Aug 07

When we get to the top of the hill

by in Week 8

  • Geneseo to Seneca Falls, NY
  • 94.6/3,600.4 miles total
  • 3,950′ of elevation gain
  • Finger Lakes country

What a day today was! It started with a bang and ended with a bang. It was a mere 59 degrees out. It is hard to imagine what a relief it is to be out of the blistering heat we’ve experienced steadily since Wyoming. Even starting the day with a 3 mile climb was not a problem for us. It was so cool out, the climb felt good. It’s a good thing we were happy with the climbs, too. We had them almost all day long.

The thing about the climbs here is that they never seem to end. You crest a rise, then see another going up just beyond. It took almost all day to understand this to the point that we didn’t expect a crest to lead to a descent. Some people call these “stair step climbs”. We went up a lot of stairs today.

Because there are so many climbs, the fields are all much smaller. We don’t see the gigantic rows of corn. There may be a cornfield, but it quickly gives way to a forest or meadow. I think the effect is that the cropland is reduced to a more human scale. It is easier to comprehend and embrace.

We rode alone much of the day today because nobody goes as slow as we do up and as fast as we do on the downs. That was the other great part about today. For every up, there was an equal or greater down. We lost 400′ of absolute elevation! And the downhills today were wonderful. Many were very fast. All too often they ended in a speed zone of a little town with one stop sign followed by another climb. That meant we couldn’t carry any of the downhill momentum into the next climb.

We were happy though. It was fun to have so much variety to the roads. The day heated up steadily and by the afternoon it was in the mid-80s. Fortunately, the afternoon also saw us get a 2 mile downhill that dropped us off at Lake Seneca. From there it was basically flat to the town of Seneca Falls. We saw more vineyards than you can shake a stick at. They were everywhere! We saw the campus where Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman doctor in the US when she was in Geneva, NY. We even saw a Dunkin Donuts! You know I had to stop and get a couple.

When we got in, we found our internet connection was very slow and spotty. We’re hoping we can get this posted so we don’t miss a day. But that brings us to the last bang. Just after dinner, Sheila had another episode of esophageal spasm. This happens to her once every few years and isn’t life-threatening, but is extremely painful. She basically feels like she is having a heart attack. It lasted about 20 minutes and we had one of the doctors on the ride help her. She’s better now and we’re hoping it doesn’t happen again.

I should have mentioned how beautiful the whole Finger Lakes region is. This area is gorgeous. It is great biking. We’ve loved every day here. And we weren’t originally slated to be here, so this is an unexpected treat. And tomorrow we ride across the top of two more of them. YAY!


5 Responses to “When we get to the top of the hill”

  1. From Kathy:

    Geez, poor Sheila! I sure hope that doesn’t happen again (ever). You are now in my former neck of the woods. Finger Lakes. Yep, SO beautiful and lately I’ve been nostalgic to “go home”. Pat and I went back a few years ago, but I think another trip to see family is due. I always wanted to do the Southern Tier Tandem Rally near Elmira, but alas, they are no longer doing it. I think they moved way north and are doing something yearly there. I’ve been planning to check it out. Kathy

    Posted on Aug 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm #
  2. From Gracie:

    Wow, another great day, I thought you would enjoy the countryside by bicycle. And this is a splendid time of year with everything ripening. The landscape can feel so intimate! Hope Sheila’s bout is past and there is smooth riding ahead. More finger lakes, more beauty!

    Posted on Aug 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm #
  3. From denise:

    oh how terrible for sheila! how scary! hope sheila’s okay!

    Posted on Aug 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm #
  4. From Daria:

    First of all….Sheila, hope you are doing better. So scary….my brother and one of my sons both have these spasms.Second….you are very close to my neck of the woods.Seneca Falls….that is where I run the It’s a Wonderful 5k in Dec. Those hills….I am so familiar with them….they all go up but where are the downhills? Keep on pedaling…you are getting close to Lake Placid.I will be there with my son and his girlfriend to cheer on as many riders as we can. Stay healthy, pedal strong and be safe.

    Posted on Aug 8, 2012 at 5:48 am #
  5. From S2Cycle:

    Thanks all for your concern. I’m fine. Once it passes you can’t tell there was a problem. Apparently it’s common among women of a certain age. There’s no known cause although they say very hot and cold foods can trigger it. I was eating a SW bean burger and complaining it was too spicy, so it’s possible that was it. No telling. But fine now. Doubt it will happen again.

    Posted on Aug 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm #