Thursday, July 23, 2009
Day 47 - Canandaigua, NY to Liverpool, NY
I was worried. I looked out our hotel window this morning and saw rain. Lots of it. The day had the markings of a repeat the ride from Erie, PA to Hamburg, NY just a few days ago. A royal soaking. I gathered all my rain gear: rain jacket, insulated booties, arm warmers, leg warmers, long-fingered gloves. I was dressed for a downpour. Thankfully, I wouldn't need most of it.
After our breakfast at Denny's a block away, we walked outside to find the rain had stopped. The roads were wet, but the spray and splashes were merely a nuisance. It was looking hopeful. By mile 12, the rain had stopped completely and I saw a silver lining in the clouds. I planned to ride easy today and see whatever sights along the way that seemed interesting. There would be plenty.
In Geneva, I took time to ride out to the end of Long Pier on Seneca Lake, one of New York's Finger Lakes. The clouds made the lake look cold, but I could tell this would be a pleasant place to spend a hot summer's day. Nearby, I passed an ice cream shop. It was too early to stop, but I turned around to take a photo. It was "Peppy's Ice Cream." That's significant because one of my good friends and co-worker in Bothell, WA is Chris Peppler, AKA "Peppy." Who knew he owned an ice cream shop in upstate New York.
In Waterloo, NY, I learned that this town is the birthplace of Memorial Day—formerly known as Decoration Day. I even rode past the "Memorial Day Museum." Waterloo, New York was credited with being the place of origin because it observed the day on May 5, 1866, and each year thereafter.
Shortly after Waterloo, we entered Seneca Falls, NY—the birthplace of the Women's Rights Movement in 1848 on the site of the Wesleyan Chapel. Next door to the remains of the chapel, is the Women's Rights National Historical Park & Vistors Center. We toured both the chapel and the visitors center as well as attended a brief presentation by a National Park Service Ranger. What surprised me most was how the Women's Rights movement was born out of the Abolition and Temperance movements but even more so, was how the Second Great Awakening and Christian revivalist Charles Finney had an impact. Finney preached that men and women are equal before God and that women can and should interpret Scripture for themselves. Two points that I am in complete agreement with. I left feeling very thankful for being a part of a denomination that values and promotes women in ministry, was started by a woman—Aimee Semple McPherson, and currently has a number of called and gifted female pastors on our own church staff—any one of whom I would willingly follow.
After Seneca Falls, we reached our SAG stop and I finally removed my remaining rain gear and left it in the van. I wouldn't need it for the rest of the day. I rode alone for the next stretch and enjoyed a chance to stop whenever I liked. I saw some scenic but small waterfalls in Throop, NY and then found a great place for ice cream in Elbridge, NY. Actually, Tom, Alex, and Hans had already found it. But, I was happy to drop in and join them. I ordered "Lobster Tracks" flavor ice cream, largely due to the name. But, it was a tasty blend of caramel, chocolate, and vanilla. I think it was the Maine equivalent of Moose Tracks.
After Elbridge, we came to Camillus and entered the Erie Canal Park. After looking around the museum and store within the park, two helpful ladies suggested to Hans and me that we ride about a mile down the Canal Pathway and see the newly constructed Aqueduct. An aqueduct is essentially a water-filled bridge designed to carry a waterway over a ravine or river. The ride on the former canal towpath was wooded, quiet, and idyllic. At the aqueduct, which was almost complete, the canal was flowing several feet above Nine Mile Creek. We continued on the pathway, resumed our route, and rode through the outskirts of Syracuse to Liverpool. On the way, I passed Armstrong Road. I smiled thinking of how Lance was currently doing in the Tour de France—and how I've cycled about the same number of miles he has this month.
In Liverpool, I made a stop in town at a local barber shop. I needed a haircut and the local barber was the right choice. Dave, the barber, was suitably impressed when I told him where I had ridden from. He gave a great old-school cut and told me it was guaranteed to make me faster. I'll find out tomorrow, because my ride was done just a few miles down the road when I found our hotel. But, I'll bet he's right.
Tomorrow, we ride 79 miles to Little Falls, NY. We wrapping up this ride very quickly. We have just five more days left until we arrive in Portsmouth, NH and dip our front tire in the Atlantic Ocean! My wife, Susie, and my kids, Kyle and Bethany, are flying from Seattle to Philadelphia tonight for a few days of touring on their own and then they'll see me in Manchester, NH the day before we finish. It will be great to both be in the same time zone. Even better to see them on Monday!
For more photos from today's ride, visit http://gallery.me.com/eternaldesign2#100512
For more about the Ride for Impact, visit http://www.rideforimpact.org
Cumulative Miles: 3,597
Cumulative Flats: 5
Elev Gain: 2,206 ft.
Max Elev: 1,002 ft.
Avg Climb: 2%
Max Climb: 9%