Monday, August 22, 2016

#425 Bon Ton Roulet (Let The Good Times Roll!)

This year was the 20th year of the Bon Ton Roulet, so what better time to do my second Bon Ton tour.  This time I traveled with some Indy friends (Steve, Suzie and Syd) and we met up with my Orlando friends (Steve and Deanna). 

We drove most of the way Friday and stopped in Houghton, New York.  Suzie had emailed a church and we got permission to camp on their grounds for free.  We walked to Addie’s Ice Cream and had the best roasted coconut ice cream.  

On the way to Houghton we passed by Jamestown New York, hometown of Lucille Ball. 

Saturday we drove the rest of the way to Cortland, New York and the start of the ride – the Cortland Fairgrounds.  Steve and Deanna flew to Syracuse and got a ride over to meet us.  We spent the evening setting up our tents, eating a chicken dinner and talking about peanut butter tuna balls. 

Sunday was day one of the ride.  We skipped the group start this year and got a head start.  As I stood waiting for Steve and Deanna to finish pumping their tires, a tall man rode up and asked if this was the ride start.  I told him it was the Tall Club meeting.  He had zero reaction so probably just confused him.  Ha! 

Rode 58 miles to Emerson Park in the town of Auburn.  (War Eagle!)  Along the way we ate lunch in the town of Skaneateles.  This is one of my favorite towns.  So pretty and right on Skaneateles Lake.  We also stopped in my favorite store – Rhubarb Kitchen Shop.  At lunch I had a hard time taking my helmet off.  I didn't even notice the hanging plant!  

We stayed at Emerson Park in 2012 (apparently I didn’t blog about this ride.  Whoops!).  The park is right on Owasko Lake.  There is a small swimming area roped off but when I walked to the very end of the area, the water was still only up to my knees.  You could wade out about 100 more feet to the boats.  I finally sat on my bum to get wet. 

Monday we rode 45 miles from Auburn to Geneva and stayed on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  We spent three nights here. Was a hot day when we arrived.  Set up camp and had dinner at the dining hall.  The food here is great!  We had musical entertainment each night out by the tents beginning at 7:30 p.m.  It’s great to watch the sunset and sit in camp chairs talking and listening to music. 

Tuesday was an optional day and we rode a 60-mile loop along Seneca Lake.  This was the toughest day for me.  The rest stop was at 28 miles and I was worn out and super hungry from riding the rolling hills.  I wanted to eat all of this casserole, which looked like some kind of cheese dip.  It was warm and served with tortilla chips.  Sooo good.  I also ate about four chocolate chip cookies and watermelon, among other things.  Then we rode the remaining 30+ miles back.  I was toast.  Back at camp I lay down in the sliver of shade provided by the front of my tent.  I was still wearing my helmet and just watched the clouds for about 10 minutes.  I had no energy to get up. 

One of my tent neighbors, Frank, from Canada, came by and asked if I was ok.  He laughed that if I weighed any more I wouldn’t fit in the shade.  He told me he was going swimming in the indoor pool.  That perked me up!  I managed to roll myself over and get my gear to swim.  Deanna came with me.  I started to not feel well and the pool really helped cool me down and ease my aching muscles.  After dinner and music, it was time for bed around 9 p.m. 

Wednesday started late.  I thought about not riding.  Steve mentioned doing 40 miles.  We then settled on 30 miles.  After breakfast Deanna said Steve didn’t want to ride any longer.  The others had already left (Steve, Suzie, Syd and Beth) so I decided to ride by myself to the first rest stop and backtrack my way back instead of doing the loop.  I wanted to ride next to Seneca Lake as much as possible.  

It turned out to be 36 miles but was a lovely day and really pretty by the lake.  Our rest stop was at Sampson State Park, the site of the former Sampson Naval Training Station, which later became the Sampson Air Force Base.    

I met Steve and Deanna in downtown Geneva for lunch.  They had puttered around and bought me a flowery T-shirt and book from a consignment store (Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed).  Took another dip in the pool before dinner.  The college also has a nice area for stretching that we took full advantage of. 

Thursday we rode 54 miles from Geneva to Aurora and the campus of Wells College, which is located across the road from Cayuga Lake.  Not a bad route.  Except that when we turned into the college the road went straight up like Mt. Tabor at the Hilly Hundred! 

Wells also has an indoor pool.  While swimming I talked to a really nice surgeon who had brought his whole family on the ride.  So cool!  He talked to me about Cycle Adirondacks.  Might add that to my list. 

The Wells dining hall reminded me of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.  Long tables, high ceilings, fireplaces at each end.  Lots of dark wood.  We had a bit of fun in the fireplace as you can see. 

Today I chatted with two tall, older men, both originally from Indiana.  And one was the man I talked to on the first day, telling him he had arrived at the Tall Club meeting.  He told the other tall man what I’d said to him so at least he got my joke. 

On our Wells layover day, Steve, Deanna and I rode about two miles.  Yes, you read that right.  We rode down the street to town to Dorie’s Bakery for coffee (I had a turnover).  We sat on the back porch and had a nice chat with a local couple who had two black labs with them.  Rode back to Wells and swam in the lake for a bit.  We were rule-breakers since we swam with no life guards around.  They did finally show up for duty and asked us not to swim until they were ready.  “Sure!  No problem.”  Hee hee.  Dried off and rode back to Dorrie’s for lunch.  My Indy friends already had a table so joined them.  They did the 60 miles. 

We also stopped at The Village Market, which has beautiful flowers in the window boxes.  I parked my bike next to them and it seemed so familiar to me.  I can’t remember anything anymore, but I had a memory of being there in 2012 with little Linda.  When I got home I looked at my photos and sure enough, I was right! 

My bike in 2016

My and Linda's bike in 2012
The last day we rode 40 miles from Aurora back to Cortland.  Like the 2012 ride, it rained the last day.  Agh!  Got back to Cortland a soggy, gritty mess.  Got our stuff together, showered, and drove straight home, rolling in around 11 p.m.  Suzie called ahead to a pizza place along the way and we picked it up and ate it in the car.   Delicious -and such a great idea! 

Another successful bike trip!  It was especially fun to bring two of my Steves together (I have four bike friends named Steve).  So Greenwood Steve and Florida Steve meet at last.  

I am happy we had a safe drive and ride.  On to the next one!  

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