We arrived yesterday afternoon amidst rain, thunder and lightening. Western New York is quite pretty. Had done “the City” and Long Island, but never ventured farther west. My Mom grew up in New York and said when she was a kid everyone said, “there was nothing west of the Hudson.” Well, we are just west of the Hudson, so we must be in hostile territory. But, it sure is pretty.
We got checked in and talked up a few of the riders and crews. Already making a few new friends and trying to suck information from those who rode two years ago. Lots to be learned. We also ran into Don Cameron from Deming, NM. He saved our bacon when we were riding in Texas a few years back and my bike broke. He got it back to New Mexico for us which was oh so nice. He is crewing for a guy from California.
This morning it was still raining but if finally cleared sufficiently for a practice ride. They had a route set that allowed us to try the route sheets. A different way of navigating.
‘Starting from mile 0, go 2.3 miles and turn at the first stop light. Continue to 4.7 miles and veer left onto route 87 and take an immediate left onto HW6. Proceed to 9.3 (railroad tracks), at the 4th light (mile 12.6) make a left…. ‘
The miles are cumulative so you have to back-set your trip meter if you get off course. The format is a bit different than above, but provides the sense of the info provided.
Beautiful ride although a bit busy for Jim riding and navigating. I also got a copy of the route sheet (hopefully I’ll have a chance to copy each day) so I can try and navigate for him as much as possible. Once we get west, it will be a bit easier as there are fewer roads. But, a mistake could be many more miles. We do have an advantage with two sets of eyes. One of my skills is also navigation.
I’d not realized we were so close to West Point. Just a few miles east and south (on the Hudson River) and we rode through part of their property on our practice run. Learning to wage war in beautiful settings.
Our bike is still not completely happy. We are having lots of trouble pulling the hills. We managed to get down to 15 MPH in 1st gear on one hill—and these are tiny hills compared to the west. But, it hums right along on the flats. The boys continue to make adjustments and I hope they will use this afternoon to iterate until they can get it dialed in. We can do another practice ride tomorrow (or ride on our own if we wish) but it would be better to get it as close as possible as quickly as possible.
I must not forget to mention that today is Marty’s birthday! Happy Birthday Marty!
Tomorrow we’ll take another test ride–we need to get as many miles on the bikes as possible. Cross your fingers that we sort out our power issues. And, an old friend of ours who moved back east many years ago is going to drive up for a visit. It’s been quite a few years since we have seen Rick (who is also a rider and racer). Will be good to see him! In the evening is the opening rubber chicken dinner before an early start on Friday for destinations west. The beginning of the official event.