Day 6: A Nice Path Forward

Start/End: Syracuse/Palmyra, NY
Mileage: 65 miles
Weather: overcast & cool, with warming later in the day

Yesterday at dinner, our team was told that today we would be riding 65 miles, which was met with cheers and sighs of relief. This is funny because if you had told me a year ago that I would find riding 65 miles in a single day easy, I would have told you that we likely were not understanding each other. But nonetheless, we started the day at the usual time and we’re delighted to find that members of St. Paul’s Episcopal church had prepared a bountiful breakfast with muffins and pastries, fruit, yoghurt and a wide selection of juices, which were very appreciated. They showed us so much kindness during our stay.

Today our ride was dedicated to a rider’s friend’s step-mother who passed away peacefully in her sleep 2 nights ago. She had battled cancer and had been in remission when the disease returned. She left behind a wonderful family, who were definitely in our thoughts today as we rode.

We started our “short” ride in Syracuse, which was a little chaotic because of street construction, road closures and some traffic. It was totally manageable for our team of pros, though. After getting out of town, we realized that we had a really solid headwind (I.e. We were biking into the wind). This was challenging, but a part of our journey since our route goes east to west. It was also rather chilly, which was definitely new for us on this trip. During our first rest stop about 20 miles in, many of us grabbed jackets for the remainder of the ride. At the rest stop, we got a chance to speak with many local community members who were visiting a local shop and tell them about our organization. One cashier who I spoke to actually had a friend who was a cancer survivor who ran across the country with a relay team to fight cancer. And we thought biking was hard….

The ride was a good mix of rolling hills and countryside, with a few larger hills interspersed. There are so many farms in this region- it almost reminds me of home, except there are way more trees and hills.

We did continue near the Erie Canal Trailway, though most groups stuck to riding on the road, where it was nicely paved. The only small downfall was the occasional roadkill. This is not uncommon, but today we saw many frogs who had met their end…which really led some in my riding group to wonder if frogs were falling from the sky….

At lunchtime, we at in a town square near Clyde’s Famous Mineral Spring, or so it was labelled; however, it sadly did not work….and we filled up our water bottles the conventional way.

Unfortunately at that point, I needed to take a break due to knee trouble from a pre-existing injury and rode in the van and got to see what the role of the van driver is, especially when arriving at the stay over location. Riders who qualify will rotate through this position throughout the trip.

Tonight we are staying at Cross Creek Free Methodist Church which prepared some awesome camping showers, fluffy towels, great snacks and a delicious, warm dinner of pasta and meatballs. Additionally we do have wifi, which is always a nice perk when people can reconnect. I know some riders were using Skype and other methods to get ahold of family and friends. We continue to be so thankful to everyone who has helped us along this journey.

Tomorrow we have a very short ride but lots of events planned for Rochester, so I am very excited! But in leui of this, I must get some sleep in preparation. Good night and thanks for reading :)

-LAH

Leave a Reply