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Finger Lakes Wine Country Tour

Crankin2012-03-31 23:18:18 +0000 #1
Done with Day 3 of riding.

We started out Saturday, driving to Sharon Springs, NY, where we stayed at a kind of weird b and b. The town itself was creepy; used to be quite a few mineral baths there and it was a huge tourist place in the 1800s to 1930s. Lots of abandoned bath houses and inns, but a lot of revival, too. It rained steadily from 4 PM until we went to bed and the weather forecast for the Ithaca area looked bad. We did have an excellent Mexican food lunch in Albany.

On Sunday we drove to the first inn on the tour, in Trumansburg. It overlooked the falls and the lake. Of course, it rained all morning. There was supposed to be a 10 mile warm up ride. The sun came out and even though more rain was on the radar, we figured we had time. Basically, it was out the door and up a 22% grade, short hill, followed by 4.5 miles of a false flat on chip sealed roads, and then turn around. I was glad we did it, as I ate with gusto at dinner!

Day 2 was a 48.8 mile ride, which turned out to be 55 miles for DH and I. It started pouring at mile 15 or so, and we took refuge under a porch, where we stayed for 25 minutes. When we got to the next stopping place, we didn't really stop at the van, read the cue sheet wrong, hence the extra miles. We used the GPS to get to the winery, where they all had done a tasting and were eating. We had a good lunch, the rain finished, and sun came out. After lunch (of course) there was a 4.5 mile climb of "epic" proportions, at least for me. No shade, after eating, with some 15-20% grades. There were places it flattened out, but if DH hadn't been there, I might have given up. I felt like I was gonna puke at one point, so DH sprayed me with his water bottle, which revived me. There was a long straight downhill after that, a stop at the falls, and we were back. We went for a coffee, got cheese, crackers, and beer, and ate before dinner. I was ravenous.

The people on the tour are OK. No super characters, but 2 that qualify as eccentric in my book, like the guy who uses 12 packets of sugar in his coffee. Most people brought their own bikes; and of course most are not hill climbers, so yesterday they a raced out ahead of me and DH and as Phil says, they were "shot off the back" when the hill started. Two people went ahead of us and we climbed at a steady pace of 6-8 mph with another woman.

Today:

Weather forecast was bad. We thought at first it would be OK in the AM and rain around 3-4. The ride was 64 miles and there were spots you could sag after 30 or 45, 55. So, we rode the first 32 miles in a drizzle or shower, it was fine. As soon as we got within one mile of Seneca Falls, it started pouring. We ate in a pub with another couple, and I was grateful, I had my shrug with me, as I was wearing sleeveless, and I had to get my rain jacket off. We thought we would abandon, but, the leader guilted us by saying our friends we came with had just taken off. It had let up, for about 5 miles and then the skies broke loose. Torrential downpour, thunder, lightning. At a turn, we saw another couple, taking refuge on a porch, so we stopped. Shoes were soaked and I was not happy. But, the rain stopped, and the sun actually peeked out.

Then, as we were leaving, I noticed I had a flat! That's 2 in 2 weeks. DH changed it this time and off we went. The last 20 miles were beautiful, through cornfields, but the last 10 were pretty hilly, and I was done. We used the GPS to cut out the last 2 miles, riding straight into Skaneateles on the main road. It's gorgeous here, right on the lake and the hotel is awesome.

This is a nice part of the country, and I am glad we did this tour. The riding is harder than I thought it would be, but it's a tour, not a race.

Two more days.


redrhodie2012-03-31 23:33:10 +0000 #2
I've been to Ithaca, and it's HILLY. I always wondered whether I'd be able to make it up some of those hills. There'd probably be some crying and puking involved in my attempt. Good job, Crankin!
OakLeaf2012-03-31 23:38:30 +0000 #3
Yikes on the hills! Hope the weather clears up for you.
tulip2012-04-01 00:05:28 +0000 #4
I rode the Bon Ton Roulet a couple of weeks ago. It was great, and quite hilly. I had my bike with a compact double, but my legs would have really appreciated my other bike with a triple. I also got rained on, but it was actually kind of fun. It was blissfully cool compared to the SE US at the same time. I am not able to do wine tastings and continue on a bike, so I didn't taste any wine on the trip.

Enjoy your ride!
Crankin2012-04-01 01:14:02 +0000 #5
I don't do wine tastings and ride, either, but it appears that we are in the minority. I might buy some wines at a store here in town, that come from the wineries we passed yesterday.

Today's ride is 41 miles, with hills in the beginning. I ate a ton of pasta last night and didn't feel the least bit guilty! The ride is over earlier today, so we plan to do some shopping in Skaneateles, which seems like a nice place so far. We're on our own for dinner, so just made sushi reservations.

Yesterday, a group of 3 people out of 5 were pulled over, just after we started riding after lunch, in the rain. They were screaming "we need help," but the leader was right behind me, so we just rode by. They all had flats and appeared to have no tools, or know what to do.... I think they're pissed at us, but I am not the leader here, so I don't feel bad.
tulip2012-04-01 01:01:03 +0000 #6
There were many flats on the Bon Ton Roulet. Those NY shoulders seem to have alot of glass. Bring extra tubes.
Crankin2012-04-01 00:52:54 +0000 #7
OK, today's ride was hard. 41 miles, with 2700 feet of climbing. The hills never stopped. It was gorgeous, we hugged the lake for a long time. There was one scary descent, though I am sure the others loved it! The sun was out, until we got to the lunch stop, which was only 9 miles from the hotel... you know what happened here. Dawdled at lunch, and at mile 8.5 to go, the skies opened up. Well, it was only a short way. The sun is out again.

Several mechanicals today, in the group and we came back ahead of everyone except 3 people, and that's with an average of 11.9!
bluebug322012-04-01 02:00:35 +0000 #8
The Finger Lakes are a strange cross between pancake flat and screaming hills. I never believed it until I did the www.highlandercycletour.com/

11,000 feet of climbing and 20+ percent grades.

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