Mileage – 94 miles
Another long day today, but the good news is that the boss is back on tour and was at sign on this morning to greet everyone with her amazing enthusiasm and smiling face. We have all missed not having Tracy around for the past week or so, she created this adventure for us and things were just not quite the same when she was not here. However, it is a testimony to her fantastic support staff that the tour continued to function flawlessly whilst she was gone and no doubt this involved a lot of extra work going on in the background that was transparent to all the riders.
With just 6 riding days left and then the final run into Boston today was the longest in terms of mileage that was left on tour. It started with a gentle roll out of Hamburg with pleasant, easy going terrain and I cycled a few hundred yards behind Chris for the first few miles, just thinking things over as you do with nothing particular in mind. As my legs warmed up, the adrenalin began to pump again and I sensed that something special was going to happen today. Sure enough, after a few more miles the engine kicked in and I was off, climbing the rolling terrain quite effortlessly and riding with a fast, free flowing cadence along the flatter sections. We hit some steeper hills towards the first SAG at mile 29.6 and I passed the early starters and came into the SAG first. The only issue was that a couple of miles before the SAG a bee or some inspect decided to perch itself on my lip and as I brushed it aside it left its’ mark. The pain was not too bad, just uncomfortable and my lip was swelling quite quickly. At the SAG I received some treatment which eased the pain and left feeling strong and prepared to push hard to the second SAG at mile 67.9.
The hills became more severe but the downhill sections afterwards were really enjoyable, enabling so really fast descents to occur. At mile 51.4 I saw the Crossroads vehicles with Tom and Rick in attendance but didn’t stop and arrived at the 2nd SAG just a few minutes or so in front of Howard who was also pushing hard today. Rick arrived shortly afterwards but didn’t stay long and for the rest of the ride it became my objective to try and catch him. As I reached the outskirts of Canandaigua I saw him in the distance but no matter how hard I tried I just could not close the gap. Rick is the Crossroads mechanic and is an exceptionally strong rider, it would have been nice to have caught him but guess I will leave that for another time!
Just before the hotel I passed Ron but Howard and Lou also came up behind me but turned off to visit the local bike store which meant that I arrived at the hotel first, just a few minutes behind Rick. This had been a great ride, covering the 94 miles at an average speed of 16.55 mph which I was really pleased with. Although not a race and I definitely missed the opportunity to take photographs today there are some days when you just feel good and want to ride as fast and hard as you can and today was one of those days.
Dinner tonight was just across the road from the Holiday Inn Express at Wegman’s which was a buffet style restaurant providing all types of different cuisines. After a hard day I also needed a refreshing beer so Lois purchased a 6 pack and the 3 of us (Mary) sat on the grass outside the hotel until it was nearly dark enjoying the our beer and one another’s company. It was a great end to what had been a great day.