Bike, do yer stuff

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know my mind wanders when I ride and songs play into that wandering. Sometimes the overall message of the song is not what sticks for me, but some small part.

In this case, the message (with a slight alteration of the lyric) is in a portion of the chorus. It’s a breakup song, but that’s not what I hear in it:
C’mon bike, take me for a ride.
Send my thoughts a flyin’ high
And let my brain unwind. (Adapted from lyrics by Bill Kirchen)

Why do I ride? That’s one of the answers.

I woke up (according to someone in a nearby tent) at 4:00 AM to the sound of a garbage truck coming to empty a dumpster. I fell back to sleep and was awakened by another truck emptying another dumpster. “That’s reasonable”, I thought; one for trash and one for recycling. After drifting off again, a third truck came to empty the third dumpster. I had no answer for that one, but hoped that no one had leaned their bike against a dumpster last night, or it might now be crushed under said dumpster. It was 47 degrees (8 C).

I woke up again at 6 to the sound of someone dragging their luggage to the trailer – loading the trailer was to start at 6:45, so I slept in. When I got out of the tent, I noted few tents still standing. I went to unlock my bike and found a flat tire. That kicked me into high gear to pack up the tent ASAP so I could change the tire. (And arriving in camp tonight, I realized that this disruption in the morning routine resulted in my leaving the lock and cable threaded through the chain link fence. I do have another, less secure lock.)

The tire was old. The tube was previously patched and had a very slow leak but got me through the days. I was planning to replace both this weekend in Lake Placid. I got my gear to the trailer at 6:48 – three minutes after the theoretical beginning of loading. I was the last to load.

I replaced the tire and tube, which gave me renewed confidence for the day. I was the last person to leave breakfast but passed a couple dozen people before the first water stop so now I felt like one of the gang. Picnic was at 36 miles and there was a good crowd when I arrived.

I headed out with another rider and we rode together for the “afternoon” – I use the term loosely, as the afternoon was from 10:30 to 12:30 or so. We were headed for the Adirondacks, as the weekend will be in Lake Placid.

Oswegatchie River

We rode along the Oswegatchie River and then to the Oswegatchie Trail. Four years ago I expected that to be a rail trail, thus relatively flat. This time I knew that it is mostly uphill with a couple of steep pitches. Someone told me it was 14%. I just said it was fun.

The terrain looks like the north woods of Wisconsin, with tall pines and a chill in the air. Fall is just around the corner. In Ontario I saw a maple tree turning red and sumac already red. The forecast low for tonight is 45 degrees. Tomorrow’s high in Lake Placid is to be in the 60s, and the low 41 (5 C).

We arrived at the school in Star Lake with no sign of the van so continued down the road to see what we could see. We found a bit of town and the usual suspects stopped at a convenience store for pop and chocolate milk. I continued on to see what else there was and found a delightful little coffee shop called “Coffee Fever”. The cool kids were there drinking coffee and eating massive cinnamon rolls that required a knife and fork. I had a cortado and cinnamon roll. The barista didn’t know what a cortado was but it was a credible representation and served in a china cup and not paper, so she earned extra points.

Star Lake

Dinner is in a nearby hotel, as is breakfast tomorrow.