintroduction of our legs to climbing. We’ve been riding on flat terrain for so long that when we faced rolling hill after rolling hill after rolling hill (much bigger than the Iowa hills by the way) our legs had a mini rebellion and we weren’t sure they were going to fully compile with our request to power us up the hills. In fact I wouldn’t call any of our climbs today “powering up the hill” it was more like “thank goodness I made it up that hill”.
The best part though is even with the fatigue starting to set in we’re still enjoying each day. This morning we were on the road at 8a and after weaving our way through Syracuse we found the Erie Canal path and rode that for the next 20 miles to Canastota, NY for our B2 (2nd breakfast) at a great local diner the girls found. The Erie Canal path was not in as good of shape as the section we had ridden on two days ago. As a result we had to ride much slower (15-16 mph) but it was the best route to where we needed to go.
After we left Canastota, it was time for Matt and I to start riding through the hills for the next 65 miles. It was much slower going today as we only averaged 15.1 mph for our ride between the conditions on the canal path, the road construction that made us ride on the sidewalk for a few miles and the endless hills. For example, yesterday we went the same distance but averaged 19.3 mph. While we were riding Cindy and Katie went and explored some of the museums in the area and Brenda and Sarah enjoyed of the small towns on the route.
When Matt and I cycled through Clinton, NY we both called our wifes to suggest they might like coming there and walking around the shops and town square . They then did a great job of teaming up to take care of Matt and myself while getting a chance to explore Clinton. Brenda and Sarah drove ahead and met Matt and I in the one store town of Cassville, NY to resupply us. Fortunately the one store in town was an ice cream shop so we of course used that to fuel up. Brenda and Sarah then drove back to Clinton and passed the baton the Cindy and Katie who drove ahead with our gear to meet us in Cooperstown.
We rode to the Tunnicliff Inn in Cooperstown where we’re staying the next two nights. It’s a block from the National Baseball Hall of Fame (we plan on visiting tomorrow) and right off Main Street. After a shower (can’t quite describe how good a shower feels after riding 90 miles) we met up with Matt’s parents for a few beers and dinner. After dinner Brenda, Sarah and I enjoyed the summer evening and strolled along all the baseball memorabilia shops and then walked down to the lake and stumbled upon an outdoor concert. It was a great ending to a long day of riding and a great start to the final five days of our trip!
Here’s a few pictures from today. Leaving Syracuse…