Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tour of the Highlands : Part 2

140 Miles  
8000 Ft Climbing  
10 hours saddle time

In two weeks time is yet another edition of one of the toughest rides in the country - the "Highlander Death Before Dismount" Double Metric. 125 miles long in the beautiful Finger Lakes region, with over 10,000 feet of climbing in 16 major climbs, it will surely challenge any rider.

Preparation and judgment are keys to riding an extreme event like this. My own preparation has so far been limited to perhaps half the roads in DB4D, on the western side of the map. Following is a look at some of the roads I had managed to survey yesterday.  Let this be a sequel to my exploration last year of the same area.

It was a difficult day on the bike - all alone, with temperatures in its 90's. But the sunlit landscapes I passed on the bike managed to neutralize the heat. Overall, it turned out to be an extremely pleasant experience for both sight and smell and sounds. One of the highlights of the day was that I managed to talk to a young Amish country guy, whom I asked for directions after I overshot one of the roads I was required to take by 5 miles. He had the most pleasant smile on his face as he stacked stock for his animals into a tractor. He also carried this peculiar accent, something almost out of this world.  It was like he came straight out of these classic movies you see...

Enjoy these pics, all of them taken from the bike - an artform I call ciclofotografics! Do come ride in the Finger Lakes area! Its a bit different, I can tell you that much.

Route 96

High Street

Town of Victor, NY

Route 444 to village of Bloomsfield

 Route 64 to Bristol Springs

Montanye Road

Descent on Deuel Road to western side of Lake Canandaigua, fourth largest of the Finger Lakes

Seneca Point Road to Bopple Hill

Bopple Hill Road - 1 mile at 11% average gradient (will be chip-sealed on Monday 30th August)

The familiar cemetery greets you at the peak

View to the eastern side of the Lake

Bills Road to Stid Hill , 1 mile at 13.4% grade

Summit of Stid Hill in Ontario NY at 2100 feet

West Gannett Hill Road - 1.35 miles at 11% grade

Clement Road

Gulick Road

Highlander Staff member Ken lays down the road signs for the event in 2 weeks. He has traveled many places in the world and was an interesting man to talk to! He offered me a bottle of gatorade or something like that from his car and wish me a good journey.

Eelpot Road

Strong Hill to Blodgett Road

Mattoon Road, after Route 53

An Amish lady is busy with her work at the farm

Descent into the rural town of Prattsburgh, NY

This ends the Highlander route. I catch a diversion - Italy Hill Road heading north.

I pass the towns of Italy and Rushville NY

Descent along Co. Rd 1 onto the eastern side of Lake Canandaigua

This is definitely a first, having explored both the eastern and western sides of the Lake

Leaving the town of Canandaigua

Homebound on the 332

Homebound on the local bike path in Rochester. It is dusk here. This ends 10 hours of cycling.

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