The birthplace of American feminism

Today is one of the days that makes this tour special to me. We are riding 95 miles through beautiful countryside – through forests, along lakeshore, past vineyards. We will end in Seneca Falls, NY, home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and claimed to be the model for Bedford Falls in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

When the route was reviewed last night, the grumbling and plotting began. Via US 20, it is less than 65 miles from Geneseo to Seneca Falls. If your aim is to get to the east coast as quickly as possible, that is the way to go. Then again, if your aim is to get to the east coast as quickly as possible, this is probably the wrong ride for you.

If your aim is for beautiful scenery and exploring the topography, the planned route is perfect. If you measure your day in BFUs (big fun units) this is a good one. (Ed. note: The section above was written before the ride.)

Response from one rider to this discussion: “We’re not really scenery kind of people.”

Rain off and on all night, including at time to pack up. Great way to start the day. I stayed in the tent reading a short story and waited for the rain to stop. It did so long enough to avoid getting any wetter. It rained off and on through the morning. We had a record number of flat tires – at least a dozen, including three for one rider. I had two – one front and one rear. Since I carry only one spare tube I had to patch one on the road. My CO2 inflator failed, so luckily someone was present with a pump to get enough air until the sag wagon came by with a floor pump. The best flat tire I have ever seen follows.

Drill bit through a tire and carbon fiber rim

As Seneca Falls claims to be the model for the fictional Bedford Falls from “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I had to visit the It’s a Wonderful Life bridge.

More importantly, this is the birthplace of the Women’s Movement and the entire town is a National Park to commemorate that. The following photos contain the “Declaration of Sentiments”, the founding document from that first meeting in 1848. You can click on photos to enlarge. I think it is worth a read. It also served as a great counterpoint to the proliferation of Trump and guns yard signs today. (If you’re a student of history, 1848 was a pretty significant year for social movements in Europe as well.)

The ride, after two flats in the first 25 miles, was great. The drizzle stopped and we rode along the shores of the Finger Lakes and through mixed hardwood forests. The ride was punctuated by numerous short, steep climbs of the sort I love. There was one steep descent with numerous warnings to truckers and a warning from our router. It would have been great fun on dry pavement but required extreme caution today. A rider who contemplated the shortcut thanked me mid-ride for steering him this way.

Tomorrow’s ride includes several bonus miles. Instead of going to Oswego, we are headed to Mexico and will be shuttled back to Oswego for dinner. Breakfast the next morning is still a surprise. We’ll be staying at another Jellystone Park campground.