Scott dubbed today a 4H day – we were hit with Hills, Heat, Humidity and Headwinds to slow us down. We got up early (5:30 am) and packed up quickly. We left by 6:45 am. We were hoping the early start would allow us to put some miles behind us before the heat and humidity got to us. What we didn’t expect were the hills. The approach to Oswego yesterday was an introduction to the hills. We didn’t know that they would continue for another 30 km afterwards. We pushed on until shortly before 1 pm, (4 hrs 18 mins ride time, 59 km), at which point we found a BBQ café with air conditioning ordered lunch, relaxed and cooled down.
As we were cycling through the heat of the day, I was thinking of all the people back home out in the heat too. This is the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, and I was especially thinking of Johane and all the other people walking 60km in this heat! Good luck! It’s also the weekend of the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour – I hope everyone packed a lot of water and gatorade-equivalent.
Joyce’s BBQ is a great little restaurant in Alton, NY with an attached fruit stand. Joyce is a lovely lady who serves great BBQ ribs! She was kind enough to let us stay and relax in her air conditioning for two hours in the heat of the day before we pressed onward.
With each hill, I’ve been playing with different techniques for climbing. I find with the hub that I change gears more often. I think this is because each gear is unique (and an equal step), so I have more confidence in what will happen when I turn the shifter. This allows me to keep spinning up a portion of the hill. Then, when the bike slows too much (or pedaling is too hard), I gear all the way down (sometimes only to 3, but if the hill is steep down to 1). When in the lower gear, I can either push up the hill (this uses mostly the power of my quads and glutes), or I can spin circles (this engages portions of my lower legs as well). I usually push as much as possible and when that gets too tiring, I change to spin circles. If I want to push with a lot of power (similar to standing on your pedals on a regular bike), I lean against the back rest, lift my glutes slightly off the seat and push will all my strength. This engages my abs as well.
In the end, we decided that we were not going to make it to Rochester. Instead, we camped at Hughes Campground and Marina near Williamson. (Thanks to Tim for the recommendation!) We arrived at around 5 pm. It was hot up at the road, but much cooler at the campground. The campground mostly catered to RVs and permanent campers, and the tent site was just a spot in a field with a couple of picnic tables and a fire pit. They had showers which is all I really needed at the end of the day.
One warning to anyone cycling that direction, they do not have a campstore, and there is no place to buy anything in the area. We were lucky that I had picked up the essentials after lunch in Sodus Point when we realized we were not going to make to Rochester. The last 10 km of my ride, I was focused on the ice cream I was going to have upon arrival at the campground. Unfortunately, with no campstore, that meant no icecream (or orange juice for breakfast) 🙁 …
We met a few nice people at the campsite. A local from Williamson, Steven, who spends a week every year camping at Hughes, and a couple from Holland (Frank and Toos) who were nearing the end of a five week vacation driving around the Eastern Provinces and States in a rental RV.
Frank and Toos have done a lot of travelling, and have friends currently cycling in South China, so it was very interesting to get ideas from them. They also live fairly close to Zwolle in rural Holland, which is where we were for Neil and Theresa’s wedding a few years ago. Small world!