Sunday, August 15, 2010
Today I returned to Keuka Lake to do the WHOLE thing (last time I skipped from the tip of this "Y" shaped lake to the other tip) including the "V" in the middle of the "Y", which is known to have a KILLER hill guaranteed to be a "walk"...and it sure WAS!
Unfortunately as it was the last time, we had a rainy, cloud-filled day so Keuka did not exactly put it's best foot forward for us. I neglected to bring a camera, but with the grayness of the day it was probably just as well. There is a nice picture of Keuka Lake at the top of this web page:
www.fingerlakes.org/ You'll see other pictures of our beatiful Finger Lakes as well. The rain stopped fairly soon after only about a 1/4 of our ride was completed. Soon my rain soaked t-shirt would become my SWEAT-soaked t-shirt...lol!
16 of us from the bike club did the ride...3 had flat tires...! I watched one changing his to get a little more familiar with the steps involved.
I mapped our route in my Fitness Maps where you can see how our route traced the entire perimeter of the lake, looking like a skinny, squished letter "Y":
I was so pleased to travel down into the "V" of this "Y" this time around as the first half of the route took us right down near the waterfront where the *old* and *big* money was...BEAUTIFUL lakeside homes, docks and boats along the West Bluff Drive. Elsewhere around Keuka there were many "For Sale" signs. Nary a sign to be found around HERE! It felt like these folks had been here for many generations and would CONTINUE to be here for many generations.
An unexpected treat near the bottom of the "V" at the end of West Bluff Drive as the road began to climb steeply toward Skyline Drive, off the side of the road down a VERY steep embankment with a carefully groomed zig-zag path leading all the way down near the waterfront was what appeared to be an ancient stone church that was SO beautiful! Named "Garrett Chapel" I later researched it and found that while it wasn't "ancient" it had an interesting history which tells you a little more about the area. Here are a couple websites which have great pictures (better than anything *I* would have taken...!):
At the beginning of that KeukaMonga (a cute name I someone had for their home) climb I huffed and puffed and pumped those pedals for all I was worth...but when I turned the corner and saw I was like...HALF-WAY! And saw fellow bikers ahead of me walking...oof! Threw in the towel and walked 'er on up. The odd thing was, after getting to the top and starting out on my way up out of the "V" I found myself whizzing right along on a slope that wasn't obvious to the eye, but sure was obvious to my feet...which FLEW right along! I would have thought that the altitude would be RISING as I went up toward Penn Yan, but WOO HOO! Loved that long sweeping ride down!
After we all finished we got together at the Switzerland Inn, where we started and ended our circuit 'round the lake:
www.theswitz.com/index.htm More pics courtesy of the Switz:
Enjoyed a nice lunch, shared some biking stories...great time had by all!
Between yesterday's 42 mile ride and today's 57 mile ride, close to a total of 100 miles. Certainly FELT it today, but it was a great weekend toward getting ready for my MS City to Shore Ride of 175 miles on Sept. 25-26!
Friday, August 06, 2010
I enjoyed biking to work, FINALLY, today after another week of the muggies got me down. Best part was the ride home: joined with a few of the others who will be biking to raise donations for Multiple Sclerosis in Sept. Total miles today was 28...could be better, but it was such a joy nonetheless to get out and celebrate this upper 70's, low humidity day!
I had hoped afterward to catch the hot air balloon launch at our local SpiedieFest & Balloon Rally:
The hot-air balloon launch is my favorite part of the festival. The rest is much like your county fair with BOATLOADS of unhealthy fare!
Sadly, although it seemed like a picture-perfect day for a launch, the wind must have been blowing a bit too much to risk a launch. And since I'm away this weekend I won't get a chance to see any other attempted balloon launch.
I've thought, off and on, how awesome it might be to ride in a hot air balloon someday...
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend filled with all your heart's desires!
For the heckuvit I wanted to share a link to one VERY COOL looking machine that I would just LOVE to try and most likely own:
Play that video and tell me it wouldn't be such a BLAST to ride one of those things...!
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Welcome back to today's installment of...
As the Wheels Turn! :-)
...ah yes those long, rolling hills of Pennsylvania! So sweeping, lush and gorgeous in the summer sun!
Tackle them on two wheels and they turn into an unrelenting ordeal not unlike the Chinese Water Torture! Except MUCH more taxing...!
There was not a single hill that would cause one to go "whoa! THAT hill is gonna be a TOUGH ONE!" Nope. Just a series of hills, with teensy plateaus here and there that just kept going up and UP! Granny and I got VERY well acquainted! Got off and walked THREE times...just wasn't going to KILL myself so early in the ride, which was a total of 61 miles.
Here's a link to the route:
Yes there were a few SWOOPING downhill thrills, but they were curvy and unknowns to me so I was forced to curtail the thrill a bit with the brakes. Somehow they just weren't rewarding enough to make me think: YES! All that effort climbing those hills was WORTH IT!
We stopped for a pleasant lunch at Subway and hit the roads for our return trip, a totally different set of roads.
Fortunately the ride home was much less demanding...especially once we reached New York State again.
However THEN the fireworks began, courtesy of Mother Nature! I was treated to my first ride through a rainstorm! I pulled over for a while under a grocery store's picnic tent in Conklin, where it raged and stormed with lightning strikes zapping all around me and torrential downpours! I had already gotten so soaked by the time I pulled over that my sneakers had trapped enough water for each of my feet to feel like they had their very own swimming pool...lol! Couldn't help but think what a great target a lone biker out in that storm for a lightning strike!
After passing time gabbing with friends and family on my cell the storm quieted down, however still raining steadily. Yours truly figured it was about time this newbie cyclist be initiated in the whiles, whims and ways of biking in a rainstorm. It rained steadily for the next ten miles or so, letting up when I reached the Vestal Parkway so that I could have a pleasant final five miles or so until reaching the Vestal High School.
While I wasn't the slowest person in our group, I was lagging behind many as this had been billed as a Class B (16-19 mph) ride instead of a Class C ride (10-15 mph)...and although I knew I wouldn't cut the speed, I still wanted to travel these as yet uncharted territories. So I took the plunge! And the other members of the bike club were very gracious and patient, waiting for me at turns in the road and complimenting my stick-to-it-iveness for a relative newbie.
So ends yet another chapter in "As the Wheels Turn!"
Hope you all had a SUPER weekend and an even BETTER week ahead!
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