Saturday, May 19, 2007

Change in Course

I suppose that I need to set the record straight regarding my cycling calendar for the year. Some people have been asking why I have not been blogging about my planned spring tour. I have not been blogging about the tour, because I am not on it. The potential "schedule conflicts" that I mentioned in my January post did, in fact, materialize. Thus, I will be cycling significantly less than I had planned to this year.

Disappointing, yes, but not all bad. I recently decided to accept an offer of admission to Cornell University Graduate School. So, as it currently stands, I will be in the New York Finger Lakes for a while studying Viticulture and Enology. That is certainly a good thing. And moving upstate provided a good excuse for a mini tour. So, last week I rode from NYC to the Cornell campus in the Finger Lakes, covering about 300 miles through the Catskill Mountains. I was joined by David, the usual victim, and Marcia, a cyclist who we recently met via a public invitation for more riders. Rosemary generously provided her superb vehicle support.

My original riding plans for the year would have had me camping somewhere along the Underground Railroad last week. I had expected to spend my 40th birthday shivering in a tent somewhere near Ohio, chatting with some new friends that I had made along the way. Although that specific scenario was not to be, the actual birthday experience was not so different. I was, after all, on a bike tour. And, I did get to spend the night shivering in a campground and chatting with friends. I just substituted unheated cabins for the tents, and replaced the Underground Railroad campsite with a kitschy Borscht Belt mountain "resort".

Although I will be unable to participate in some of the tours that I had planned, I still expect to do a lot of cycling this season. The cycling roads here are excellent -- mountains, lakes, winding country roads, industrial ruins that await exploring, etcetera. I still plan to do the Pacific coast tour with David and a few others this summer, and possibly part of the transcontinental ride with PAC Tour. I won't have time for the entire transcontinental, but I would very much like to ride the western section of that ride, especially through Montana and South Dakota.

Whatever transpires, I expect some great cycling (and, hopefully, some worthwhile blogging) during my time up here in the Finger Lakes. I have a strong suspicion that the farming experience will reap some good essay material.

Photo Journal

Just a few shots from the road up to the Finger Lakes. And a couple of the room that I will be living in this summer at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. I have since cleaned it up and made it livable, but I figured that I would post a photo of how it looked on my arrival. Maybe some Ted Kaczynski aficionados will find it interesting. I also included some low-rent, reality TV toilet humor (literally, the rent here is really low). Oh, come on. Everyone appreciates toilet humor.

Click here for the Photo Journal