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Day 46
Down to 5 to go

ROUTE:  Liverpool to Little Falls NY DISTANCE:  80 Miles WINDS: SW 5-10  Nice tail push most of the day
WEATHER:  Hot and sunny...89 and humid TERRAIN: A couple of hills, but mostly flatish TOTAL CLIMBING: 1950 feet

DAILY REPORT:  Well, today is another day...hopefully it would be a less "exciting" day than yesterday.  It started with breakfast at 6:00 near the motel and a 6:45 load.  Our plan was to miss the early morning hustle of traffic and get out of town before it got to heavy.  All was well...we're all refocused and looking forward to a great day.  But for the second day in a row, we had a close call with an auto and very close to the motel.  I was about a half mile into the route when I came upon riders standing on the side of the road signaling for me to stop.  Now I'm always stressing to our riders about habit patterns and stopping for stop signs and lights.  Well, today we got an object lesson in reverse...a lady basically rolling through a stop sign and didn't see Derek riding by in time to not make contact with his rear wheel.  Derek did a good job of staying upright but his wheel was damaged.  No one was injured in the least, but it did raise the adrenalin level a bit.  It also validates how important it is for us to stay diligent and continue to stress to our riders to never take their safety for granted and to stay focused at all times.  After a few minutes to change out Derek's wheel with one of our spares, they were back on their way unscathed to enjoy the rest of the riding day.

Our route consisted of 10 miles of urban streets until we cleared Syracuse.  There were many turns on today's route even after we got out into the farmland and from what I understand, several riders got bonus miles because they misinterpreted their route sheets.  After the urban miles, though, it was a great route . . . lots of lonely country roads with a couple of small towns scattered along the way for pitstops.  The road surfaces were excellent most of the day while out in the farmland (some of them were freshly paved...sweet!), and when we got onto Rte 5, we had plenty of shoulder.  The only other busy areas were around Clinton, Utica, and Herkimer on Rte 5, but that just broke up the day.  We passed Onondaga Lake and passed just south of Oneida Lake, but did roll through the town of Oneida.  Also, we paralleled the NY Thruway most of the day along with the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River, which contains locks and is part of the Erie Canal system.

I pretty much spent the rest of the day driving to the front and then back to the rear checking on riders.  Other than getting a little hot, it was a pretty easy day in relation to terrain.  We did have a couple small hills to negotiate which allowed everyone to use some different muscles for a change, but mostly the route was on the flat side.  We'll have one more day of "easy" terrain with just a couple hills thrown in to get them prepared for the last couple days of monster climbs.  Yep...we're nearing the coast, but there's a wall between them and the ocean.  No sweat, they are waiting for the challenge of their "final exam."  I think they will pass from what I've seen lately.

Tonight we are staying in Little Falls which was settled long before the Revolutionary War by both Palatines and Yankees.  It was named from the falls of the Mohawk River at this place and was formed from Fairfield, Herkimer, and German Flats in Feb. 1829.  A noted stage route from Rochester to Albany passed through Little Falls and in 1861, while en route from Springfield IL to Washington to assume the presidency, Abraham Lincoln stopped in Little Falls and gave a few remarks to the gathering from his train coach...and now we are here.

Nearly as soon as we landed in Little Falls, riders bundled up their wash and raced across the street to the Laundromat to get first dibs on the washers and dryers.  Hopefully, this will be the last rush for laundry.  We only have 4 more days to ride...hopefully they have enough riding clothes to finish the ride...we'll see. 

We're staying an an old Best Western right off our route.  The building has a two screen cinema so a few may go see a movie after dinner...at least they'll get a couple hours of sleep to quality entertainment...I think Harry Potter is playing.  They also really treat us right as they sponsored a nice reception in the function room...fruit, wine, and cheese.  Wonder if they could follow us the rest of the way to the Atlantic...probably not, but it was nice to have such a nice social hour.  After that, it was dinner and rap and then rest for another day.  Tomorrow we ride to Troy which includes a lot of bike path around a couple busy urban areas.  We're closing in on our journey's end...tune in tomorrow and see what's up.  See you then. 

DID I REALLY SAY THAT?:

"Yesterday we rode by Savannah NY...home of the famous Potato Festival."
"When is it?"
"It isn't until Sept 21 so we'll miss it."
"Bummer...sounds like a great time in the country."
"Yep, they have all sorts of events...tractor pulls, fall floral contests, potato wrestling, a potato parade, and baby potato judging!"
"Potato wrestling, and parade...Wow...but what's the baby potato judging that all about?"
"Dunno, but it has something to do with 'tater tots.'"
"Sigh."

"Boy, today's ride was like having a 'route canal.'
 

DID I REALLY SEE THAT?

Mike finally found the perfect post ride beverage container...one big enough to quench even his giant thirst.

While farmers work the fields and prepare to bale the hay, we ride on to our goal...the Atlantic or Bust!

Marilyn took a break to contemplate the small wedding chapel in the center of the lake.  "I guess you have to be something special to be married there...like being able to walk on water," She thought.

There's no shortage of neat barns to photograph in this part of the country.

Remember when I was talking about the silos in Minnesota and Wisconsin and how they were a cover for our national defense...well they have them here also.  To all you nay sayers and to all of you who thought I was crazy in my ramblings...check out these two photos!

 I submit proof...they had a training launch while I was riding by!  I rest my case! 

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