Sunday, September 21, 2008

Finger Lake Tour

I hope he doesn’t point right I thought as we climbed the hill at mile 69. The right turn looked like a steep hill. Trin and I parked yesterday morning near Watkins Glen. He carried the cue sheet and navigated. I followed along and enjoyed the scenery as we rode up along the east side of Seneca Lake to camp at the top in Waterloo. It was a gorgeous day with beautiful views the entire way.We started this morning with a nice pancake breakfast donned our jackets and headed for the west side of Seneca Lake down to the Keuka Outlet trail. The Keuka outlet trail is a beautiful single track along the outlet connecting Kauka Lake to Seneca Lake.

Keauka Lake is shaped like a snake’s tongue. When we reached it we followed the bluff (the land mass between the fork) along the lakeside. There was very little traffic, the trees provided shade, and the view of the lake was prominent. At the bottom of the bluff – where the lake forks we encountered our first large climb of the day. In a little over half a mile we gained 200 ft elevation. The benefit was a gradual coast almost the entire way back out of the bluff to the top of the West fork.

Next we turned south again to follow the outer west side of the lake down to Hammondsport. It was at Hammondsport when we cut east back to Watkins glen that we encountered our largest hills of the ride. Yes, he signaled right. The first hill at the tip of Kauka bluff looked small in comparison. Each time I thought we were almost to the top it was just a turn in the road, a turn that took us higher, 500 feet higher in one and a half miles. The view was beautiful from the top. The next 17 miles would take us up and down in elevation. At mile 80 the road again seemed to stretch to heaven, our legs felt like they were in hell and our pace had slowed to the point where a snail could fly by. We stopped at the top out of exhaustion. We both drank all our water and ate the rest of our food as we gazed at the sunset reflecting off the lakes way off in a distance down on the valley floor. We still had six miles to go and it was getting dark. If the hills continued like this it could be very dark by the time we reached our car.
We hopped back on our bikes feeling refreshed. The rest of the hills didn’t seem so bad. The last three and half miles were all descent. The wind was cold as we coasted between 30 and 40 mph, but we reached Watkins Glen just after dusk. The once totaled maxima gleamed under the Wal-Mart parking light – what a beautiful sight.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cake on a bike blog? I need a goal!

Trin and I reached our summer biking goal and haven't ridden since. Instead I've been working 14 hr days and spending time on other hobbies like this baby shower cake.

We decided today that we needed another goal to give us that extra ump to get us out the door doing something. A number of times we got out and rode just because we needed to rack up some miles. Almost every time, once we were on the road we loved it. It turned out to be a great summer.

A few of us at the lunch table decided we would have a walking/ running contest. Whoever books the most mileage by the end of each month wins. This should help get me off my butt since I love competition.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Steroid Happy!

My rotator cuff has been bothering me since the mishap on Mt Washburn. So today my doctor gave my shoulder a steroid shot. I've never had any type of steroid before. I wasn't aware of any of the side effects (except big muscles).

I got back to work and just started smiling. I wanted to skip - and on a Monday! Since normally Monday's are just so so I found this odd. So I googled "steroid happy" and found that steroid users are often happy while using.

I hope to not need another shot for a very long time - never would be fine with me, but I might as well enjoy this one.

These are the things that crossed my mind on the way back to work, my favorite things.
  • A good downhill tuck
  • Trinity singing in the shower
  • Starting down a technical hill scared shitless, realizing I could make it halfway down, and whooping at the end if I'm still on the bike with no injuries
  • Exploring nature on a bike far from civilization
  • Finding a way to cut the time of a process in half
  • Drinking with my friends
  • Finding new features in Excel - actually anything in Excel
  • New cool widgets get me excited
  • Talking to my sister
  • Saturday mornings
  • Seeing new places
Oh so many more things. Next Monday when I have a normal humdrum Monday I'll read this again. Maybe it will bring the smile back.