TRIP 2013

Update #17 - July 14th
Chittenango, New York
Mission Trip 34: 4,924.96 miles (7,879.94 KM)
6,274.69 miles (10,039.50 KM) - Year Total

This is the lasr of my four days off the road here in Chittenango. I arrived here Wednesday afternoon (July 10th) and weather permitting I'll be getting back on the road tomorrow, July 15th. I was last here April 24th. During the 79 days that I've been gone from here, I rode 3,651.20 miles (5,841.92 KM).

When I leave here, I'll be heading Northwards to the St Lawrence Seaway and then travel Northeast along it to Rouses Point just north of Plattsburgh, New York. From there, I'll cross into Northwest Vermont. In Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, I'll be cycling mostly along US 2. I'll come to the Atlantic Ocean somewhere near Calais, Maine. From there, I'll start the trip down the East Coast. I'll be riding through New York City again so I will be crossing my path again.

July 07 : North East, Pennsylvania to Lancaster, New York - 90.08 miles (144.13 KM)

I had an okay night the motel except for the internet wifi. There wasn't any breakfast. The Holiday Inn next door owns the motel and soon as the bank gives them the funding it will be torn down and the Holiday Inn expanded. I left the motel around 7:30 AM. The ride down the hill back into North East went quickly.

Instead of stopping in town for breakfast, I headed east to the interstate where there was a McD's. As Iwas checking out the menu, this older guy made a comment "so you must be the pastor riding through the area". This was strange because the only people who I had mentioned that I was a minister was the pastor and the music director of the Methodist church. He told me that he made his conclusion by seeing the word Jesus on my jersey sleeves. Before he left, he told me "let me buy your breakfast" and he pulled out his wallet and gave me $5.

From the McD's, it was about a four mile ride to the New York State Line. The ride in New York was really great because there is a paved shoulder on US 20. There was a Farmer's market going on at the downtown park in Westfield. There were some Amish selling some baked goods. I bought a couple cookies. They had a gas powered motor running an ice cream machine.

I got about 31 miles (49.6 KM) in by noon time. It was amazing to see all of the green leaves on the grape vines in the vineyards along the way. I stopped at a Wendy's in Fredonia for lunch. I rode on to Little Falls. I was debating on whether to go ahead and stop but the weather was great so I decided to go on. Just passed Irvine, I crossed into the Seneca Indian Reservation. I was going to get on NY 5 but there was some road construction and lots of traffic so I stayed on US 20. I kept on looking for a place where I could camp out but there wasn't any place to stop.

I rode through the Orchard Park area. The area was really developed since I was on the outskirts of Buffalo. On the side of the road, I was surprised at finding a working Ipod Classis. There wasn't any indication on who's Ipod it was since it just had a nickname of Fester. The battery charge was quite low. There was just minor damage to the case. The ipod that I've got is just a 30 GB on but this one was a 160 GB one. The person who had it put on almost 8,000 songs on it.

It was around dusk when I started to ride through the Depew area. Somebody was having a fireworks display. I kept following US 20 through Lancaster. It was almost 10 PM when I stopped for a break at a gas station. Between Lancaster and Town Line, I finally came across an open field. I followed the tree line far so I could find a place to camp out. I got the tent set up really fast and everything inside because I saw lightning.

June 07 : Lanacaster, New York to Alden, New York - 05.25 miles (08.14 KM)

I had an okay night camping out. It rained some but the tent stayed reasonably dry except for one corner of the tent. I woke up around 6 AM to some light rain on the tent. It came from the leaves of the tree above me.
,br /> I had things packed up around 7:30 AM. As I was rolling Alice through the field to the road, this guy who was mowing his lawn next to the field stopped to talk to me. I told him that I had to camp there around 11 PM last night because I couldn't find any other place to do so.

From where I was, it was just a few mile ride into Townline. I saw some cars pulling into the parking lot of the Townline Evangelical Lutheran Churcn. They were having an 8:30 AM service. There was a lady pastor. During the meet and greet, I introduced myself to the pastor. Right before the final song, the pastor came out to me to introduce me and I got to speak for a few meetings. This was the 35th time that I got to speak at a church this year. After the service, this elderly lady stopped me and asked me if she could have my autograph. She told me that she was either 95 or 97 years old. The minister before I left slipped me a couple of gift cards from a local grocery grocery store chain. I thought they might have been $10 apiece but they were $25 apiece.

About two miles (3 KM) down the road, one of the church members stopped me and asked me if I needed some down time off the road. I had taken a half the day off the road Friday afternoon in North East, Pennsylvania because of the weather but I had still ridden 384.26 miles (614.82 KM) last week from Bucyrus, Ohio. I'm about 4 days ride away from Chittenango.

July 08 : Alden, New York to Pittsford, New York - 69.22 miles (110.75 KM)

I had an okay day off the road with Tom. Tom was 60. He had lived a colorful life but he was a talker. He didn't know when to stop. Around 7:30 PM, I excused myself. Tom had prepared a pallet of blankets on the floor for me because he had shipped most of his furniture down to Knoxville, TN. I took some time checking out the music on the ipod that I had found Saturday while riding close to Buffalo,

Around 7:00 AM, we loaded Alice in back of Tom's truck and he took me back into town. Instead of dropping me off at where we had met, Tom took me to the Tops grocery store parking lot. Along the way, I saw a loaded bicycle with yellow panniers and a US flag on a short mast at a restaurant. As I was getting ready to leave the grocery store after buying some groceries, I saw the yellow bicycle go passed going East.

I rode US 20 to Alexander and I switched over to NY 98 for the ride to Batavia. I wanted to get on NY 5. I followed NY 5 to Caledonia and then I switched over to smaller routes that would get me up to West Brighton. I was trying to get to Pittsford so that I could get on the Erie Canal Towpath for a while.

It was nearly 8 PM when I got into Pittsford and I got on the Erie Canal towpath. I followed the towpath for about a couple of miles. Just passed the Great Embankment Park, I came across a path that had been mowed. The path didn't seem to be used much by foot traffic. I think it was just a shortcut or a path for the lawn cutting crew for the park. It was around 8:30 PM so I went up the path several hundred feet and I found a level piece of ground under a small tree to pitch my tent. The mosquitoes were a little bad but they didn't bite much.

July 09 : Pittsford, New York to Baldwinsville, New York - 77.85 miles (124.56 KM)

I had an okay night camping out. It didn't rain much and the tent stayed reasonably dry. I woke up around 5:30 AM. I had Alice packed up around 7:00 AM. I slipped back on the towpath. The towpath surface was wet and there was an occasional mud puddle to navigate through.

Bicycle traffic heading East was light but it got really heavy. Too heavy for my taste. This was the week of the Erie Canal Bike Ride. Cyclists were following the canal from Buffalo to Albany. They had started from Buffalo on Saturday and they were planning to be in Albany this Sunday. From what I had learned there were 520 cyclists on the trip. The oldest was an 87 years old guy and the youngest to pedal by themselves was 8 years old. It was wave after wave of cyclists coming up from behind me and wanting to pass me on my left even when the path really narrowed down from five feet wide down to under three feet wide. There were a couple of times when I thought that I was going to be pushed off the towpath into the canal. The ones up front were the rudest because they were riding two abreast and going way above speed for the conditions of the trail. It was like they were in a race. Some of the bicycles had panniers on them but most of the bikes were bare since the ride had sag support.

There were quite a few recumbents. I stopped this one recumbent rider who had a short wheelbase recumbent that had extra wide tires. The tires had to have been over 5 inches wide. The recumbent had been built in Spain. I had to take a few pictures. There were a few trikes and a couple had a Rans tandem recumbent. I saw a couple of kids under the age of five sitting on a tag-along being towed by their parent's bikes.

After dealing with the traffic for about 12 miles (19.2 KM), I gave up and decided to just wait at a bench to let the riders go passed. I was getting off the canal shortly at Macedon so that I could get on NY 31 and the NY 5 bike route. About a half hour into my wait, I witnessed an accident in front of me. About ten feet down the road there was a hole or something in the towpath. This guy on a mountain bike hit the hole with his front wheel and he got pitched over the handlebar. I don't know if he was going too fast to avoid it. The lady behind him almost went down as well. I grabbed my first aid kit and helped administer first aid to him. He had a nasty road rash on his left upper arm and a small cut below his left knee. It took three gauze pads to cover the road rash on his arm. He was lucky that he didn't have any broken bones. The rim of his rear wheel was a little off true. It would be fixed today since they had a bike mechanic with the tour. I was told that it cost $650 for the ride but there were extras that could be bought like having somebody pitch their tents for them.

At lock 30 near the outskirts of Macedon, New York, I got off the canal towpath. The towpath would go on further to Palmyra. I had friends in Macedon but I decided to go on farther because I wanted to get to Chittenango either tomorrow or Thursday. I wanted some time off the road.

Between Palmyra and Clyde, some of the riders went passed me. They had a rest area set up in the park in downtown Clyde. They were heading South to Seneca Falls for the night and would ride to the Syracuse zoo tomorrow. I debated on whether to stop in Clyde or go on. Between Montezuma and Port Byron the sky got really dark. I thought that I was going to get caught in a rain shower. In Port Byron, I stopped at a drive in that had picnic tables under a big tent. It was just a few minutes after I had ordered my food when the rain started. It rained pretty hard for about 20 minutes. Ten minutes later the rain stopped so I headed out again.

The only church that I saw in Port Byron was a Catholic church and there was nobody around it. I rode on to Weedsport. I saw some cars at the Presbyterian church. There were some people practicing music in the sanctuary. There was this young lady pastor. She told me that she had only been there a while. There was a guy who was a deacon with her. He didn't want me to stay in the church overnight by myself. The lady pastor almost invited me over to the manse but the deacon told her not to. Before I left, I rebuked them and asked them who was really at the head of their church.

It was really getting dark so I had to use my lights. I stopped to talk to a police officer in Jordan but he didn't have any idea where I could camp out. I rode on for maybe 10 miles (16 KM) more and I finally came across some open land a few miles out of Baldwinsville. I followed a path up a hill that took me to a soybean field. I found a spot on the edge of the field for my tent. It was almost 10:30 PM when I crawled into my tent.

July 10 : Baldwinsville, New York to Chittenango, New York - 41.61 miles (66.58 KM)

I had an okay night camping out. It didn't rain. I woke up around 5:30 AM and I was back on the road around 7 AM. NY 31 ended at NY 200. I followed local roads into Baldwinsville where NY 31 started up again. I stopped at a Tops for a few things. I had to wait out a brief rain shower. I took an early lunch break at an Arby's outside of Cicero near I-81. I stopped at a bike shop in Bridgeport to see if they might have the disc brake pads that I needed. They didn't have any in stock but they should be there when I stop at the shop again next Monday on my way North to the St Lawrence Seaway.

In Bridgeport, I headed south to Kirkville where I got back on the towpath along the original Erie Canal for the ride to North Chittenango. From the canal crossing in North Chittenango, it was a short ride into Chittenango. I got to my friend's house in Chittenango around 3 PM. I'll be off the road through the rest of the week.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between July 21st and July 28th..



Bicyclist in Sunset



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