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Bike Trip Report — FLCC Finger Lakes Weekend #1

IMG_3684Thunderstorms, wind, and dropping temperatures couldn’t stop our group of 10 from having a really fun weekend of bike touring, with a loop tour of about 110 miles in the Finger Lakes.  This was a mostly self-contained tour, where we carried our camping gear and supplies on our bikes, but in addition, Diana Ozolins joined us with her vehicle to graciously carry a few additional items.

Checking the forecast on Friday morning, it called for thunderstorms after 4 pm, precisely our group meeting time in the parking lot of the Cayuga Mall in Ithaca.  Fortunately, the storms held off until later, so first we enjoyed a very sweet tailwind that pushed us to the campground at Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia.  In fact, the bad weather held off until we had finished a great campsite dinner, prepared by Diana.  Overnight there was a deluge of water which nearly brought down our canopy, and splashed up mud onto our tents.  Pretty sloppy in the campground on Saturday morning, although we managed to sit out almost all of the rain from the inside of a nearby diner (The Gathering in Moravia).

The ride up the east side of Owasco lake was uneventful, except for one flat, due to the grit on the wet roads.  From Auburn we turned west toward Cayuga Lake, and to the tiny town of Cayuga, where the local firehouse provided a very welcome restroom for one of us (me!).  Note to self: do not buy prepared sandwiches from convenience stores without first verifying expiration date.

Crossing over the top of Cayuga Lake on busy Rts 5 & 20 brought us quickly into the city of Seneca Falls, where we enjoyed a late lunch at a pub on Falls St, near the Erie Canal.  From Seneca Falls it was just a few miles to Cayuga Lake State Park and the luxury of a campsite with electric, so we could charge up our electronic companions near our tents, without having to hangout in the restrooms.  We splurged for dinner, and ate at the nearby Deerhead Inn, with nice views of Cayuga Lake.

IMG_3686Very early Sunday morning brought a change in the weather, with a stiff westerly wind, and temperatures dropping into the 40s.  We quickly packed up our gear and headed over to Wolffy’s restaurant for a warm breakfast, and then pointed our bikes southward toward Ithaca, and were buffeted by a stiff crosswind.  Following Rt 89 we regrouped at the Cayuga Creamery near Interlaken for some snacks, and then rode the final leg back to Ithaca, with our group splitting in various directions to ride directly to home or back to our cars parked at the start at the Cayuga Mall.

A fun weekend, that introduced bike camping and touring to a handful of new FLCC members along with some veterans.  The participants included: Jim Conroy, Mike Ebbers, Joe Kreitinger, Alexey Loginov, Andrejs Ozolins, Diana Ozolins, Steven Powell, Ed Sawester, Jenn Sheehan, and Wendy Sthokal.

If this type of bike touring sounds fun to you, then join us on June 15-16, for a FLCC weekend adventure to Greenwood Park.  Just drop me an email if you are interested.  Also, on June 10-12, The Southern Tier Bicycle Club has a great weekend of camping and bike touring from Watkins Glen — see http://www.southerntierbicycleclub.org/fingerlakestour.html for details.

–Steve Powell
<sp35@cornell.edu>

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