Day 9: Slowing Down and Shuttling

Start/End: Niagara Falls/Westfield, NY
Miles: 25-92
Weather: We’ll get to that…

Today we woke up at the First Presbyterian Church in Niagara Falls ready to start a great day. This was a great location for us that was really welcoming to us, and in a great location in proximity to the Falls! We had a great route planned that would follow the Canadian-US border! Our ride today was dedicated to a organization’s friend from U of I whose mom passed away from brain cancer about 2 years ago.

The ride started off at a temperature of about 45 degrees. So…a little chilly. Additionally there was light rain, but definitely nothing too challenging. Some of our training rides this spring were pretty cold, wet and windy. But as the ride went on, the the rain increased and our hands got colder, our clothes even wetter. Around mile 20, my group pulled off the route into a McDonald’s in Buffalo, NY. It was cold and some folks were just not feeling awesome. Our group thought we had filled behind, but most groups had already pulled off and was across the street at a Tim Hortons warming up. Others were at a Burger King not too far up. We are so thankful for these restaurants for being welcoming to such cold, wet cyclists. We eventually had to make it at least to the same location at mile 25, so eventually we had to go back in the cold for just a little longer.

We stopped at the gift shop in Buffalo, NY for the Naval & Military Museum, attached to a restaurant called 716. They were really accommodating and let us hang out in a corner for several hours. At this point, the decision was made to shuttle the team and the bicycles to our final destination so that we were safe and healthy. This was definitely a hard decision to make that the team doesn’t take lightly but was the best decision in this situation. It took several trips to get all bikes and all riders safely to the final destination. Everyone is now dry and warm…a much better state than we were a few hours ago.

We are incredibly thankful for the generous pizza donations that we got to feed the team from CJ’ Pizza & Subs in Westfield as well as Pizza Village in Dunkirk, NY. These were absolutely amazing after a pretty tough day.

Tonight we are staying at the First United Methodist Church in Westfield, NY which has been amazing. It is a great facility with so many different rooms that we can stay in and spread out and keep warm. They have a fireplace which has been so useful for warming our selfs and drying out some of our clothes. Additionally, they have given us some coupons for some yummy treats at the McDonald’s across the street! Many of the group is headed out now. Very excited to eat the wonderful breakfast tomorrow that they have left for us.

Now that everyone is back, we have to do some slight reassembly of the bicycles so that we can be ready to ride again tomorrow. Looks like it is going to be cold, but hopefully not rainy! And, we will be leaving New York and hoping for a more smooth ride.


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