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Perry or Bust
2008-06-06, 2:43 p.m.

Day 1384

Started later than I wanted. Just after 9. Felt good to dawdle though. The latest weather forecasts were calling for thunder boomers starting around 3. I was figuring, eh, 80 miles, 6 hours – ought to work out.

The whole way down towards Leroy (and past my Mom’s place) I was reminding myself there were any number of turns I could make to just abort the ride and make it shorter. There was the golf course special (passes by maybe a dozen courses in 50 miles), the Batavia loop and any sort of new route I could make up as I went. Finally, getting to and through Leroy, then making it to the town of Pavillion, there was one last decision to make. In Pavillion, I could turn east and effectively cut the ride short. But there across Rt. 63 was the beginning of the real climb. The hill into Perry.

Whew. That hill kicked my ass. In these parts, down in the great lakes basin, we don’t have a lot of real hills. Some glacial deposits, mild undulations, nothing serious. Riding to Perry? Hoooo boy. Perry is up on a dome of sorts. Roughly 1000 ft. in elevation higher than home. Most of that climb came over the course of 10 miles or so. Much of it was pretty moderate, but some (one in particular) areas were killers. At one point, I got off and walked. I was struggling to stay upright working down in my granny gear. The gearing is such that you really can’t stand and pedal – it’s just too short a stroke. But to get into the regular low gears – well, it was just more than I wanted to invest at that point in the ride. Heck, I still had 45+ miles to go – I didn’t want to spend my legs that early.

So I swallowed a little pride and hoofed it. It paid off. Up towards the top of the dome (plateau, what ever) there’s a little town that remonds me of a ZZ Top tune:

That was from the album “Tush” wasn’t it? That little house outside La Grange?

Anyhow. Next up is evidence that the peak is near. I can’t imaging having to ride up the hill behind this:

Please ‘scuse the power lines. Guess they haven’t heard of burying the cables around here yet.

A few miles farther along, there’s the actual village:

Well, ok – that’s the sign welcoming you to the village limits. The village itself is pretty typical of upstate NY. Not too small, well kept. There’s a lake nearby (immediately south of the village – Silver Lake. Good walleye fishing) with hundreds of summer and year round cottages. They also seem to have missed out on the major franchises – I didn’t see a Perkins, Denny’s, McD’s, BK – none of them. No major grocers or retailers either. It’s kind of refreshing.

Leaving town was a blast. That elevation change that took place over 10 – 15 miles on the way up? Well, the 7 or so miles to the next town were pretty much all down hill. After the first brief downhill section, I slowed down in a flat area, spied a nice big shade tree on the side of the road and took advantage. Plopped myself down on the embankment and devoured an apple, a BIG mofo PayDay Bar (mmmm – salt, nougat & peanuts – heaven!) and about a quart of gator ade. Stretched out the legs and got back on the trail.

I had mentioned the idea of trying to get up to 45mph on this leg of the trip. Well, I did make it over 40 on 4 occasions. Twice I got as high as 42, but I gotta tell you – pedaling at that speed is a dicey proposition. First, you’re going like a bat outta hell. Your legs really have to fly. Second, when you’re pedaling like that, the stability of the bike doen’t feel all that great. I could feel some squishiness in the rear – it just felt a little too soft. (and really, I prefer a firmer rear). So usually, once I saw the speedo up above 40, I just hunkered down, kept my profile low and concentrated on not doing anything stupid.

Unlike the idiot in the septic pumping truck that pulled out in front of me. Freakin oblivious! There I was, minding my own business, making time going downhill. I was already up over 32 or so, when I saw this large truck approach from a side road on the right. This septic pumper stopped, then verrrry slooowly pulled out right in front off me. It was close enough that I had to choose – move over to the shoulder and pass him on the right or head for the other lane (the one with the 3000lb cars coming the other way) and pass him on the left. Bottom line was he was going so slow I HAD to pass him. So for the first time ever (on a bike) I crossed the double yellow line, pedaled like hell and passed the truck. As I passed the cab (at a pretty good clip) I saluted the driver (yes, the one finger salute) and vented a few choice expletives. Then I pedaled harder. Fucker. Turn out the driver was some ancient dude who’s hearing was as good as his sight. Blind, deaf bastard. The only satisfaction I got was that he never, ever caught up to me. I think his base of operations was just a bit up the road from where he cut me off. There were a few cars that passed me later that, well, you could tell from the sound of their engine they were a little pissed. Shouldn’t you expect a septic pumping truck to have a shitty driver? (No, I’m NOT sorry about that one)

Rest of the ride was pretty much on roads I’d traveled before, so nothing new there. I did stop in Scottsville to refill my drink jugs. Again. It was pretty hot yesterday (83 in the early afternoon – that’ hot for these parts) and I was leaking fluid pretty easily. By the time I got to Scottsville (4.5 hours of riding) I’d gone through a gallon of gator ade. I was getting a little overheated andd light headed, so I hit up the local pizza joint and got a big bottle of water and more gator ade. Plunked myself down at a table out front and sipped the cold, cold water. Then, in a move inspired by Gary the Sadistic Bastard of spin class fame, I poured some of the water on my head. After the initial shock of how cold it was, it felt really good. So I did it again. After taking maybe 30 or so minutes to consolidate my feces, I hopped back on the bike and finished the ride.

Got home right around 3:20. Went to open the side garage door I’d left unlocked (Eric had my keys in the van, but he didn’t know it) and discovered Cindy had probably come home for lunch, saw the door unlocked and re-locked it. No way in. That was a real bummer, because I really had my hopes set on having a nice cold beer. But, as luck would have it, I had no sooner reigned myself to waiting for an hour or more for someone to get home when Eric rounded the corner, home from work on time.

Got to have my icy cold beer (actually a McEwans Scotch Ale) while I would REALLY appreciate it after all. After that, a nice cool shower really hit the spot. For the day – 80.3 miles with 1500 feet of elevation gain (and loss), in 5hours 20 minutes of saddle time. Not as fast as I would have liked, but the wind out of the southwest on the way out combined with the length of the climb – well, it was pretty tough. Still have two days to recover for the big Tour de Cure ride. (Y’all still have a shot at sponsoring too – never too late, never too little. Just go click that link way up there)

Something about Thursdays makes Cindy want to drink. While I was in showering, she snuck in to our closet to get her stash. I made like I didn’t know she had tip toed in. She’d come up earlier, but I was sitting on the bed watching TV waiting for Eric to finish in his shower. (Older house, strains the plumbing to run both showers simultaneously). She seemed rather bothered (and surprised) by my presence.

I quizzed Eric about some missing Pale Ales earlier too. Turns out he’s not a real Pale Ale fan. Besides that – he buys his own beer. I like the darker brews, he likes the lighter summery stuff. Neither of us likes Pales (but they come in the Saranac Adirondak Trail mix 12 pack that has a variety of dark beer too). Hmmmm. That explains Cindy’s condition Sunday. Well, that and the Ginger Ale bottles in the recycle bin. Ginger Ale goes with whiskey. That was also last nights poison – high balls basically. She’s slipping back.

Time for that heart to heart again. She’ll be pissed at me for 3 or 4 days afterwards, but compared to her attitude for the last week or so – it’s no great loss. Besides, I have an appointment with my shrink again next week and I’d like to have that conversation well ahead of the night before my session.


Stopping back in to add - today is my next youngest brothers birthday. The Witness down in Tennessee. He was blessed with one of the odder occurrences ever - on 6/6/66 he turned 6 years old. Any wonder he's a jehoovers witless now?


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old habits - new tricks