We had an absolutely wonderful weekend of riding. We stayed at a lovely motel/bed&breakfast close enough to ride to the start line on Saturday so we rode both days. The first day was a very pleasant 25 mile ride with a relatively small group of very nice people. The ride was staffed by three leaders, had a rest stop, etc. I can't say enough about the folks at Bike NY. They really do a first rate job of organizing this event and every volunteer and staff person couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. For Annie and I the terrain was particularly special. We spent many summers in the early years of our marriage when our kids were small in the Millerton Copake area where I worked at a Senior Citizens Camp(Now we're the senior citizens!) We actually biked into Copake which was a really special feeling. Below are a couple of shots of our lodging. No pictures from Saturday's ride, which went North on Route 22 for much of the way, hooked up with the Harlem Valley Rail Trail for a short time, and returned via country roads.
On Sunday we arrived promptly by car at the start in Millerton. Lots more people, though not exactly a mega-ride like Lancaster or others. We took our cue sheets and started off. The road was so well marked and the difficult road crossings manned by police, it was really a breeze.
It was a gorgeous route from start to finish. This time we spent more time on the Rail Trail, about 10 miles or so. After that we were on gorgeous country roads with very low traffic. Perfect. The hills coming home both days were fairly big so riding 25 or 30 miles (Sunday) was harder than it sounds. We were pretty tired at the end. Annie had to walk up one of the last hills.
Here we are at the first rest stop:
I didn't stop to take many pictures along the way but these two should give you some idea of what we were riding through. Notice the herd of cows watching us.
Amongst the reasons that I was glad that we didn't sign up for the longer rides was that I was (probably foolishly) breaking in a new saddle that I mentioned the other day. As you can see it is pretty weird. It is supposed to relieve pressure on the privates and the fact is it does that really well. It is generally comfortable. The only problem is that it changes the bikes geometry and requires that the handlebars be raised. My handle bars won't go any higher. So I have to decide whether to go to the bike shop and see if I can get a spacer or extender to raise the bars and then try the saddle again for a few days, or just give it up, not fool with the bike and put my old saddle on until I can buy a new less strange but more comfortable saddle. Of course, it didn't help that about half way to the motel I realized I hadn't put my cycling shoes into my bag! So I rode in closed Crocks, which actually wasn't so bad, but may have affected my judgement about the saddle. I'll think on it.
Anyway, it was a fabulous weekend. But next time we'll have to plan to stay over after the ride and come home the next day. After the ride there was a bit of a concluding festival which we stayed at for awhile eating sweet corn, pizza etc. We should have had a proper lunch. On the ride home I bonked. I was shivering with what turned out to be 102.5 degrees fever. I think it was from stressing the body too much and not properly eating. The fever is down this morning to 100.5 and I feel fine, but a little tired. Needless to say we didn't go for a ride. Unfortunately today was supposed to be my first day back at work! But I'll take it easy, rest, eat and I'm pretty sure this will pass.