Jack and I considered breakfast in Port Ontario but instead rolled a few miles to Pulaski NY and found the Hometown Diner downtown for some good eats. Jack’s Belgian waffle with strawberries smelled especially good. By the way, you say it pull-ask’-eye.
The riding weather was quite great today, starting out about 65F in the morning with only mild breezes. Healthy climbing met us squarely as we ascended away from the lake, and we then enjoyed 50-200 ft rollers over and over. We passed through small villages, Richland, Orwell, Redfield, stopping for drinks or snacks, but otherwise kept up progress due to our mileage needs today. At the 30 mile mark we stopped in Osceola, catching Gary just leaving from the Osceola Outpost, where Jesse soon joined us for lunch. He proprietor warned us of major climbing on our route eastward, but one must always take such advice in context. As I’ve mentioned before, locals often like to “brag” about their geography or weather, or otherwise are not really tuned in to what a cyclist might find difficult.
We did get some healthy slopes out of Osceola, some in the 10 to 12 percent range for a few hundred feet. During one of these climbs I got a “ping!” clink-clink-clink. That’s onomatopoeia for a broken spoke. Very fortunately, it was on the front wheel. I had to remove the tire since the spoke broke below the nipple, and had the repair about half done when Jesse joined me. We used his frame pump because it works better than mine and puts less stress on the valve stem. In any case, I was back up and running again inside 20 minutes.
For some weeks, we’ve been noticing big five-pointed stars on residences. When we ask about them, we only get a vague, “Oh it’s just a decoration.” I think it must be some kind of secret symbol. Today Jack figured it out. It is a sign of invaders from space, infiltrating human civilization, and the star is how they can recognize each other. Afterall, as Jack said, it is in the shape of a star – what more evidence do you need?
We rolled 22 miles in to Boonville through some increasingly beautiful country and a continuation of the rolling hills. A big event was in progress in Boonville, the Woodsman Field Days, or something like that. This is a three day event that celebrates lumberjacks, and has all those cool competitions that you see on TV, chainsaw contest, axe cut races, log rolling, etc. Jack and I considered taking a few hours off to stroll around, but the event looked crowded and the grandstands packed, and so it looked like a bit of a chore to get “plugged in” to it all on short notice. In other words, we decided to continue our ride. Since our intended campsite was remote, we stopped at a pizza and sub shop and each bought a sub to go. When they were ready, each one was about 3 pounds, huge heavy things!
Onward we rolled, up several steep hills out of Boonville on the Moose River Road. These last 22 miles were some of the very best riding of the day. Early evening temperatures were perfect, no breezes. The descending sun cast its orangey glow over things. We rolled through a beautiful flat creek area, stopping to see an old man in hip waders fly fishing. We rolled through another area filled with the aroma of pine trees; the smell of evergreen forests and Christmas trees. Lots of climbing but a fair amount of downhills too and almost no traffic. Ideal riding conditions.
We reached Singing Waters RV Park, our destination for the night, and checked in. The gang, minus Jesse, is already here. Jesse called to say he’d probably stay in Boonville for the night. The park is packed with RVs but we are in a separate area that is fairly nice, and Roger even had a comfy fire going. A few campers are smoking dope around us but at least they seem peaceful about it. One group has got some music going, good music, classic rock from the 70s and 80s.
About 75 miles today for Jack and me, although the team went anywhere from 73 to 85 due to varying routes. Gary’s GPS logged about 3900 feet of climbing today, so we are definitely near or in Adirondacks zone, and, in a few more days, the even steeper mountains of Vermont. It’d be hard to top some of the great riding we’ve done so far, but today’s ride was right up there among the best days. Fantastic weather, great scenery, and beautiful low-traffic roads.