Another wonderful weekend spent with fellow bike club members! Yesterday we had our bi-annual roadside clean up which our many hands wrapped up lickety-split and followed up with a quickie 20 mile ride to Whitney Point. It was more overcast yesterday and overnight it rained fairly hard...which accomplished exactly what I had hoped: a rain-free Sunday for more cycling!
As it still looked and felt like it might possibly rain when I set out from my house at 9:30 a.m. I had this song on my mind...the jazzy bass line walking along setting a nice cadence for my pedaling:
I re-named it to "RIDE Between The Raindrops" but fortunately no rain came down on our parade! :-)
I met up with others in Binghamton. Today's ride was a "bunny" ride...as the ride leader calls them. Sounds cute, light and fun right? Well...perhaps all that but one thing her rides AREN'T is EASY! Earlier on when she dubbed her rides "bunny rides" a few got duped by the name and umpteen hills later discovered cool places to ride with wonderful sights from around our gorgeous terrain...but paid for it with sore quads and other body parts! :-)
There were 8 of us for today's ride, including our favorite member, without whom the club wouldn't be here today, who is 80 years old pedaling right along with us!
I already knew that the first part of the ride was going to be a climb out of the south side of Binghamton heading toward the Pennsylvania / New York border:
As the ride went on other riders embellished with route add-ons which took us up more hills so we ended up criss-crossing the hills much like the wooly-bear caterpillars scampering across the roads we powered up and zoomed down! While the colors weren't at their best, the recent rain having taken down quite a few leaves, there was still a rustic beauty pedaling through the countryside, at times through roads layered with pungent pine needles. There were great views of the valley below from atop these hills:
All the hills brought to my mind one of my favorite (oh heck they're ALL my favorite) songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim: "Favela" which is subtitled "Somewhere in the Hills:"
I especially like the soft samba rhythm of the guitar that propels me along and which is from Jobim's classic album which I HIGHLY recommend...check out the reviews here:
I managed to get myself lost along the way zooming out a bit ahead of the group, not knowing where the heck everybody went and calling one member to get their location so I could back-pedal and rejoin them.
We got back to their parking spots and talked a bit about the ride and upcoming rides. Next weekend promises a return to the Butternut Valley which stretches from Sidney to Mount Upton and Morris and includes waterfalls and hopefully more fall foliage if it holds out! Another one of my favorite rides!
So rather than head straight home after the ride with the group I took the River Road loop for yet additional climbing and racked up a nice total of 56 miles and over 3,000 feet of climb today. Woo hoo, did THAT feel good!
All righty now...back to the work week...let's fill 'er with SPARK everybody!