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The Missing Link...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Today's ride had to be a bit shorter than usual so I put my thinking cap on to come up with a short (24 mile) ride that would take me down some new roads and uncover some new sights.

A cyclepathic noodling thought of mine has been kicking around for a while related to Route 7, which I blogged about a while back.

Route 7 will take one from the Binghamton area pretty much up to Albany. On the southern end it runs to the NY / PA border.

However: there is a mysterious stretch northwest out of Binghamton where Route 7 seems to drop off the map. After messing around with Google maps I discover that it doesn't really disappear, however they merge it with Interstate 88 for a stretch around Hillcrest through Port Crane where it pops up again as its own road. This is fine for vehicles with motors...but what about us cyclists who aren't allowed on the interstate...?

My challenge today? Find the *missing link* which enables cyclists to ride out of Binghamton and pick up Route 7 to take up the northwest corridor of upstate New York!

Nowland Road would do the trick! So I routed a big loop which would take me down a stretch of Nowland Road and scope out how passable it was for cycling.

As I start out I cross the formerly drought-stricken, pebbly-dry Tioughnioga now filled to overflowing with one rain-soaked day:

View from the Route 79 bridge:

Our fall colors have already begun to fade with help from the rain bringing down the leaves. But our hills are still looking great on such a brisk 60 degree, sunny day!

Another view of the river from the side of 369 heading toward Port Crane:

Once in Port Crane I took Depot Hill Road up to Nowlan Road. Ya know...I shoulda known better than to think that Depot HILL Road would just be a little ol' hill...! OMG how that one went ON & ON at such an uphill pitch! I was mentally getting ready to throw in the towel and walk it on up, but somehow something clicked and I just kept grinding away at the pedals making my way to the very TOP! Woo Hoo! Boy do I ever know I'm back in upstate New York again! :-)

Nowland Road was my payoff...! Mostly flying downhill! Feeling just like a kid who's gone out to PLAY! Woo WEE WHOOSH! :-)

A few views of the wide open spaces way up there before I rode down:

So having found the missing link, I'm ready, at some unknown point in the future, to set sail toward Albany. I've gone as far as Oneonta...but now? I have more confidence in my capabilities on the road and I truly believe in my abiility to travel much greater distances. Albany would be 132 miles, around 12 hours of cycling. Nope probably not possible in a day, but then who knows...?

Wrapped up my cycling and went out picking apples at our local orchard. Nothing like a crisp, fresh, juicy Cortland just picked from the tree. 69 cents a pound for a few minutes of yummy joy! You can't beat it! Here's the view from our local orchard:

Looking forward to getting out with my son tomorrow before he heads back home after his whirlwind weekend visit home!

Hope everyone is having some special fun and good times with your loved ones this weekend!

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