It was a cool enough morning that Matt and I put on some cool weather gear. We may have been exaggerating in this photo, but it was only 40 degrees when we took off.
Much of the early part of the ride was on roads, including along bicycle route 5. The shoulders were wide and smooth and allowed us, at most times, to ride side by side and converse. I should mention that Matt also has a Coros helmet, and like I, loves the audio features — listening to music, taking phone calls, getting directions from Google (though I don't think he's used that feature much). So, today we both played music much of the time. One of the things I really love about the helmet is that with ears free one can still converse with a fellow rider, as well as being able to hear Matt sing along to Queen's "Bicycle Race." Here's Queen's official video of the song (Rated R for nudity).
We were also on some very quiet and smooth back roads. Most directions were clear so we did very little "exploring" today. However, there was the occasional perplexing instruction, e.g. "turn onto Tyre Road."
We stopped for lunch today in Port Byron, which was a real coincidence since I taught at a high school in Port Byron...Illinois. We had a great lunch, including my latest addiction, chocolate milk (more on that later). When we came out Dee pointed out this sign at the house next door. We hadn't realized we were eating in such an historic place.
Just a few miles down the road we spotted this great mural, painted on an abutment of a defunct bridge.
Did you notice Fala in the last photo?
Farther on we noticed the sign for a side road that, having grown up in a Baptist church, I just couldn't pass up.
Matt was fascinated by what he termed "an ocean of corn" and snapped this photo of me riding between two large fields. Having grown up in "corn country," I was not quite as impressed as he, but it was a lot of corn. I've yet to see any being picked, and today was only the second time I've seen evidence of field corn having been picked. Some has looked ready, but these fields on both sides of the road still looked pretty green.
Later in the day we were back on the canal trail and it presented a wide variety of surfaces. Some was very rough and our bikes were rattling as we rode. This surface is what is referred to in the guides as "natural." It reminded me of the one section of trail back in Michigan that was like this.
Much of the canal along which we rode today is unnavigable. This was among the least overgrown and stagnant. In some areas the water was extremely malodorous.
We did have one brief dog chase incident today. Passing a farm house a fairly small dog began barking and running toward us on the road. I stopped and barked back at the dog, stopping him in his tracks. It was only after riding on that Matt pointed out that there had been another, slightly larger dog sitting in the yard, looking a little perplexed by my barking.
When we arrived at the outskirts of Syracuse we loaded up the bikes on the Rialta and took Matt to the bus station, but not before drinking some amazing chocolate milk (remember my addiction) — a gift from my friend Chris Wirth from the Pittsford Dairy. Matt had left his car at the station after driving from his home in New Jersey and taking the bus from there to Rochester. I'll miss riding with him. It was a great two days that passed way too quickly. We had a great time swapping stories about publishing and bookselling (he's been in the business for more than 25 years), and of course, biking, and a few bad jokes. I really appreciate his coming to ride with me, and tolerating my pace. He was a great riding companion.
Ride Day Twenty-five by the numbers:
48.5 — miles ridden
1466.6 — feet in elevation gained
4856.75 — calories burned
0 — falls
1 — dog chase (see above)
several — dogs heard but not seen
Thanks to Beth Golay, who does the blog "Books and Whatnot," you can also follow the journey on Story Map.