Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A New York state of mind

Day 39. Niagara Falls to Henrietta New York. Today had as ideal conditions for riding as I've seen this trip. At least ideal in my opinion. But more on that later. There were another couple of milestones to cross today.

First I rode my bike across the border to the US and the state of New York around 6AM today. The rest of the ABB riders had stayed on the US side of the border the last 2 nights, but I stayed on the Canadian side with the kids and my Duchess. My Duchess drove my bags over the border early this morning and then she went back to Canada.

Before I go on, what can I say about my Duchess? She brings my Mom and Dad to see me in London and spends the day last Thursday driving my parents back and forth and all over the London area so they could get a sense for the ABB ride. Then she drives home, does my laundry, schleps back to Brantford to give it to me, and drops off home made biscotti for me and the other riders. Then she arranges dinner in Brantford with her Mom and Gordie, gets a whole stack of party sandwiches to the ABB staff for the SAG to Niagara Falls the next day, and schleps there as well. Then she organizes a dinner with family and friends and makes sure my daughters come to spend time with me.

Is she the best Duchess or what? St. Duchess – that's what she should be called. She sure is a saint for putting up with me. All the riders in the group wanted to thank The Duchess for bringing the snacks, and they all agreed that I shouldn't make fun of The Duchess for buying the party sandwiches and teasing the Duchess about how they weren't homemade. I don't get it...everyone is always on her side...hmmmm...I wonder why...

Back to today's ride. It was cool crossing the Rainbow Bridge to the border this morning by myself at dawn. I've driven over that bridge in a car dozens of times, but today, crossing under my own power after having ridden from the Pacific Ocean, well let's just say that was very special. Up to this point, I have experienced a couple of moments of quiet self-satisfaction at what we've accomplished to get here. I usually guard myself against them because we haven't made it all the way yet. But today, looking at the majestic Falls in the early morning light, I let myself enjoy the border crossing moment. Imagine enjoying crossing the border. I must be nuts. I'll think about this moment every time I'm stuck in traffic on the Rainbow Bridge in the future.
Here's video of me crossing the border very early this morning:

So, another country (Canada) conquered on this ride. The other milestone was entering our 9th state/province – the Empire State, New York.

After I crossed the border, I met up with the ABB riders and went to Denny's for a breakfast of pancakes, fruit, and yogurt. Then Joe and I hit the road early and found near-perfect riding conditions. The roads were good quality, the traffic was light, the weather was warm, there was a bit of cloud cover, and we had a nice tailwind. I never (ever!) thought 85 miles could pass so quickly, but today they did. Here's video of me goofing around as I was riding with Joe (at the end of the video):

The scenery was nice (check out the beautiful sod farm Joe and I found) and based on my knowledge of upstate NY, will get even nicer as we move East towards New England. We have 500 or so miles left until we hit the Atlantic and 6 days to cover them. But right now, after a near perfect day of riding, I'm just in a New York state of mind.

FYI – the DQ Blizzard, milk shake, and Snickers count is static today:

11 Snickers
14 Blizzards
6 milk shakes

Now on to today's mail:

Carrie from Toronto writes: "Wish I could have come last night to see you Uncle Mark :(

But a dog that I promise won't ever chase you down on a bike needed my attention!!!
Good luck on the last week of riding and I'll for sure see you when you're back."
Sorry you couldn't be there Carrie. I hope you're feeling better after your car accident and I'll see you next week (at least you get a new car...).

Erin from Toronto writes: "Great seeing you last night and I was totally thrilled with my winnings!
Kick butt this last leg and I look forward to seeing you back in T.O."
At least I got to see one of my nieces! Thanks so much for coming. It was great to see you, and believe me, you left the craps table at just the right time.

Gayla Lipson said...

Gayla from Toronto writes: "Mark should stop being mean to Susan. It's thoughtful that she even brings sandwiches. It doesn't matter who made them!!" Honestly now, if I'm not bugging Susan, who's going to do it? If you want to bug someone the right way, sometimes you just have to do it yourself. Thanks for sticking up for her though. I'll make sure she shares all her homemade lunches with you next ski season at Alpine.

Here are my Garmin stats for the day:

This is Joe's blog:


Trip journal and photos by our tour leader Mike Munk:


This link is Jeff's blog:


This link is Baltimore Mark's blog:


And this is Katie's blog:


1 comment:

  1. Hey Mark. See you at the finish line. I'll be in Maine on the 9th and am looking forward to seeing you hop off your bike for the last time (for a long time, I would guess!). Please remind my cousin and your Duchess to pass on the details of your final destination.



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