Day 94: (50 miles) Our rubber met the road again this morning. The first time in nine days. We couldn’t believe it had been that long, but as the saying ‘just like riding a bike’ implies, we got back on and in no time felt right at home again. We had a pretty big climb coming out of town so we started off pretty slow. The whole day was pretty hilly in general and we could feel muscles working that had gotten pretty comfortable over the last week. We stopped for lunch in Lima at Rucks Pizza. We had a couple spinach, red pepper and feta slices and a couple buffalo chicken slices, both tasty. We biked through downtown Honeoye Falls where we got a great view of the falls as we crossed the bridge over Honeoye creek. From there we passed through some more farmland and a few mansion-like homes and eventually made it to Pittsford where we picked up the Erie Canal Heritage trail into Fairport. A couple of miles off the trail in Fairport we found our warm showers host, Ryan. He greeted us, showed us where everything was, and cooked us an amazing meal of chicken, couscous, and a tossed salad. He told us about his experiences touring the perimeter of the US, his first time touring. Even though he had never really cycled before, he instantly fell in love with the sport. Not only is he riding a century tomorrow for Tour De Cure, but he leaves on Monday to ride in a 4-person team across American in the RAAM. Its amazing how addicting this life can be!
Day 95: (58 miles) Ryan was up and off for his century before we even opened our eyes. We packed up and headed out with our first destination being Target since Shayna forgot to pack interview clothes while we were home. Thankfully, they had a Starbucks inside that offered breakfast sandwiches! Breakfast- check. After finding something suitable to wear, we made our way back to the route which put us back on the Erie Canal trail for 10 or so miles. Day two back on the bikes may have been even harder than day one. Our behinds were sore, as were our hands, and our bodies certainly felt more tired than they had in a while. The rolling hills we were about to experience didn’t help matters. We got to check off our second great lake on this trip, but Lake Ontario didn’t offer the wineries or the easy cycling that Lake Erie did. We had to work a bit harder. The route did follow parts of the Tour De Cure, which was neat to see- we were even ‘in the race’ with a few cyclists for about 2 miles. With temperatures pushing into the mid 80’s the better part of the day, we decided to listen to our tired bodies and camp at the closer option. Another cold beverage and four miles later, we checked into Lake Bluff Campground at the cyclist rate, pitched our tent, showered the day’s sweat away, and settled in for some rest.
Day 96: (60 miles) We started the day with our usual camp breakfast of Pop Tarts and were on the road by 8 am. It was already warming and barely morning, we knew it was going to be a hot day, and it was. We were feeling a bit better today than yesterday, but the heat was taking its toll. We stopped in New Haven at The Hardware Café for our second breakfast about 16 miles in. it was the quaintest little diner with food and few items for sale. Chris got a short stack and Shayna had a veggie breakfast sandwich. We were sad to see our empty plates knowing it meant back to the hot road, but back we went, and received an encouraging ‘toot toot’ and a “you’re doing great!!” as we climbed the hill out of town. We spent the day on county roads and passed through a few small towns. We saw a Dunkin Donuts and thought a frozen dunkachino & doughnut sounded good. It ended up being our lunch as we didn’t pass much else in the way of food. We did pass a motel/bar and stopped for a cold drink. There’s something about lime in your beer on a hot day that is just so satisfying. Coronas were ordered and we chatted with the bar tender while we sipped. He and his wife had moved from New Jersey and have owned the place for the last 18 years. They get a good amount of cyclists in the summer and lots of fishermen. We thanked him and made our way to Pulaski, 12 miles away. We passed through what we considered to be turtle death row. The road went directly between two swamps and we had to pass over a dozen turtles who failed to make it from one side to the other. There were a few more climbs but the Corona’s seemed to make them more manageable. We arrived at our warmshowers host around 5:00 pm. Kit and Lou were instantly welcoming, so was their dog Althea, their other dog, Benson, stayed pretty skeptical the whole time we were there (probably Chris’s beard). Kit showed us our room, where we could do laundry, and most importantly the shower. Kit is a school teacher and was busy trying to grade finals so she could go over them with the students for their last day tomorrow. While she finished up, we showered and talked with Lou who was working on building a new back deck. Being a tradesman for the last 30+ years, he knows a thing or two and we were happy to hear about the plans and see the beginning of his vision. Soon Kit was able to join us. Both Kit and Lou have cycled their whole lives but have never officially toured. We of course shared our stories and words of encouragement. They’ve been hosting for five years, so I’m sure they get it often. We grilled out and had some homemade salads for dinner, followed by some peach pie and ice cream. All was delicious! With us trying to beat the heat, and them having to work the next day, we all turned in early for the night.