My cycling buddy and I had a wonderful 82 / 89 mile (depending on whether you go with the SP Fitness Maps or RidewithGPS.com) ride this past Saturday. Although we initially spoke of heading "South of the Border" into Pennsylvania to Montrose we both got onto talking about not having biked west-ward beyond Owego / Newark Valley. Our bike club was planning a Sunday ride out in Tioga Center, but neither of us were inclined to DRIVE out to where we would cycle. We're both frugal and view DRIVING in order to CYCLE as somewhat defeating the purpose, no? Of course there are special rides that are worth driving for on occasion, but we're inclined to prefer heading out the front door on our bikes.
So we changed plans and headed out, initially with the intent of reaching Waverly / Sayre (which would actually have been just over the PA border). We met at Binghamton's Confluence Park
and headed toward Owego where we stopped for a lovely lunch at a store which features many hand-crafted items AND a delish healthy restaurant which has tables on their deck out back overlooking the Susquehanna River: www.handofman.com
We split a huge spinach salad and downed our water as we enjoyed the antics of some sort of canoe Mardis Gras which was passing by. The flotillas were filled with folks who were having a blast paddling and steering their crafts along the WAY shallow river:
Wrapping up our lunch:
We head further westward!
The weather was overcast, but nary a drop...however we were paying attention to the rain that was out west and heading our way, head's up courtesy of a weather report from my son via his smartphone. Here's the view from a bridge in Tioga Center:
We decided not to push our luck by going all the way to Sayre and crossed from 17C over the river. We intended to take 434 back for a different route. Problem was: 434 didn't extend beyond Owego. Instead we just followed our noses and the river which led us to Stanton Hill Road.
Our forefathers who named our roads rarely used the word "Hill" lightly!
What a CLIMB that was!! And lo & behold my cycling buddy, who wasn't keeping her usual pace which is pretty complementary to mine, she CRAWLS to the top and says: "Something is up with my bike. I feel like it is holding me back." I lift the back end up, spin the wheel and see it wobbling so badly that it's rubbing a lot against the body of the bike! No WONDER! I was AMAZED she had been riding as WELL as she was! So here we were a good 40 miles from the bike shop! We managed to get there though and "observant" me totally overlooked the broken spoke she had...ugh! But she was quickly fixed and on her way!
Here's the route we took...a total climb of 2860 feet!
Looking forward to my next big ride...perhaps off to the Delaware Co. Fair this Saturday...? We'll see!