Ithaca to Sidney

After crewing for RAAM and having a full two weeks off the bike, I was really looking forward to getting out on some long rides. The previous Tuesday I showed up for the evening race, and a group was leaving early for a ride because a storm was closing in quickly. Long story short, it poured, and I hid out in a roadside vegetable stand when I saw that Max had the same idea (he was out riding by himself for the afternoon). I told him my plans to ride to Sidney on the weekend, and he wanted to join in.

My drivetrain on the race bike still concerns me with some noises, although I think I’m over reacting on that, but regardless I opted to take the commuter bike instead. What I didn’t realize was that the thick commuter tires really do add a significant amount of rolling resistance. For short rides around town, that has never mattered, and I like that the thicker tires never have punctures to the tube unlike the race tires.

Being inspired from RAAM, Max and I were flying along at a fast pace for a long day. The most common speed during the first day was 19mph, which was faaast considering that we didn’t draft for a long time. The ride was about 80 miles, completed in just over 5 hours of riding. We got to Garrett’s place, pretty tired and ready to be off the bikes. I originally thought that we might leave early in the morning to reach Marathon, NY in hopes of finding the group ride from Ithaca. After riding, I knew I wouldn’t be up for leaving early and pushing hard to ride the 50 miles there in time, which was a good feeling to know I could rest more.

On Sunday, it was raining hard when we were preparing to leave, so we stayed inside and watched the weather radar as a green blob passed over us. By about 11am, it seemed that the rain was done, and we headed out, this time going north to make a loop instead of just coming back on the same route the whole way. This route starts out with a few more hills, but avoids the peaks of Rt 206.

It started raining just as we were approaching a gas station, so I headed for that to stock up on more food and water and wait out the rain. It passed quickly, and we were off again, only for more rain to come down. We stopped after a mile to wait under a big tree, and the rain passed quickly again.

The rest of the ride went well, still fast but more reasonable for the day. Total time riding was a little over 5 hours again to make it back into Ithaca. I was struggling to drink enough water and stay hydrated in the heat. Maybe next time I’ll take the road bike and see if I can do this any faster on a day that’s not as hot.

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