DDOORN   235,849
200,000-249,999 SparkPoints
DDOORN's Recent Blog Entries

Keuka Lake Re-Visited

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!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/21/2010 6:17AM

    What a great summer tour! inner athlete? not with you anymore - it's outer athlete all the way!

Happy weekend ahead,

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYGWEN25 8/19/2010 10:00PM

    great job on the ride! i'm impressed at how much you did! definately an inspiration. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DBH222 8/17/2010 8:40PM

  I can tell, you are having the time of your life. Great going. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/17/2010 11:32AM

    I love Garrett Chapel. Took a bunch of photos there once when they opened it up for a class a friend was taking.

I think Keuka might be my favorite of the lakes. An interesting side note I read somewhere is that it was one of the last Finger Lakes settled by Europeans because everyone moving west went north or south of Canandaigua Lake and never bothered to look "behind" it.

Sounds like you've been doing some good riding!

Saturday I swam 1.2 miles on Cayuga Lake for a Hospice benefit, kayaked some, and tried single-track mountain biking. I was terrified I was going to fall over and hurt myself, thus taking myself out for the rest of the kayaking season.

Sunday afternoon took some Cornell students up to Watertown for some whitewater surfing on the Route 3 wave up there. It rained on the way up but cleared when we arrived and we had a great time playing in our boats and cooking out on the shore. Didn't get home until 1am!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSTMEJUDY 8/16/2010 12:13PM

  emoticon You're an inspiration

Report Inappropriate Comment
SABRINAIS30IN09 8/16/2010 12:03PM

    Awesome!!!Thanks for sharing!!! Very inspirational!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 8/16/2010 9:27AM

    I love the Finger Lakes and what a great way to see Keauka! You are a powerhorse when it comes to that bike! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIANNACIA 8/16/2010 8:21AM

    Great job Don, you are truly an inspiration.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRECKS96 8/16/2010 7:14AM

    That's awesome!! So glad you conquered the top part and enjoyed the sights. At this rate you'll surely be ready for the big ride!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRIE1948 8/16/2010 7:08AM

    Good job.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 8/16/2010 6:57AM

    What a great ride!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JBINAUSTIN 8/16/2010 2:26AM

    Keuka Lake is so beautiful! I just got back a few weeks ago from visiting a friend on East Bluff Drive. You can really work up a sweat biking up to the view on the bluff. Congratulations.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRACEFULIFE 8/15/2010 11:15PM

    Wow, Don, serious biking! Hope you learn how to fix those flats soon, and overall GOOD GOING!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JCORYCMA 8/15/2010 11:10PM

    Wow! Could you have ever imagined back in your "heavy days" doing anything like this? You've made an amazing change and thanks for sharing it with us and being such an inspiration!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Beautiful Three County Loop!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I joined my fellow bike club members for a gorgeous day of weather (low 80's, low humidity) pedaling through some as yet uncharted territory here in beautiful upstate New York. We totaled around 40 miles as we looped up into Chenango County via Smithville Flats past Long Pond State Forest and Park on into Willet, shaving the southern edge of Cortland County and headed back to Broome County where we had lunch at a local family diner and then rode back to Chenango Forks.

There were a few challenging hills...I'm forgetting what somebody's GPS said...I think total elevation climbed was around 2,000 feet...? But such unspoiled expanses of nature...! Breathtaking! Long Pond is an odd name as while it certainly was LONG, it was also BIG...hardly looked like a pond! Some lucky homes were scattered along the shore to enjoy the water throughout the year.

Nice to see new sights out on my bicycle! The world just seems *that* much closer and more real, as opposed to being boxed into a car and driving through.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEARTOLOVE 8/16/2010 10:05PM

    Woo Hoo!! You ARE Reeeeallly Sparkin' Don!!
It's great that you can do 40 miles!!!
Something I don't think I'd be able to do.....
After all...I live in Florida and everything is slooooow down here!!
You are an inspiration...
If you can go do 40 miles in a day I spose I can jump on my eliptical for 20 to 40 minutes!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYGWEN25 8/15/2010 10:10AM

    Been to long pond.. and you're right Don.. it IS gorgeous! I'm with Julie.. what's the name of the restaurant?? i love mom and pop shops. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 8/15/2010 10:06AM

    I've never been to Long Pond. I so love the water and it sounds like a place I should visit. I don't think I'll attempt it on my bike though! Great job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JCORYCMA 8/14/2010 11:24PM

    Sounds like a great day! Nice of the weather to cooperate with you this week :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 8/14/2010 7:59PM

    Sounds like a wonderful time! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRECKS96 8/14/2010 7:23PM

    Sounds great! What/where was the diner? We love hole in the wall places!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEARDMUSIC 8/14/2010 7:17PM

    Sounds wonderful!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACIMPEGGY 8/14/2010 6:09PM

    What a great way to exercise, socialize and enjoy nature!

Lucky you! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Gadgets & Me: ReUnited!

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's been an "off" week for me with my gadgets:

1) On my way to work on Monday I got a flat.
2) My mp3 player died on me, had to send it in for a replacement
3) My PC's DVD drive died on me. Although I replaced it, my PC then died and refused to boot!

Well, had a colleague at work pick me up on Mon. so I could get to work. Took the bike in to get the flat fixed at lunchtime. A matronly-looking, knowledgeable, Rosie-the-Riveter type of lady fixed the flat and was very helpful with some of my cycling equipment questions. Found a used water bottle holder and a used under-the-seat pouch for my spare tire and a few little things for only $5 each...would run around $20 each new! Nice to be able to carry two water bottles now for my longer trips! She also tipped me off on using thicker tubes for my tires than what the manufacturer calls for. The usual tubes aren't a whole lot thicker than a balloon! This alternative was at least three times thicker. I'm hoping not to be troubled by another flat for a while...ugh! That is the drawback of the thinner, touring cycle tires as opposed to the heavier duty mountain bike tires.

Got my pc back today. They could find nothing wrong with it! Booted fine! But still charged me forty-some dollars to run diagnostic tests...grrr! But good to have it back.

Got my mp3 player back today too! Woo hoo! Back to waltzing with my reel mower! :-)

Mowed my lawn today with my push reel mower MINUS mp3 player (had to charge it up)...had let the grass go a bit too long had to give it some OOMPH as I jogged along! Worked up a BIG old sweat! 90 mins. usually has me finishing.

Getting ready for a longer bike ride both tomorrow AND Sunday!

Have a SPARKIN' weekend everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERRETLOVER1 8/15/2010 8:36AM

    Sounds like all's well that ends well-have a great ride!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRECKS96 8/14/2010 9:37AM

    There is always something when it comes to gadgets. Glad all of yours seem to be back to 100%. Have a great weekend and enjoy your rides!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLBABE56 8/14/2010 9:27AM

    In spite of your misfortunes this week, you could actually say it was a positive one! Have fun this weekend.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KMATIS 8/14/2010 9:17AM

    Well--it was the week of Friday the 13th--you just spread it out all week instead of one day!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYGWEN25 8/14/2010 8:47AM

    ahh techology... you never know how dependent on it you become until you lose it...lol... glad you've got everything back in working order Don. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 8/14/2010 8:05AM

    They say things happen in threes. What a bummer about the computer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACTIVE_AT_60 8/14/2010 7:46AM

    I wish there were one of those cars behind me with wheels on the roof - so I just have to stick my arm up when I needed another bottle or a wheel changed ROFL. With all the riding you have done I am surprised it hasn't happened more often.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GR8CATSBY 8/14/2010 7:42AM

    I wish there was a AAA for cyclists! I fix my own flats but of course it's a pain, especially the back tire.
I have a hybrid bike. The original tires were 38cm, but I got skinnier ones - I think they're 30cm now. The kind I've had for the last few years are tougher (thicker? and a bit heavier) and are prone to fewer punctures. At one point I got really heavy-duty ones - I think they were called Armadillo - but I got a flat with them and they were so tough I couldn't take the tire off the rim. Had to return them - if I'm going to be out by myself on my bike, I HAVE to be able to fix a flat.
I didn't know there were inner tubes less prone to punctures - will have to look into that.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 8/14/2010 7:30AM

    Got the pump, got the spare tube, but again it was the rear wheel...I'm all thumbs mechanically and have only watched a fellow change the tube on the rear tire once at the bike shop. Yeah, absolutely right, coulda, shoulda, woulda, but haven't yet mastered this.


Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 8/14/2010 6:31AM

    ahhhhh, technology! Glad you're up and running again on all fronts...have a great weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 8/14/2010 12:49AM

    sounds like things happen in three"s????
well glad things got fixed....
have a great weekend......
blessings and hugs...........lita

Report Inappropriate Comment
XENA1956 8/14/2010 12:21AM

    I was sort of wonderfing the same thing whether you can fix your own tire or not?? Most of my friends who ride can do all of that stuff. I agree if you don't know how get that nice lady to show you how and give her a big tip. Sounds like you got some good exercise with push mower. Keep up the good work and I hope all you gadgets are done giving you a hard time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/13/2010 11:09PM

    Dude, is there something special about your bike that makes it so you can't fix your own flats? I'm confused. Especially since you've been doing all this long-distance riding.

You can't possibly be riding around without a pump, a patch kit, tire irons, and a spare tube, are you?

And if you are, then you need to get the matronly woman at the shop to teach you how to fix a flat yourself and then get the tools so you can do it on the roadside. LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment

Beautiful Cycling Day!

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...!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/13/2010 1:34PM

    VEry cool machine - I can just see you on one - maybe a gift to yourself for reaching a big goal sometime in the future?

Been away for a few weeks and making my SP comeback this weekend....

see ya!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CUBFANGIRL1 8/7/2010 10:10AM

    Wow, 28 mles sounds pretty impressive to me! I'm still a newbie to biking and have barely broken 10.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 8/7/2010 9:18AM

    Don, I believe the balloons were only going to do the Dusk light Friday night. I have to agree that the launching is the best part and remember when it was more of the focus? My family loved it then, but could care less about it now. Enjoy the weekend.

By the way I posted my raised garden on my page so you can take a look.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYGWEN25 8/7/2010 8:44AM

    glad you got int he ride! I'm so happy that the humidity is going for awhile... Looking forward to spending the day outdoors!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRECKS96 8/7/2010 8:27AM

    Hey Don! SO glad you got a good ride in yesterday. The balloons finally went up about 7:30, I missed them too. Alexis and I ended up going over at 6:30 this morning to see them go up-it was just about a perfect launch! Sorry you need to miss them but I hope you enjoy your weekend anyway!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRIE1948 8/7/2010 7:23AM

    Have fun. Thinking about everyone outside on their bikes. Plan to be there next year.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRACEFULIFE 8/6/2010 11:00PM

    There are actually some decent choices at some fairs - and it seems like I can find more decent choices at them these days. I don't know if that is just me looking better or the decent choices are actually growing in general. Anyway, the last fair environment I was at had a meat smoking company.. mmm pulled pork and brisket. Not the greatest food in the world, but worth it to me. Also, it turns out the regular bags of cotton candy? 100 calories. The big giant bag? 200 calories. It's mostly air if you think about it, and it's really fun to eat! Best kept food secret ever!

Of course, yeah there was the usual huge amount of deep fried what-have-you.

It was a pretty good day for cycling here, too. I biked for about 65 minutes.. about 956 calories burned according to HRM. My sit bones hurt! And my knee hurt today, so tomorrow no biking, probably walking.

The Elliptigo looks like it could be fun, but I think a regular bike is fun too. I intend to ride with clipless pedals in the future... and you just can't do that with the ellipse one. So while it may be fun, it's probably not as efficient as regular biking. However, I could see the merit of being able to do something resembling, without impact, outdoors.

Keep on rolling!

Comment edited on: 8/6/2010 11:08:42 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
JCORYCMA 8/6/2010 10:26PM

    That is one cool looking machine! I'm afraid I'd need a little more balance and skill but I suppose that would come with practice. I did ask my DH to fix the flat tire on his bike and I'm going to try it out - in on a safe trail. Baby steps! Have a great weekend!
Joanne emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GR8CATSBY 8/6/2010 9:47PM

    Hi Don! You're away this weekend, huh? I guess you won't be going to Bike Tioga then? I'm heading to Owego tomorrow and will do the 42-mile ride (the most I've done since LAST year's Bike Tioga). Was thinking of heading to the Spiediefest, too, but not sure I want to spend $5 for parking, $8 for admission, and then deal with mobs of people (and resisting mobs of food!).
Have a great weekend!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOBBYD31 8/6/2010 9:43PM

    but the unhealthy fare is sooooo good! the 28 miles will allow you a few nibbles. hope you enjoy your ride

Report Inappropriate Comment

As The Wheels Turn...

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!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 8/4/2010 4:08PM

    What an awesome bike ride - 61 miles. You need one of those hats with a built-in umbrella - hee hee. Glad you navigated safely through the storm. Bike on.....

Report Inappropriate Comment
KEENTINA 8/3/2010 8:10PM

    WOW!! 61 miles AND rain! I'm impressed. I know I wouldn't tackle that right now! emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/3/2010 8:11:24 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LUREAH21 8/3/2010 8:04AM

    Sounds like quite the experience! Glad you were able to enjoy it all in spite of the weather.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 8/2/2010 9:45AM

    Amazing how far you are willing to go! What an accomplishment and I'm sure it was grueling at times. I'm not sure i will ever be at your level of activity. Keep up the great work!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRECKS96 8/2/2010 7:50AM

    Woo Hoo!!! I think it's great that you are enjoying your bike so much and getting to spend so much time on it! Congrats on completing yet another challenge! I look forward to hearing about the next one.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRIE1948 8/2/2010 7:30AM

    With the right clothes, you can pretty much cycle through anything

Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 8/2/2010 7:19AM

    It's no fun to ride in the rain - I'm proud of you for doing it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SATYAGRAHA 8/2/2010 6:44AM

    WOOOOHOOOO DON! You are simply sparking! Good for you for taking that plunge!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRACEFULIFE 8/1/2010 11:45PM

    That sounds like a pretty good ride. Hope you had your performance fabrics on, and good job for pulling through! You're just mad with the biking these days!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMILEYBABS 8/1/2010 10:58PM

    My brother and his family live in Montrose, PA. Looks like beautiful country!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JCORYCMA 8/1/2010 10:38PM

    emoticon Quite a ride for a newbie! When I lived in Newburg, we used to drive into Pennsylvania and I think that area is one of the most beautiful places in the US. I do admire your stick-to-itiveness as you put it! I probably would have given up when the rain came down!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 Last Page