Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach
Thank You Katie, Mary, Caitlin and Brian

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

23 May 2011 Fast America Day 30

Batavia, NY to Liverpool, NY

Mileage:                     122.07 miles
Riding Time:              8:07     Riding Speed 15.0 mph
Total Time:                 8:45
Climbing:                    4011 ft.
Flats:                           1

I had a wonderful dinner with Jini and Verne last night.

I am writing words in the blog today that I hoped I would not have to write. We had a serious accident on the road today. My siblings on the road know me as “Big Chris”. “Little Chris” is Chris Cullum, from San Diego. Little Chris is usually the first one finished with the day. He rides solo, and very competently, and we do not know him well since he gets dinner from Subway and eats in his room every night. This morning, I was the first one out of the gate, and the first person to pass me was Chris. Three or four others had passed me when I arrived in the town of Avon at about mile 23.

At that point, a road with a Yield sign merges from the right. My understanding (which comes from Ed, who was about 50 yards behind Chris at the time) is that a car came through the Yield and hit Chris head on. When Ed got there Chris was up and walking about, but his helmet and his bike are totaled, and his face was bloodied. The second driver on the scene was Mike, in our support van, and I understand that the driver who hit Chris kept saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t see him”.

Bottom Line: Chris spent the day in the hospital in Rochester, NY having a battery of tests. As far as we know, there are no long term injuries, and he wants to finish the ride. As I write this, an ABB person is picking him up at the hospital, and also picking up his new bike.

Moral of this story: I feel an obligation to anyone who reads this to preach safety. Since I was not there when Chris’ accident occurred, I cannot have any comment on it specifically. But please, when you enter an intersection, negotiate with the other driver(s) by trying to make eye contact. I am sure that the driver who hit Chris is extremely remorseful (she was very distraught as I passed her). But there is also the a_____e that deliberately pulled in front of me at the last instant a couple of days ago with the epithet “This is a road, not a bike path”. He probably thinks that he won because he put me in my place. But I slowed down (cursing him all the while) and let him win. Please pick your victories.

The rest of the day: I was on home territory today, as most of the route was on US 20/NY 5 which is the road that I took every weekend the semester that I worked in Buffalo while attending Cornell University. I don’t think that anything has changed in 40 years. The route skirts beautiful Seneca Lake in Geneva and we had lunch in historic Seneca Falls (cradle of the women’s suffrage movement). After lunch we took off towards Syracuse, through a beautiful park along the Erie Canal, and then along the shore of Onondaga Lake where we shared a bike path with lots of in line skaters. I even slowed down to enjoy the scenary.

One more day before tackling the Green Mountains of VT and the White Mountains of NH. One thing that I have learned counting down the final miles of the last 30 days is that there is always a motel at the end and not to get too impatient; 8 hours in the saddle is a long time.

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