Sunday, August 29, 2010
The weather this weekend was just PERFECT! Both yesterday and today were so sunny and pleasantly warm!
Yesterday my biking partner (who'll be doing the MS City to Shore ride with me in September) and I headed south into Pennsylvania to Montrose. It was the 2nd time for me, first time for her. We biked down the way that I had previously biked north from Montrose. For some reason the hills REALLY knocked our socks off and by the time we got to Montrose we were shaky about the ride back.
Some cyclists thrive on the challenge of hills.
Maybe in my next lifetime...lol!
Not that I avoid them altogether, and not that I can't become enthralled with the SWOOPING downhill payoff for climbing some hills. But Pennsylvania just threw one too many hills at us on this ride!
But we made it! I had an inspiration along the way which helped tremendously. Southbound we came up to a "Road Closed" detour. On our way home I thought, I wonder if we could shave off some of those terrible hills by NOT taking this detour? If the road is closed, we could always walk the bikes across a little rough road.
So we took a chance and went for it!
As I approached the road work I got nervous: what if it was a bridge that was out and there was no way across...? The road crew had done their level best to block the way with their heavy machinery so you couldn't see whether or not the way was passable. The road was totally removed with just a bed of very coarse gravel. As we began to walk our bikes over the gravel a car pulled up to the edge behind us and a couple got out. I was expecting them to say: "you can't cross that, the bridge is out!"
But, HOORAY! They said, "Hey, should be no problem!"
Either side of the road dropped off sharply into forested canyons and at a few points the machinery stuck right out into the very edge. We stepped through the claws & clutches of these gigantic road machines, hoisting our bikes along. However this only lasted a few hundred feet and we were in the clear.
We couldn't BELIEVE the point to which this road brought us! It was like we stepped through a time warp! Kicked our heels together and had Scottie beam us through! Bypassed the KILLER HILLS! Woo HOO! It's an awesome feeling when taking a risk pays off! :-)
It was a terrific ride home from there! However the miles did wear us down some...totaled 62 miles on this ride! We took in mile after mile of beautiful sights of nature: red-tailed hawks circling overhead, a little hog-nosed snake creeping out onto the shoulder of the road during a water stop. He listened to me and thought better of crossing the road and did an about face, scurrying off into the grassy ditch. Here and there among the high hills and mountains you could see the beginning of fall colors coming to the trees.
Today was a light day...had too much to do at home...big cookathon to get ready for the week ahead!
But I had fun biking to our local MAJOR cycling / running event:
I visited with some fellow bike club members as they had a tent set up at the event and also met up with one of our local SparkPeople members FRECKS96 who had just finished her FASTEST 5K run YET! Unfortunately I was too late to have seen the race.
Then I joined with others as we saw the men's final bike race. Funny thing, in all the years I've lived here I've NEVER seen the Thater bike races!
It is an AMAZING thing to behold, a thicket of 50 or so cyclists whizzing down the street at an incredible speed with only inches between them and the other cyclists around and THEN banking around tight corners and somehow managing not to bump into another cyclist and bringing the whole lot of them down like so many dominoes...!
It's certainly more of a challenge than *I* would ever want to tackle! I'm not into speed records when I cycle...just looking to pack away the miles!
At one point today I pulled up next to a fellow on a motorcycle at an intersection. He said: "Wanna race?"
I said, "Not yet. How about next year?"
He chuckled, gave a hearty thumbs up:
"That's the spirit!"
Have a great week everybody!
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!
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