This summer I'll be retracing the last 3 weeks of the Coast to Coast ride in 2002. I had a fantastic time in 2002 and expect the same this year as well. Below are daily collections of my experiences with photos. Hope you enjoy reading the blog. - Brian Cox

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Week 2, Day 5 (Aug 10) Watertown, NY to Star Lake

Last night I woke to the sound of rain hitting my tent. It was about midnight and only lasted 30 minutes. The morning was overcast with a 70% chance of rain. After a very filling breakfast, we were off, leaving about 7:30.

The routing of the ride was excellent riding quite back roads with rolling hills. The rain held off until the 8 mile mark where we pulled into a convenience store / gas station to put on our rain jackets and get plastic bags to protect our cell phones and cameras.

The route was often along Highway 3 today. Highway 3 had a wide paved shoulder that made it possible for 3 bikes to ride abreast. We started our 2 mile rotation, meaning that one bike would take the lead for 2 miles with the other 2 bikes trailing behind it, taking advantage of draft of the first bike. On 2 mile intervals, we would rotate counter-clockwise with the lead bike rotating to the rear and the second bike taking the lead. We rotate for two reasons; one, it's more efficient from the energy stand point and second, it make to ride a bit more interesting.

By 9 AM we had covered 21 miles. We had our eye on a suggested coffee spot called "Bear Claw Bakery and Cafe" in the town of Natural Bridge at the 25 mile mark. We hit the cafe in a light rain at 9:15. The small cafe was swarming with our cycling buddies, we took the last open table and ordered coffee at the counter. Sara, one of the other riders had ordered too many donuts at her table and offered us her extras. The cafe also had cinnamon buns that looked delicious as well. With it continuing to rain outside, we had a second cup of coffee, followed by more donuts. When we couldn't delay any longer, we reluctantly walked outside in the drizzling rain, got back on our bikes and headed to the picnic stop, only 10 miles further.

We took only 30 minutes for the picnic before heading out. By this time, it was pretty obvious that the rain was going to be with us all the way to Star Lake. The climbs to get to Star Lake were still ahead of us. At the 52 mile mark we turned on to Ridge Road. A series of stair-stepping climbs started immediately. Several times we saw the % grade to exceed 14-15%, which is pretty steep. Just when you got to the top of one climb, another appeared. This when on for 10 more miles to the end of the ride. When we were about 2 miles out, the rain started to come down in buckets, as if we weren't soaked enough already.

If the temperature had been cooler, it had been about 68 degrees all day, or if the rain was cold, then it could have been a dreadful day, but got in pretty early, 1:45. Showered up and headed to a nearby lounge for a couple of beer and to watch the Olympics. The US men basketball team were playing a semi-final game.

Tomorrow is a new day. The forecast if calling for more showers in the morning followed by clearing the the afternoon. The destination is Lake Placid.

Happy Trails,

Brian




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