I’m sitting outside a Wegman’s where I stopped to get bananas and calorie-rich breakfast food (read: doughnut). A Wegman’s employee just kicked me out of the space where I was sitting–one of the few spots not loaded with plants, lawn furniture, and garden gnomes–because she needed that space to park a kid’s cart.
It’s another windy, chilly day–but at least sunny.
I’m still fighting a fever. I opted for sleep last night over more time today to ride; That might cost me better weather conditions between today and tomorrow.
I am aiming for Buffalo today, but will be riding through hillier terrain again, against the wind. On the planned route, we would have stopped at Darien Lake State Park to camp. That is now my backup plan, although stopping there would set me behind a day, and mean riding tomorrow in what is predicted to be lousy weather.
Off I go…
Update: Fever? Wind? Hills? No matter today. I pushed for a 100-mile day (106.9 miles, technically), and finished in Eden, NY slightly ahead of schedule (by days).
The stretch from Canandaigua to Buffalo was hilly, but overall presented less arduous climbing than previous days. The headwind was still strong, but I stayed in mid-gear to spin through it. After mile 60 it subsided to a manageable breeze. And my fever/cough proved to be a none issue in terms of strength and stamina; I just felt less than healthy, generally.
The entire airmass between Canandaigua and Darien Lake smells of manure. Just thought y’all should know.
I passed a half-dozen or so cyclists, all heading east with the wind at their backs. All but one exchanged a quick wave or nod. The guy who didn’t was decked out in team time-trial kit with TT helmet, riding an aero frame–so clearly he didn’t want to disrupt his aerodynamics by acknowledging me.
At one moment, I felt like I had jumped ahead a few states…
I encountered the first unfriendly business on the tour: A roadside gas station with a sandwich counter. I asked the owner if I could refill my water bottles; He said “No,” flatly. Noticing the sandwich prep kitchen (with sink in plain view), I asked again, “You don’t have anywhere I could just fill these?” Again, he said No, and added, “You can buy something,” pointing to the coolers. I said, “Ok, I’ll just stop somewhere down the road.”
An observation: Alden, NY, is the loudest small town in America.
Feeling strong at the 60-mile checkpoint (Darien Center), I decided to keep going through to Buffalo. The next 23 miles were effectively downhill–by a degree or two–helping my average pace rebound. That meant I fairly easily arrived in downtown Buffalo about a half hour before sunset. I had a few minutes to see my mother, who lives in the city.
I rode out of Buffalo through the Outer Harbor (roughly the same as Nate), and on Rte 5 into the Southtowns. The daylight was waning quickly, but these are all familiar roads to me; I have cycled and driven every one of them countless times. I made it to my friends’ house in Eden with just a squint of daylight in the sky. (Thanks Elaine and Greg, 1000x, for hosting Nate and me, and taking such good care of my pup, Cooper!)
See the Relive video.
Tomorrow is a rest day!