TRIP 2015

Update #09 - May 17th
Thompson, Ohio
2,391.73 miles (3,822.77 KM) - Year Total

May 08 : Chittenango, NY to Lyons, NY : 81.94 miles (131.10 km)
Trip Total: 2,069.09 miles (3,310.54 km)

I had an okay night. I stayed around the house and rested. I wanted to give my legs a break and also to let my nose heel. I didn't venture out of the house for two days. There was plenty of food in the house so I didn't have to venture down into town. My friend wanted me to check out their two bikes so I gave them a once over. Each night I was at the house, I went to bed around 10 pm and slept till around 5 am.

I left the house this morning around 7:10 am. I took the house key back to the neighbors. Instead of making my way West for the ride through Syracuse, I decided to head North first and then get on NY 31. This was NY Bike Route 5 through this part of the state. I was making good time. I got in almost 37 miles in by noon time.

I stopped for a break at a gas station outside of Baldwinsville. NY 370 joined NY 31 in the area. Somehow, I stayed on NY 370. I thought that I was lost but looking back this was the only thing that I could do. NY 31 had turned South onto a restricted access highway. At Plainville, I could have South on County Road 32 and then got on NY 31 between Memphis and Jordan but I stayed on NY 370 till Cato. I then got on Cnty Road 17B to Conquest. I took other county roads to NY 31 between Savanna and Clyde. A lady in the Noble Corner filled up my water bottles. It was pretty hot.

I got into Clyde around 6:15 pm. It was too late to try and connect with a minister. I kept on going to Lyons. I did stop in Lyons for some supper. Several miles out of Lyons, I came across an Assembly of God church that had a retreat center. I got permission to camp out in a glade that was below the camper parking area. Hopefully, I will get some rest even though I am quite close to the busy railroad.

I'm going to be taking my time tomorrow and just ride to Pittsford. My goal is to connect with a Presbyterian minister that I know in Pittsford. I want to see if I could be able to spend the weekend at the church.

May 09 : Lyons, NY to Pittsford, NY : 33.77 miles (54.03 km)
Trip Total: 2,102.86 miles (3,364.58 km)

I had an okay night. It didn't stay hot during the night so I was able to get some sleep. I had Alice packed up by 7:10 am. I found the bathhouse open so I was able to fill up my water bottles and use the restroom. I got back on the road around 7:30 am. About 3 miles down the road, I found a Walmart open so I stopped to get some supplies.

I had a good ride through Newark, Lyons, and Macedon. In Macedon, I stopped at a gas station for an extended break so I could charge up my laptop and electronics. There was free internet so I checked my email.

I went over to the canal and got on the bike path. A couple of miles down the road, I met up with my second cycle tourist for the year. He was from the UK and he was on a short holiday ride through the Fingerlakes area and the Aridonacks. I gave him some directions. He had started from Toronto and had crossed into the US at Niagara.

I took the canal trail slowly. I got into Pittsford around 2:20 pm. I contacted my pastor friend and met him at his church. He took me into the food pantry for the school backpack program and told me to fill up my food panner with anything that I could carry. I'm camping out in the youth room tonight. Tomorrow, I'm staying in the parsonage and Alice will be left at the church.

May 11 : Pittsford, NY to Albion, NY : 44.16 miles (70.66 km)
Trip Total: 2,147.02 miles (3,435.23 km)

I had an okay night. The room didn't get that hot because the rain storm during the late afternoon cooled everything down and Pastor Bruce got window screens in place in two windows so I had some air circulation. I slept thru most of the night.

I went downstairs around 6:30 am. to finish packing Alice up. I found a weird surprise when I got to Alice. There was a pair of tennis shoes near Alice that wasn't there Saturday or all day yesterday. They were my size but they needed some new shoe strings. I took this as a sign that somebody wanted to make sure that I had a pair of tennis shoes to ride in. The soles of the tennis shoes that I got now are getting really thin and they could have holes in them not too long from now. I found a plastic bag, put the tennis shoes in them, and fastened them onto Alice. I put them behind my sign so they will not be so visible.

Pastor Bruce came by around 7:10 am. and took me to a nearby McDs to get me some breakfast. Instead of eating it there, we took the food back to the church to eat. We talked about a half hour. Bruce told me that there were three churches in his presbytery that were in the process of leaving the PCUSA. Bruce said that the decision was an option for his church but they are going to be a mission focused church instead.

I got on the road a little after 8 am. I walked back to the canal path. I'm going to take it at least through the Rochester area since it would be the easiest way to get through Rochester and it was paved. I was making some good time when the rear tire went soft. I found a really small piece of glass inside of the tire. I put in the patched tube and I carefully inflated it up to around 50 psi. I didn't want to try and push more air into the tube because I was afraid of cutting the valve stem again. I'm going to probably have to think about using CO2 canisters to fill up the tires. I was back on the road in about a half hour.

About 10 minutes after I was back on the road, I met another cycle tourist. He was an American and he had started from Burlington, Vermont. He was riding to Yellowstone because he had a summer job there. He has only been out a week. He is my third cycle tourist for the year.

As soon as I was able to get off the canal path, I took advantage of the situation. I got back on NY 31 (Bike Route 5). Getting back on the road, I was able to push some miles in but I was only able to ride about 19 miles in by noon. Being on the canal path really slowed me down because there was some road construction to ride through and it was a little tricky going from one side of the canal to the other side through the Rochester area.

I stopped at a McDs for some lunch in Spencerport and at a Walmart in Brockport to get a new rear inner tube. The afternoon ride was a little better but I had forgotten that NY 31 went from one side of the canal to the other.

I got into Albion around 4 pm. I was able to connect with the pastor at the First Presbyterian church. He game me permission to stay in the church for the night.

May 12 : Albion, NY to Lockport, NY : 32.76 miles (52.42 km)
Trip Total: 2,179.78 miles (3,487.65 km)

I had an okay night camping out in the Presbyterian Church. I found a long couch to sleep on in a corner of the fellowship hall upstairs. I was able to fall asleep but I got woken up around noon by bright lightning. It rained really hard for about an hour.

I left the church around 7 pm. It was really windy. The wind was coming from the Southwest and at times it gusted up to 25 mph. By noon, I got about 25 miles in. In Gasport, I rode over to the canal. I found some bushes to get out of the wind and have some lunch off the bike. After lunch, I rode back to the road because it was too windy along the canal.

I got into Lockport around 1:20 pm. I didn't want to think about going any farther because of the winds. I stopped at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church. I talked with Pastor Duane. Instead of letting me stay in the church overnight, he surprised me by offering to get me a room at the Comfort Inn at the Southern edge of town. Before I left the church, Pastor Duane gave me a $20 gift card for Tops Grocery.

Tomorrow the wind will be gone but it will only be in the upper 50s.

May 13 : Lockport, NY to Hamburg, NY : 50.43 miles (80.69 km)
Trip Total: 2,230.21 miles (3,568.34 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. There was a good hot breakfast. I left the motel a little after 8 a.m. It was quite cool out. Instead of heading South to West Seneca, I decided to try and follow the Erie Canal to it's end point in North Tonawanda. I followed local roads to North Tonawanda. The ride went really well. In North Tonawanda, I got on the Shoreline Trail that followed the Niagara River into Buffalo. The ride went really well until I found out that a bridge was out and I had to backtrack about a mile and then get on local roads. By noon, I stopped at a McDs in North Buffalo to get something hot to eat.

The ride along the local roads went okay. I was able to get on the shoreline trail again but then I hit another section of road construction. I had to follow a long detour through South Buffalo until I was able to turn west. The ride then took me through South Park. I was getting close to NY 5. I headed North towards Lake Erie. I found myself about a half mile away from where I could get back on NY 5. It was a tricky ride through Lackawanna to Blasdell. There was a shoulder to ride along after Athol Springs.

I got into Hamburg around 4:10 pm. I found some cars at the Wayside Presbyterian Church. The secretaries were still in the office. The interim pastor was called. He came over to the church to talk with me. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, the pastor offered to get me a room at a nearby motel.

I'm going to be riding along US 20 from here to the state line.

May 14 : Hamburg, NY to Ripley, NY : 62.98 miles (99.61 km)
Trip Total: 2,292.59 miles (3,668.14 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. I took my time getting ready to head out because it was supposed to be really cold outside. I waited till around 8:20 am. to head out. The temperature was in the low 50s.

I had a really good ride to Irving. I stopped for an early lunch. Even with the lunch break, I was able to get in 26 miles by noon. The afternoon ride went okay. Riding through Fredonia, I crossed path with another cycle tourist. Older Guy. I was not able to get across the highway to talk to him.

I got into Westfield around 4:30 pm. I went around the church out the churches. I stopped at the police department to see if anybody knew a local minister. I talked with a friendly officer. He tried to get hold of one of his pastor contacts but he didn't have any luck. He told me that he saw some activity at the St Peters Episcopal Church. They were getting ready to have a service and also a potluck. I talked with the rector before the service. She told me that she would help me find someplace to stay for the night. I got to speak for a few minutes during the service. During the potluck, I was pretty well ignored. After about 90 minutes, I basically gave up and left the church.

I sped down the road in the waning daylight. Near Ripley, I rode over to NY 5 because I would have better luck finding some place to camp out. I found some woods next to a grape field. The clearing was quite close to the cliff edge over looking Lake Erie. I got to be just 4 miles away from the Pennsylvania state line.

May 15 : Ripley, NY to Millcreek, PA : 32.07 miles (51.31 km)
Trip Total: 2,324.66 miles (3,719.36 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It didn't get that cold. I woke up around 5:30 am and I got on the road around 6:40 am. I took the first rode south back to US 20. From where I got I got on US 20, it was just a couple of mile ride to the PA state line. Once passed the state line and the interstate, I stopped at a McDs for an extended breakfast so I could charge up my electronics.

The ride through the town of North East and into Erie went okay. I stopped at a Walmart to buy some clear shatter proof sunglasses. The ride through Erie was slow because of off and on light showers.

I got into Millcreek around 3 pm. I didn't feel like going on to Ohio. I decided to stop at the Asbury United Methodist church where I had stopped at three years ago. The pastor remembered me. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, the pastor offered me the use of their family room in the basement.

May 16 : Millcreek, PA to Thompson, OH : 67.07 miles (107.31 km)
Trip Total: 2,391.73 miles (3,826.77 km)

I had at Pastor Dan's house. It was nice seeing him and his wife again. It's been a little over three years since my last stopover. I'm glad that I stopped this time because they will not be at the church after next month. Pastor Dan is being transferred to another church near Pittsburgh. I had a good night. We went out for supper at a drive-in near Lake Erie. We also walked over to the lake so they could find some more sea glass. When Pastor Dan's wife found out that I had a pair of sports pants that had been ripped up by some thorns she went over to a Walmart to buy me another pair and also some stick-on repair patches.

I woke up early around 5:30 am. I kept myself quiet getting cleaned up, dressed, and getting Alice packed up. Before I left, Pastor Dan took my picture and he slipped me a small GH. I got on the road around 7:30 am. It was a little cool and overcast. I hit some occasional light showers. Overall, the ride to the Ohio State Line went okay.

I stopped at a McDs for some lunch in Conneaut. I tried to make contact with the pastor in Ashtabula who tried to connect with me in Ashtabula. He was out. I decided to somehow start my swing around Cleveland instead of riding through it. Somewhere between Conneaut and Ashtabula, US 20 was closed and they were directing traffic South to the interstate. I went North on OH 7 and then got on OH 531 (Lake Road) and rode along the shore of Lake Erie through Ashtabula to Geneva-On-The-Lake. When I got to Geneva-On-The-Lake, I was surprised at finding no churches in the whole town. It was just an amusement area.

I got on OH 534 and took it through Geneva to Harpersfield. When I got into Harpersfield, I turned West on OH 307. About 7 pm, I had to stop at the Northern terminus of the Hog Back Ridge County Park Trail to fix a soft rear tire. I sat at the picnic table to fix the tire. I found another pinhole leak. Before putting in the new inner tube, I glued on a couple of patches to cover some holes in the tread. One of the holes was a gash. I'm probably going to have to find a new rear tire pretty soon. I checked to see if there was any place to camp out but the ground was pretty marshy from all of the rain in the area.

I finished up OH 307 and got on OH 528 and headed South. I saw a sign for a Methodist church coming up in a town called Thompson but there was no indication how far Thompson was from the sign.

It was around 8:40 pm when I got into Thompson. I rode over to the church to see if there was a contact number. There wasn't one. It looked like the house next to the church might be the parsonage. I went over to check out the house. The pastor was in. He gave me permission to stay in one of the church class rooms for the night and he took me out for supper. We had a good time talking. The pastor offered to let me stay over tomorrow and also will give me the chance to speak at the service tomorrow morning. The pastor is also being transferred. He is being transferred to one of the Methodist churches in the Bucyrus area.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between May 31st and June 05th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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