Day 45 - Rochester to Liverpool NY
Mileage: 91 miles
Weather: Upper 60s to start. Mid 70s to end. Cloudy all day with winds in our face.
Highlights of the day:
The temps continue to stay super comfortable. That’s really good considering the humidity has found us. Obligatory jokes about doing the backstroke on the bike were made. Winds were out of the east. A wee bit annoying but not terribly bothersome. Whatever that means…
We started today’s ride along the Erie Canal on the Canalway Trail, a bike path that runs along the canal banks. It’s paved for the first 5 miles and then turns to hard packed dirt for our remaining 19 miles. Along the way, we went through several small villages and passed by several locks. These are waterway locks that are used to raise and lower boats between stretches of water of different levels on a river or canal. Perusing WikiPedia, locks are used to allow a canal to take a more direct line across land that has changes in elevation. Some of the riders were able to watch the entire process of a boat entering the lock on the high side and exit on the low. If anyone missed taking pictures of locks, there will be more opportunities as our route will touch the Erie Canal and Mohawk River several times over the next two days.
Leaving the Canalway Trail, we ventured on to New York State Bicycle Route 5. It isn’t a separate bike trail, these roads are designate and sign posted by the Department of Transportation as particularly bike friendly with wide shoulders and (generally) good pavement. There are several in this state. This one runs from Niagara Falls to the Massachusetts border. It was another great stretch of road, taking us through small towns and rolling farmland.
Riding day after day requires a fair amount of fuel. Riders eat. Riders eat a lot. Riders eat frequently. They are like hobbits. Breakfast. 2nd breakfast. Elevenses. Luncheon. Afternoon tea. Etc... At this point in the ride, we start talking about tapering back. Fuel up as needed but start thinking about what you’re eating. So to be totally unfair, we continue to point out all the local ice cream and fast food eateries. Today was a good one. We had our first SAG stop at Bee Tee's Drive-In. Usually, they're not open when we're there. This year, they decided they might as well sell a little ice cream to the cyclists who would eat such things at 10 in the morning. Heid’s of Liverpool is one of the oldest drive-ins. There is no car-side service but they have great hot dogs, kielbasa, and all the other deep fried goodies one would expect. Heid’s is very conveniently located on route, just a few miles from the hotel. We also pointed out Antonio’s Ice Cream and then there are usual Dunkin Donuts. Maybe we can start tapering tomorrow?
We had a sad ending to the day. One of our riders is leaving us. It was planned out in advance, so it wasn’t a surprise but he’s leaving with just 5 riding days left to go. He’ll be back on Sunday to finish the route just behind us. He mentioned something about a son getting married. We just don’t understand his priorities. 😛 He will be missed. We wish him well and look forward to the full details & pictures of his solo journey to the Atlantic.