Day 9 (October 3, 2004) - Fair Haven to Trumansburg
Today reversed our day 1 route; however, the wind did not reverse, so we got to do it with a headwind most of the way instead of a tailwind! It was slightly shorter, though, because we made no mistakes and did not take a detour to find a store as we'd done on day 1.
After breakfast, packing up, and saying our goodbyes to our most hospitable hostess, Colleen, we hit the road in fairly chilly (but sunny!) weather at 8:30 am. After a few tough climbs on the way out of town, the road leveled out some, and we finally got to experience "flat" parts of NY state and riding together again without Barry getting ahead of me on the climbs. Today was really a delightful day of cycling; it's amazing the difference that pleasant weather makes - and fewer "granny gear" climbs too!
At last we saw beautiful Cayuga Lake again, and it started to feel like we were really going to finish this tour! There were a few more climbs as we drew closer to the Taughannock Farms Inn, but these were followed by a long (3/4 mile) descent to the inn entrance (this was the same hill we faced early on day 1 - in reverse!) The short, steep climb of the inn driveway could not dampen our spirits as we had finally completed our nine-day tour!
Barry's parents rolled in a few minutes later, and we spent awhile unloading our panniers and dismantling/folding our Bike Fridays and putting them back into their cases. We checked into our stunning lake-view inn room and had a delicious dinner with Barry's parents in the restaurant. A wonderful ending to our tour indeed!
The Bike Friday Pocket Crusoes performed extremely well with no mechanical problems to speak of. We even both went for the full nine days without a single flat! We can't say enough good things about the Arkel panniers either; they were incredibly convenient and user-friendly, not to mention hard-working and rugged. We highly recommend them - and the rain covers! We did very well with our packing lists and really didn't forget anything. There were a few things we took that we probably could have lived without, like my heavier Gore-tex jacket, which I only wore for a few hours total, but overall, our preparations were quite successful.
We couldn't weigh in immediately following our tour since there are no scales at inns, but we feel that we lost no more than a pound or two thanks to ample snacking while riding and huge meals at night (plus some days, big breakfasts). We quickly made up any lost weight in the next few days of delicious restaurant meals and walking but not cycling for hours.
The bike tour was a challenging experience with many highs and lows. We rode approximately 566 miles in 9 days (that's about a metric century - 100K or nearly 63 miles - per day on average). There were times when I never wanted it to end, and other times when I wanted nothing more than to be off the bike (mostly at the end of a long day or in the rain). The beautiful scenery we were privileged to see and the friendly people we met along the way as well as the excitement of arriving at our destination each day, knowing that we had done it completely ourselves, was incredibly rewarding for both of us. We are both looking forward to future touring adventures after such a good trip to beautiful upstate New York.