The ride today might be sketchy: Thunderstorms are forecast throughout the day, but I’m hoping to get ample miles in before it’s unrideable.

No scheduled stops today, but I’ll see what’s interesting to share. I’ll be heading toward Route 20–a familiar road for me–but may also ride portions of the Erie Canalway Trail (Bike Path).

Where’s Nate? Find out.

Note: I am not running Garmin LiveTrack/Beacon for this portion of the ride.

Check back later for an update.

Update: Sorry it’s late… It was a long day on the bike!

I rode west through Amish farmland, crossed county lines, pedalled up and over rolling hills, and followed the Erie Canal for a short while. The farms of New York are among the most beautiful lands anywhere in the U.S. These are the fields of first-growth corn rows, grazing Holstein cows, shorn sheep, and the greenest grasses.

For the first 40 miles, the sky was blue, with white fluffy clouds. Then, at the turn onto Route 20, I rode into a severe thunderstorm: heavy rain, strong sidewinds, lightning, and hail. The hail was hitting my lips, stinging painfully. I took shelter under a covered entry to a roadside business (a consignment shop) for 10 minutes or so.

When the storm seemed to have moved on (although the rain continued), I started riding again. Before long, I was soaked and generally uncomfortable. Eventually I rode through and out the west edge of the storm; After another 15 miles cycling, I had mostly dried out.

Then, a second band of rain clouds crossed the route–although thankfully without lightning and hail–and I was soaked again. Again, I sought shelter; This time, on the porch of an American Homes demo house!

The storms slowed my pace considerably, but I pressed on to ride more than 90 miles by day’s end, and climbed a cumulative 5,500 ft.–which is like summiting Mt. Marcy, the highest point in New York State.

As Nate mentioned, one of the best parts of the trip is meeting people. Today, at a stop to refill water bottles, an older man (Dan) approached me, curious about my loaded bike, and we quickly fell into a conversation about the trip, cycling in general, our mutual like of Jamis bikes, and bike maintenance. He recommended a local shop run by a “quirky, old-school bicyclist” named Guy. After sharing a few stories, we parted. He returned a few minutes later to say that he had spoken with Guy who offered to give my bike a quick check-up, as well as his lawn to camp on, and a hot shower, if I was interested! (I wanted to log more miles, which would take me past Guy’s place, so I had to decline, unfortunately.) Anyway, it was great meeting Dan and chatting!

I ended the day in Cazenovia, NY, with a delicious pasta dinner, doing laundry, and watching House of Cards.

See the Relive video.