Day 30: Euclid, OH – Erie, PA
Distance: 94 miles
Vertical: 892 feet
Day 31: Erie, PA – Buffalo, NY
Distance: 110 miles
Vertical: 1,299 feet
Day 32: Buffalo, NY – Rochester, NY
Distance: 65 miles
Vertical: 771 feet
With the craziness in the past few days, it’s nearly a miracle that we are on track at the moment. Some of you may know that a few days ago near Bryan, OH I ran over a dead raccoon on the side of the road. I was never the person to do this intentionally and spending every waking moment with Matt and Nigel (which can be aggravating, but also enjoyable) hasn’t changed that. A combination of the lighting, me following a big truck and going maybe slightly over the speed limit culminated in my crushing the body of the poor animal. Not only did it sound awful but I felt pretty awful about it as well.
Anyways that raccoon must have had a titanium frame inside it because it messed up the wheel on Matt’s car significantly. What we thought was just a busted tire turned out to be a busted rim. So not only did we have to pay for a new tire, but we also had to buy a whole new wheel for the car. Oh, and because it’s 4-wheel drive we also had the opportunity (requirement) of getting a whole new set of tires for the car.
Well, when the shop ordered the new wheel for the car, they thought it was a 2010 Subaru Legacy… Matt’s car is a 2005. So after I had signed to get the work done on the car I got the news that the rim they had wasn’t going to work and my options were limited. The correct alloy rim was unavailable and my only other option was to send in the current rim to get repaired which would take a few days. We had anticipated the possibility of me remaining in the Cleveland area for another day but we were told that we would be able to get the car fixed that day, so Matt and Nigel didn’t pack anything for the night. We were in somewhat of a tough fix.
Luck struck and there was a wheel manufacturer not 20 minutes away from the shop. I called them up and although they didn’t have the correct alloy rim they did have a steel rim that would fit the correct sized tire and I could pick it up right away. Long story short, we were able to get the wheel fixed and it actually reduced the total cost!
The whole situation was really stressful for me and so by the time I got to Erie, PA I decided to forgo the cheaper option of looking for a campsite/church to stay in and I just went ahead and bought a motel room on my own dime. I needed a bed to sleep in, I did not want to sleep on the ground. Right as I was getting comfortable in the king sized bed I got a call from Nigel, “Heeeeyyy buddy, you want to come get me? My spoke broke again…” Sweet, dude.
Fast forward to the next day I was back on the saddle. When we started the rotation we always looked forward to our rest days because we were so exhausted after every day of biking. We’ve gotten to the point where 100+ miles doesn’t even phase us and we all would much rather be biking. The rest days just get so boring. Upstate New York and the Northeast overall have been so beautiful that being on the saddle for hours on end is almost easy since you have so much to look at. So I was really happy to be biking again. Not to mention that Nigel and I had an amazing day of biking. The terrain was mostly flat with a few fun hills and we had a nice little breeze the whole day that often found itself pushing us from behind. Although we weren’t on a bicycle path the we were on a bicycle route for nearly 90 of the 110 miles. This meant a massive and comfortable shoulder for us to safely ride on the whole day and also the occasional tailwinds that were created by traffic passing by us. Not to mention we rode along the coast of Lake Erie the entire day and had beautiful vineyards and golf courses next to us! All of that was the recipe for an amazing day of biking. The icing on the cake was when we got to the Windnagle’s house that night in Buffalo and they had a pool. Being the warm, exhausted, outgoing person I am I had no reservations in asking to jump in the pool right away. Day made.
The best part about biking directly to the place we’re staying for the evening is that the morning after we don’t have to drive in the car at all! We woke up early enough this morning to have a great breakfast and get on the road by 10:00. Not that we needed to get on the road too early because today was our shortest day of the ride. 65 miles and we finished in 3:40. It was awesome. We also had the most consistent tailwind of the entire journey and for solid stretches of 10 minutes we would be riding on the flats at 28mph+. Today is also Matt’s 21st birthday which was celebrated with some birthday candles at breakfast and shot-gunning a beer while riding his bike, which was really badass (and Matt doesn’t do too many cool things). To cap it all off Matt got an awesome birthday present! He got to hang out with me! Well that and he got into the University of Washington Computer Science department. Which I guess is even better because now we’re going to study together all the time. In all seriousness though I’m so proud of Matt. He worked his butt off and I don’t know anyone who deserves to be in CS more than him. Happy 21st buddy.
You just might find that you get what you need,