Mileage: 72 miles
Weather: Cloudy & rainy in the low 60s to start. Upper 70s to end. Winds out NE.
Highlights of the day:
Wet. It was definitely wet. The Early Rollers started out around 7:30 but stopped just 4 miles into the ride. We knew it would rain but what wasn’t apparent on the radar or in the forecast was lightning. Fortunately, a Tim Hortons (good fast Canadian coffee place) served as a holding point for all riders. 30 minutes later the rumbling moved on and the riders rolled.
Did I say it was wet? Well, the lightning moved on but not rain. And then to make it really special, there was this 3-mile detour on an unpaved road. Rain + unpaved = a mess. The riders slogged through it without much of an issue but they & their bikes were splattered with mud. The rear wheel does a fine job of spraying whatever you ride through right up your back unless you have a trunk bag or fender to block it. The rain slackened substantially by the SAG stop du jour. Water bottles were used to clean brakes and derailleurs that were caked with muck. I heard talk of riders planning to wear their bike clothes into the shower to rinse most of the mud off before packing for tomorrow’s day-off pilgrimage to the local laundromat. We really haven’t had all that much rain so no complaints will be allowed. Story telling? Fine. Whining? Not so much.
We had lots of tasty baked goods at today’s SAG stop. There were leftovers from the farm stand where nearly everyone purchased fruit and pastries yesterday. We can’t bring fruit into the US from Canada so we were all under strict instructions to finish what was there. It was a tough job but the riders were willing to make the sacrifice. :)
The terrain was mostly flat to mildly rolling through more farmland. That is except for a short section about 10 miles out of Niagara Falls. The road became narrow and twisted & turned through tall trees. It felt a little like being back home in New England. It was a nice change to shift down into the small chain ring and climb.
The end of the ride was capped with amazing views and lot of photos of Niagara Falls. Riders tucked in amongst the throng of tourists for photo ops with Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. They were all wearing their bright AbB or Canada jerseys so they stood out boldly in the crowd. Then it was time to cross the Rainbow Bridge into the US and state of New York. Back in the States, Twist O’ The Mist probably made their weekly nut off of our tour group. It’s an ice cream stand in the shape of an ice cream cone and a favorite of the staff. Not because of it’s shape but because they have 57 different varieties of really good ice cream.