Friday, July 16, 2010
Ony 2 weeks left!!
It is hard to believe, yet here we are almost about to embark upon our long awaited bicycle journey. We have trained hard, gathered all the right equipment (we hope!), and organized our days and nights for the three month adventure. Now we have begun to pack and tidy up last minute details. We enjoyed a very productive dinner and planning session the other night at Holly's parent's house. They are just as excited to join us on this East Coast tour as we are to ride it. We must say that Jim's travel binder with all the route maps, topograhics, and reservations is quite impressive! Thank you both for being so supportive and "into" this.
Yesterday we pushed our limits pretty far and tackled the hardest and longest ride at least Holly has ever done (Joel completed a century several years ago!). We left Rome at about 7 am and rode the Erie Canal Trail all the way to Syracuse, Dewitt to be exact, about 42 miles. It was HOT and very dusty as the trail consists of mostly crushed stone. We encountered the usual critters; bunnies, chipmunks, beavers, and hissing geese, but the funniest thing was we came head to head with 500 cyclists of all ages, shapes, and sizes going the other way as part of the 8 day Buffalo to Albany ride. After awhile Joel wanted to tape a sign to his helmet that read "good morning" so we wouldn't have to keep saying it!! Our destination for the day was our favorite restaurant in the Syracuse area, The Dark Horse Tavern. There we met our good friend Margo who arrived a little before us to grab a booth by the window so we could keep an eye on our bikes...we forgot our locks! All three of us had wonderful salads and wine and conversation. We promised our waitress and waiter that we would return in the fall to tell them all about our travels. Hopefully Margo will join us again! The thing about riding 42 miles away from home is that you have to reverse your tracks to return...all 42 miles! We left the Dark Horse at 1 pm and headed back East. We did not see too much of interest on the trail, but we did run across a young man all loaded down with sacks and packs whose destination was Saratoga, 120 miles. Good luck to him! As the miles and hours ticked on, Holly began to lose steam, but Gatorade and water kept her going. We finally arrived home at almost 6 pm and regretfully had to miss a dinner engagement (sorry Mitch and Candy!) due to sheer exhaustion. But we did it, and we are psyched because this is what it is going to feel like down south in September and now we know we will be fine!