Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day 130, 9/15/10 - Hamburg to Lockport, NY

Just the Basics: Note on Day 130, 9/16/10: We have updated this post!

44 miles, mostly on very busy roads along the outer edge of the Greater Buffalo area, many with inadequate shoulders. Our "urban biking skills" were definitely tested. Our son Hank, who, weather and kids' schedules permitting, commutes by bike in Boston (where we don't even like to drive) says he would rather bike in Boston than in "The Burbs," and we are coming to have the same feeling!

This will be a brief blog - partly because we mostly just biked today, and partly because we are taking a layover day tomorrow and will have more time for blogging then.

We are only about 765 miles from Bar Harbor!!

No Photos Today: Too busy fighting traffic!

Tomorrow: Holding in place at the Comfort Inn in Lockport - rain and thunderstorms predicted all day. YIKES!

For Those Who Want More:

A Confession: As regular readers know, we are following Adventure Cycling's map series for their Northern Tier cross-country bike route. Our current map is #10 of the 11-map series. Although we looked quickly at the entire series as we began planning this trip, we did not read most of them in detail - certainly not Map 10.

BIG MISTAKE: The route takes us into Canada just outside Buffalo, NY. We didn't bring our passports and by the time we realized this would be a problem we were only a few days from needing them. It would have been quite complicated to get them, so we decided to re-route ourselves for a day to avoid Canada and get to a place where we could re-join the route. It means we miss Niagara Falls and, of course, an excursion into Canada, but we will also save about 25 miles. Doing this is one reason we've had some not-so-great riding conditions, as we are essentially riding through the edge of the Greater Buffalo urban area.

Meals: We breakfasted in the motel today and stopped for coffee and pastry in the charming town of Orchard Park, at the Two Sisters Cafe, where we shared a delectable cinnamon roll and a lovely apple Danish. We got to chatting with one of the owners about our ride - as we left she presented each of us with a giant chocolate chip cookie!

We had brought cold pizza left over from last night's dinner for lunch, but stopped at a farm stand to augment our meal - we got two lovely pears, a can of birch beer (like root beer - Becky learned to love it when she lived in Pennsylvania), some veggie chips (which we are saving for later) and a delicious apple turnover. We sat in the farm stand's greenhouse and had a lovely meal.

We took an afternoon break for an apple cider donut and coffee at a Tim Horton's - local fast food. Right now they are selling giant chocolate chip cookies with Happy Faces to benefit a children's hospital fund. = ) = ) The break was not particularly for the snack as much as it was for a chance to get off the road and soothe our rattled nerves - and have access to a restroom.

Dinner was at a Mexican restaurant near our motel - we had a great time using our Spanish and learned that the restaurant is owned and operated entirely by a family from Guanajuato, Mexico. The salsa for the chips was rather mild and Becky asked if they had anything stronger. They did. BIG mistake! Riley had a coughing fit after one chip and a laughing waiter soon showed up with two glasses of ice water, innocently asking if it was spicy enough . . . .

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