What a day, what a day!
We left our motel in North East, PA and starting spinning toward the border. Upon crossing the border into New York, we got the obligatory photo and were about to get on our way when we meet some other cyclists. Seventeen to be exact. They were part of a ride from Los Angles to Boston with some riders doing the entire route and others just hopping in for a segment. And they were a hoot!
You have understand, there are two of types of biking touring out there. There’s me and Joelle carrying roughly 100 pounds of gear and riding steel bikes. We camp when we can, hotel when we have to. It’s called unsupported riding. Then there are our seventeen friends riding full carbon bikes who had two support vans and a box truck following them with gear, getting ahead of them to drop off water, snacks and transporting their bags to the next hotel. I’ll put it this way. Joelle and I are a wagon train plodding along on the Oregon Trail; these guys are the transcontinental railroad.
We stopped at a gas station, and they took turns trying to lift our bikes and telling us the respect they had for us and the pace we were keeping. We kept up with them for the next ten miles or so, swapping stories, hearing where they were from (mostly the UK actually) and laughing about the joys and agonies of being on a bike all day. They eventually pushed past us but not before offering to buy us a beer at the next town.
The afternoon whirled by with an epic nap at state park on Lake Erie, and we crushed out a few remaining miles. Well, we were going to crush out the last miles of the day until Joelle saw Super Freeze restaurant and we had to stop for milk shakes. As Joelle says, “Never underestimate the power of well-timed ice cream.” Best decision of the day.
As a personal diatribe, the outrageous cost of campsites on Lake Erie has peeved me and I have made it my goal to stay in hotels cheaper than camping at major campsites. Tonight, I made that goal a reality. Botta bing, botta boom.
We’re staying in Hamburg, NY so almost by necessity had to get hamburgers. There was a grill just a block down so we walked over. Joelle and I both went for this burger, no idea what it was called, but Joelle called it the best burger she’s ever had in her life. “I think I might start crying tears of joy,” she said two bites in.
Tomorrow brings us to Niagara Falls, Buffalo and time with family for weekend. Six days of biking has a way of wearing you out and this cyclist is ready for that upcoming rest day.
Left: North East, PA, 8am
Sleeping in: a hotel in Hamburg, NY arrived at 5:30 pm
Total mileage: 68 miles
High Speed: 26.3 mph
Avg. Speed: 12.3 mph
Overall weather conditions: warm but not too warm, like luke-warm bathwater
Elevation Gain: 901 ft
Total Trip mileage: 704 miles