Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach
Thank You Katie, Mary, Caitlin and Brian

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fast America Day 28

Warren, OH to Dunkirk, NY

Mileage:                     138.80 miles
Riding Time:              7:50     Riding Speed 17.4 mph
Total Time:                 8:30
Climbing:                    2732 ft.
Flats:                           0

Well, there was no reason for me to worry about 138.8 miles. What a great day! I said good bye to arm warmers, leg warmers, vests, jackets and full fingered gloves. We went due N to Lake Erie; the temperature threatened to get into the 80s,  but then we hugged the Lake Erie coast for 80 miles (NE) and the temperature dropped into the 60s. Not many hills and I maintained 18-20 mph for the entire time (you will note that the speed in the official stats is a little lower; due to navigating through a couple of towns with stop lights, etc.).

We left Ohio (terrible roads), went through NW Pennsylvania (pretty good roads) to NY where the shoulders are wide, debris and pothole free. Dunkirk is SW of Buffalo, not known as a garden city, but May on the shores of Lake Erie is very nice (January is not!).

Bottom line: a beautiful day, wire to wire (I’m in the bar, where I just watched Shakleford win the Preakness wire-to-wire. Thank God I do something safe like riding my bike; that looked pretty scary).

I took my bike to “Mechanics” for the first time tonight. I’m glad I did; I thought that Master Mechanic Jim could fix it up in 2 minutes but:

1.   The front derailleur is marginal. In order to shift onto the large chain ring, I have to overshift and the chain comes off (when it comes off on the outside, you can coax it back on w/o stopping). I’ve been putting up with this for awhile, but the tolerances are incredibly tight and we can see that the derailleur cage has rubbed on the right crank arm. I think that we have it OK until the Atlantic Ocean, but something will have to be replaced after that.

2.   For a few days, I have been aware that something is wrong with my right cleat/pedal engagement. We figured out that the part of the pedal that engages with the cleat has chipped a piece off. Jim is going to figure out if we can take a slight detour tomorrow to find a bike shop in suburban Buffalo to get new pedal(s) (we assume that you cannot buy just one!). I don’t know if I can take a detour on tomorrow’s incredibly difficult 85 mile day. That’s a joke, my motor’s in very good shape. Speaking of detours; several of the riders are mapping out routes to go to Canada and/or see Niagra Falls. They are complaining that tomorrow’s ride is too short.

My bike issues may seem piddling, but they do illustrate the rigors of this trip. Many of the riders have had worse; we’ve replaced two bike frames and several wheels. Make sure that you are prepared for the worst if you try this on your own.

The hotel (Clarion) is on the lake and out of my room I have a view of the marina and an endless expanse of blue. Life is good.

Note: Today was beautiful, but not quite magical: refer back to my comments on Day 26. Day 26 was magic. I’m a muggle, so I cannot conjure magic. If it happens every day, then it isn’t magic. Remember your magic days, and treasure them.

I’m in NY! On to familiar roads through Batavia, Liverpool, Amsterdam and southern VT. I can now count the days on one hand.

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