Day 1 (September 25, 2004) - Trumansburg to Fair Haven
We started the day with a nice continental breakfast at the inn and headed out at 9:20 am. (We are not early birds, as you can tell.) After months of planning and dreaming, we were finally on our way! Barry had told me repeatedly that the first three days of our route, which we had planned in detail in advance using Adventure Cycling maps and Mapquest, were relatively flat. He and his father had toured in this very area fifteen years prior, riding from Ohio to Vermont to meet his mother and me for a Bike Vermont organized inn-to-inn tour, so he had a good idea of what to expect. However, his memory must have grown a bit dim (!!), as we started out from the inn with a long, steep climb, and were already struggling in our easiest granny gears in no time at all. This made me more than a bit nervous, and I wondered what I had gotten myself into! Fortunately, after surmounting the big climb and a few more shorter rollers, the terrain started flattening out, and aided by a tailwind, we began zipping right along, so I breathed easier (literally). Riding right along Cayuga Lake was just gorgeous, even though it was a bit too early for much foliage at this elevation. Every now and then, a bit of color would pop out, though.
We rode through the very peaceful Montezuma Wildlife Refuge and took a couple of photos. Traffic was light, and shoulders on the NY roads were a huge improvement over NC roads, which tend to have no shoulders at all. We also found NY drivers to be nearly uniformly courteous, which we don't always find to be the case in NC. Having nice shoulders to ride on makes a huge difference.
Barry at Montezuma Wildlife Refuge
We came upon the Erie Canal and had to stop for a photo, of course.
As we traveled north of the lake, the terrain became more rolling again. During the afternoon, our pretty morning turned blustery as a cold front charged through, bringing headwinds to tackle. We made a wrong turn at one point, and our cue sheet underestimated the mileage, so we ended up with nearly 70 miles for the day, which was supposed to be just over 61 miles.
We arrived in Fair Haven and located the Whispering Pines Inn, which is a small bed and breakfast in an attractive old house. We had made reservations in advance here for both tonight and for our return trip the following Saturday, since we were nervous about finding places with vacancies on weekends. Turns out that we were touring in the peak fishing season in NY, so the chain motels we'd checked online were all booked on weekends, but as it turns out, we probably didn't need reservations at smaller places after all. The Whispering Pines had a shared bathroom, which I wasn't crazy about, but the owner, Colleen, let us take our bikes into our room, so it was certainly tolerable and Colleen was friendly and helpful.
Emily writing in the day's log
After our showers, we walked around the small town of Fair Haven. It felt great to be off the bikes! The cold front had passed through quickly and the sun was coming out again as sunset neared. We stopped in at a cute gift shop and bought the obligatory Fair Haven fish magnet for our fridge, then we visited the legendary Fly By Night Cookie Co. for a dozen cookies to take with us on our tour. We had read about this place online and in other touring cyclists' logs, so were thrilled to finally pay a visit, especially since we love cookies!
We then walked down the road to the Pleasant Beach restaurant, where Barry had eaten (and stayed, as it used to be an inn as well) with his Dad on their tour. We decided to postpone eating here until the following Saturday but did wander out onto the dock there on Fair Haven Bay and ran into a sailor on his boat. He was meeting his wife for dinner at the restaurant and was a very friendly guy, even invited us onto his 26' boat for a tour when we expressed our newfound interest in sailing. Barry just happened to be wearing his Mackinac Island t-shirt with a sailboat picture on it!
We ate a huge pizza at Guiseppe's, recommended by Colleen for dinner. It really hit the spot! We followed that with a couple of our cookies for dessert. Mmmmm!
Day 1 Stats
Distance: 69.5 miles On-bike time: 5 hr, 8 min Avg. speed: 13.4 (E), 13.5 (B) Weather: mid-60s to mid-70s, variably cloudy to overcast, 10-20 mph winds w/gusts to 25 mph late