Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Day 46 - Hamburg, NY to Canandaigua, NY
"Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like " — Bicycle Race, Queen
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday's drenching is yesterday's news. Today looked very promising. Sunlight was shining through the hotel windows during breakfast. It was a pleasure to once again ride my bicycle. And, with less than a week left to our Cross Country Challenge, I'm making sure I relish every moment. Today's first stop was a fun one. About 8 miles into our route, we stopped at the Pedaling History Museum in Orchard Park, NY. Carl Burgwardt, the owner and museum historian, gave a tour of one of the world's largest collections of antique and classic American bicycles.
We learned the history of the bicycle, beginning with the "Draisienne"—a two-wheeled walking machine invented in 1817 by Baron von Drais—to the high wheel "Ordinary" or "Penny Farthing" which was the cause of many a head injury. "Because the rider sat so high above the center of gravity, if the front wheel was stopped by a stone or rut in the road, or the sudden emergence of a dog, the entire apparatus rotated forward on its front axle, and the rider, with his legs trapped under the handlebars, was dropped unceremoniously on his head. Thus the term "taking a header" came into being." (pedalinghistory.com) These bikes were followed by the hard-tired "Safety" bicycle and the pneumatic-tired "Safety" bicycle which was common in the 1880s and 1890s. We could have spent the entire day in there. So many bicycles including a wide array of bikes from the 1950s and 1960s. Carl and his wife who own the museum are trying to sell the collection so they can retire. What you wouldn't be able to replace is his knowledge of each and every item. He's a walking cycling encyclopedia. ("cyclingpedia"?)
After leaving the museum, we had to play "catch up." We had only ridden 8 miles and it was now nearly 9:30 a.m. Our route took us out of Orchard Park, which is an attractive suburb / old town outside of Buffalo, and through East Aurora, Porterville, Marilla, and Alden. I passed residential areas, farmland, a few streams with small waterfalls, and some more corn. Our first SAG stop was in Alden at a gas station. I had to laugh at my "second breakfast" I purchased inside: Starbucks bottled Frappucino Mocha and a large chocolate chip cookie.
The next 38 miles were entirely on Route 20 with no turns. I was ready for a diversion when I spotted a road sign directing me to "Bethany." For those who may not know, my 11-year old daughter's name is Bethany. I turned left and found myself smack in the center of town—which included a Volunteer Fire Dept. building, a Town Hall, and about a dozen homes. I took some photos of Bethany's namesake town and returned to the route. I wonder if anyone named Bethany lives there.
Our second SAG stop was in Avon, NY. I found this entertaining because I was just in Avon Lake, OH two days ago. Avon Lake is bordered on the south by Avon, OH. Now I was nearly 300 miles east of there, but still in Avon. Our stop was in the parking lot of another diner. It was highly recommended I go inside and order a burger. I'm glad I did. I downed a vanilla milkshake and a cheeseburger that was twice as big as the bun. Man, I love eating like this, but it all will have to come to an end in less than a week. Or—I'm gonna have to keep riding 90 miles a day!
The remainder of our ride into Canandaigua was along Route 20 East. We passed a church with a sign outside advertising, "FREE COFFEE WITH EVERY SERMON ENDURED." Hmm. Interesting sales tactic. We passed a store with some old vehicles parked on the lawn. One was a truck dressed up like Mader from the animated movie, "Cars." I stopped, turned around, had to take the photo. And then, we were entering Canandaigua.
Canandaigua sits on the north end of Canandaigua Lake. It's a resort town and as I rode past the lake, I could see the appeal. The water was crystal clear and it beckoned me to take a swim. Families were playing on the beach and at a playground. Couples strolled along the crushed gravel path along the shore. A storm was brewing in the northeast and preempted my ride into the town center. I got enough rain yesterday. I made it to the hotel and was showered and dressed before the skies opened. Glad I missed that one.
Tomorrow's ride to Liverpool, NY will pass four more Finger Lakes. I'm planning to take my time and see the towns bordering those lakefronts since it's a short 69 miles. The forecast calls for rain, unfortunately, but I'm willing to pay my dues for the incredible weather we've had up to now.
For more photos from today's ride including A LOT from the bike museum, visit http://gallery.me.com/eternaldesign2#100504
For more about the Ride for Impact, visit http://www.rideforimpact.org
Cumulative Miles: 3,525
Elev Gain: 3,890 ft.
Max Elev: 1,141 ft.
Avg Climb: 2%
Max Climb: 11%