For the past several days, we have been improvising our routes -- having abandoned the Adventure Cycling maps to plot a more direct course between Rochester and Albany. For the ride from Rochester to Syracuse, we mostly used the NY Bike 5 route, which is marked on the road. The 5 route is fairly direct, and has some nice off-road sections along the Erie Canal. It was, however, a bit too urban for our liking. Most of the scenery consisted of cars and strip malls. Nice for finding supplies, but not very interesting.
So, today we abandoned NY5 in favor of whatever my new Garmin Nuvi decided was a suitable route for bicycles. Since we could not bring the Nuvi on the ride (Ro needed it in the car) we just wrote down the turns and hit the road. The route was beautiful, but we were lost during much of the day. Turns out that the Nuvi refers to the county roads by their CR numbers -- but the road signs use English names.
Since leaving Syracuse, the Catskill mountains have been increasingly present. We cut back our mileage a little to accommodate the slower pace of climbing. I also switched to the Opera a few days ago to improve my climbing. Wow. I had become numb to the mass of the Rivendell. The first day on the Opera, I spent the better part of the day over 20 mph -- even while climbing. Amazing what a difference saving 15 pounds and adding a little crank length can do. I guess I really did get faster during this trip. I even dropped David on a few climbs...
Today's ride was a real hillfest -- the Catskills are almost at full strength now. There were 6 or 8 descents over 40 mph, but the steep inclines kept the average speed for the day to somewhere near 13 mph. It was also hot as hell. I'm not sure how hot is was, but it felt like it was well into the 90s. I didn't even feel like eating lunch -- even though I was bonked. But then again, I've been finding it harder and harder to keep the calorie intake up. 6000+ calories a day was fun for a while, but I'm long over it. When I get home, I'm looking forward to not eating anything for a day or two.
Only two more riding days to the finish. We are probably going to stay near Poughkeepsie on Wednesday night, and ride into Manhattan on Thursday. The tentative plan is to ride down to Battery Park and end the ride at the Statue of Liberty -- but the traffic on Broadway is going to be pretty crazy by the time we get to Manhattan. Riding the bike path on the West Side could help avoid the traffic, but David doesn't want to ride it. He enjoys tempting death on Broadway. I usually do too, but we usually only ride it a few miles south to midtown -- not all the way to the shore. It would be kind of a bummer to get clocked 10 blocks from the finish. I guess we'll decide when we get there.
Highlights include... some fireworks from Niagra Falls, a few shots from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, a war memorial that we visited on Memorial day, and a few shots from the road in NY farm country. It was too hazy today to get good shots of the farmland, but I took some anyway...
Saturday: 101 Miles Niagra, Ontario to Rochester, NY
Sunday: 103 Miles Rochester to Syracuse, NY
Monday: 76 Miles from Syracuse to Little Falls, NY
Tuesday: 79 Miles from Little Falls to Albany, NY
Miles this year: 5494