Day 45 Alden to Seneca Falls NY
I rode US 20 all day today, except for a several mile excursion south in a futile search for a place to eat breakfast. My day ended earlier than I had expected when a big thunderstorm intersected my route. I had expected to ride 110 or 120 miles today, but settled for a bit over 90 when the rain arrived about four PM. I made it to the Microtel in Seneca Falls while the rain was still light - ten minutes later the rain was a downpour.
Since I planned a long day, I left early this morning. I was on the road at 7:15, planning on eating breakfast at a restaurant five mile east on 20. That restaurant didn't open till 8:30! Curses. Keep on pedaling. I stoped in Alexander and heard: "there might be a restaurant open in Attica." Consider that and start for Attica. Check out the hills and turn around. Consider diverting to Batavia. Decide to go for it with the big candy bar and small bag of trail mix that I alraedy had on my bike. Ride for another half an hour and a headache is threatening. Stop and eat the stuff I have. Ride another forty five minutes and find a restaurant only 25 mile from Alden.
I was happy since, without that restaurant, I would have had to ride another twenty miles to find somewhere to eat! Note: it was 45 miles to the next motel, located on the other side of I-390 east of Avon. It only took two hours of riding to reach a place where I could eat breakfast - a restaurant at the intersection os US 20 and NY 63. Good breakfast, but their bathrooms weren't working so that had to wait that 20 extra miles till I stopped in a McDonalds (reliable bathrooms!) in Avon. I had a large shake while I was waiting for that bathroom <grin>.
20 is hilly. Some of the hills are fairly steep - I was only able to crank up them at six mph or so. 20 is quite scenic (scenic = hills?) and I enjoyed riding it. It has a great shoulder till Lima (about 50 miles from Alden or 75 miles from Buffalo), and then the shoulder is good to five miles from Canandaigua where it becomes great again. I also had a decent tail wind most of the day and, even with the hills, I averaged nearly 14 mph. I did a sprint at days end helped my average a bit.
20 is also popular for B+B to B+B type rides. I met a solo woman rider doing one near Lima. She had a Tour Easy with a fairing so she blew me away on downhills and flats, although I was much faster climbing. She was just getting her 'feet wet' on touring (supported, planned for her, 50 to 70 mile days) but hoped to do a cross USA ride 'when I retire.' She was old enough that retirement was only a near term event and seemed to know what she was about. A bit later I met two women who were lost and hoped that I was part of the support for their ride. I couldn't help them find 'county road 30', but we had a nice visit.
When I got to Canandaigua, I was appalled by the amount of traffic both on the road and on the water. I left the lake front and went looking for lunch. On the way I met two cyclist, one Dutch, the other American who were getting ready to do a local ride. When I stopped for lunch at a Chinese restaurant in a shopping center, two local bicyclist were at the next table and we had a good visit about riding in the area. Lunch was quite good and very inexpensive - I must look for more Chinese restaurants!
Blurry picture coming into Genva. I was going 30 mph or so and the light was bad because of the storm
By the time I left Canandaigua, there was a storm building in the north and west. I had been rained on lightly a bit near Lima but, when it started again as I was entering Geneva, the light rain was the leading edge of that storm. Waterloo and Seneca Falls are a bit north and east of Geneva and the storm was coming in from the north and west, so the next seven miles of riding were 'flirting' with that leading edge. The great shoulder and decent tailwind helped me as I cranked on down the road as fast as possible. I knew there was a new Microtel (relatively cheap, good phone system) in Seneca Falls, so the question was could I reach it before the heavy rain reached me. I reached it in light to moderate rain - no need to stop to put on rain gear or rain covers. I think I averaged nearly 17 mph for that seven miles.
I had planned to continue on 20 till it intersects US 11, but now I think I'll ride down along Cayuga Lake to Ithaca and then get on 11 at Lisle and ride on into Binghampton instead. I think it is a little shorter, probably hillier, and more scenic route. I hate to give up that great shoulder, but this way I'll get in more new riding and see some new places and things. That is a important part of why I love bicycle touring. I don't really care about 'tourist' things. Visiting museums and doing the things regular tourists do is OK, but I really love to see (smell, taste,..) new places and meet new people. I also really love to ride my bicycle, so riding for eight or more hours a day and seeing the flowers, the land, the animals, and the people along the way is my kind of bicycle tourism. Today was a good, if a bit short with only 6 and half hours of actual riding, day of touring.