Monday, July 10th
Zipping and unzipping of tents wakes you up around 5 AM. It was very dry this morning, a pleasure when packing up a tent. After packing up I went to breakfast. The group is provided breakfast, two rest stops with snacks and dinner (every night but two). I have found that this is adequate, and I don't bother with lunch. At the rest stops there is fruit (usually cut), junky carbohydrates (cheez-its, peanut butter crackers, cheetos...), Gatorade and water. I did not lose any weight on this trip, but I was definately firmer at the end. I met a gentleman who was riding while talking on his phone. I reprimanded him for violating the NY law about driving while talking on a cell phone. I also met a gentleman who was riding a hybrid bike on the crushed stone path. I found that if I drafted on him, I could average 3 mph faster than on my own. These two gentlemen provided me with most of my entertainment along the route to Albany. People come from all over the US for this tour. There were people from Alaska, California, Colorado, Nebraska and other northeastern and mid-western states.
We headed for Pittsford, just outside of Rochester, NY.
Near Rochester, I embarked with a group for a tour of Rochester. It was led by a man riding a 3 speed Schwinn. It was most amusing to watch our group, all decked out in bicycle attire, with our fancy, multi-speed bikes, struggling to go slow enough behind the basic Schwinn. We got to see the aqueduct used to cross the canal over the Genessee River. It has since been converted twice, once into a subway tunnel (now defunct) and currently to an auto bridge.
We stayed at Nazareth College. In the end, I voted their food to be the best. After setting up my tent, I went in search of the showers. Though I don't stink at the end of the day, I am rather gritty and my skin feels stiff from all the salt. I thought I would be sore and stiff, but was not. I do own a Terry seat and wear bike shorts. As for the shirts, I own one bike shirt with the longer tail, but my other two shirts are just synthetic running shirts. Cut longer than usual, they cover my back fully.
I took my evening occupations with me (phone, book, trail notes), for I thought it looked like rain and I might get caught at the showers or dining hall. The heavens did open up on us, and we were inside for a long time, while a band of heavy thunderstorms raged over us. We spent the time listening to a lecture about the womens' sufferage movement and the geology of the canal area. Afterwards, at around 8:00 PM, there was a beautiful, huge rainbow and the clouds were fantastically colorful and shaped. People just leave their bikes out, which washes the stone trail dust off the bike. Then they just re-oil the bike and ride.