Don and I have known each other through SP for 2-3 years and although we live not far from each other and we're both pretty avid road cyclists, we've never actually ridden together.
Yesterday we finally did.
Track here: ridewithgps.com/trips/41
It was a comfortable 60 mile loop with his usual group, the Southern Tier Bicycling Club.
Don and I added about 15 miles to the planned loop and started in Port Crane, NY. I left my house at 6:15 am in order to meet him there by 8:30.
We rode over Belden hill and met the rest of the group in Windsor.
At about 10 we all started out in a clump, and as we climbed the hill on the way to McClure we spread out a bit. We regrouped again at McClure (which Don said he had expected to be a "booming metropolis" based on the size of the text on the map - it wasn't. LOL)
Then we all set off again over a nice big hill with lunch in Afton on the other side. I fell in with a nice group of folks, and on the way down we ran into Regina, who was riding out to meet us on her recumbent. Regina is on SP too! (I'll have to get her ID from Don; I don't remember it)
We made our way into Afton and stopped for lunch at a fabulous restaurant / bakery.
They reserved tables for us!
Me, Don, Regina
I don't usually gush about food. Seriously. But this was really really well done.
A guy at our table (I think his name is Steve) ordered a piece of German chocolate cake and split it up as appetizers, and (probably because I rarely eat that sort of thing) the tiny piece I had sent my tastebuds spiraling into an ecstacy of sugar, starch, and fat.
The ride leader, Steve Russo, recommended the winter squash soup, and he was right. It was amazing. It was also very rich, and on the ride home both Don and I noticed that we weren't feeling as energetic as usual. I chalk it up to the cream that was probably in the soup. Good thing we each only had a cup of it. LOL
We also had these awesome tuna steak salads with cranberries, feta, walnuts, etc. It was delicious and extremely satisfying without being stultifying.
We got back on our bikes and rode west along 7. At Nineveh Don and I were to stay on 7 while everyone else turned south and headed back toward Windsor. We took some pictures on the bridge over the Susquehanna, then parted ways and Don and I rode back over Belden Hill and to our cars.
It was really nice. More social than the rides I'm used to, but that was a welcome change. And I burned over 2000 calories according to my HR monitor, so that makes me happy too. If that group weren't almost 2 hours away I'd definitely ride with them on a regular basis. I can see why Don does.
On my way back home I stopped in Ithaca and went to the Friends of the Library book sale www.booksale.org
and picked up over $30 of used books on kayaking, travel memoirs, nature, and snowboarding (maybe I can pick up tips that will prevent me from tearing my rotator cuff this winter. LOL)
I also found a first edition of the AMC white water handbook for canoe and kayak. Published the year I was born. With awesome pictures of people in the custom fiberglass boats they used to use before plastic was invented. I paid 50 cents for it.
I got home almost exactly 12 hours from when I left, tired and happy.