We got out of Cicero just before the Memorial Day parade would have closed our route. Police redirected cars but let us go through. We must have looked like an advance part of the parade, what with our lights flashing and flag flying. We got waves and scattered cheers.
It was a fine day: hot sun, cool air, and a fresh breeze. Less than ideal for bicycling. We checked weather reports periodically. The headwind ranged from 12-17 mph. It was hard work for Jeffrey. Long stretches of rough pavement, and some long steep grades on hills created by the same glaciers that scraped much of the area flat, made it tough. But when you cycle, you take the world as you find it.
We passed a big beer plant, and lots of farms, and went through small towns that once were rich if the architecture means anything, but now look poor, with some exceptions such as you see below.
We meet and talk with so many people, we can’t share every story. Today a few stood out. We stopped in Woolcott to admire a waterfall and met Jan, who winters in Florida and summers by Lake Ontario. She invited us to stay with her and her husband. If our time were our own, we would have accepted – Jeffrey had biked enough for the day – but we have promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep, so we declined. She offered to rescue us if we get stuck. After she made these kind offers, Jan and Jeffrey learned that Jan’s husband had grown up in Jeffrey’s native village! Jan is sympathetic to refugees and understands their need for free counsel. A kindred spirit!
Down the road a piece, we stopped for some ice cream and lemonade. We met our first fellow cross-country cyclist, Michael, a software expert from Australia who now lives in Oregon. We don’t know much else about Michael but that he supports the Southern Poverty Law Center and single-payer medical insurance and is sympathetic to asylum applicants, which tells us that he has a conscience and a good heart, which is a lot to know. Michael is en route from Maine to Oregon. We played leap-frog on the road, Michael overtaking us on uphills and rough pavement, we and our trike overtaking Michael on downhills and smooth pavement. Each machine and rider has advantages and disadvantages.
Justin was born and raised in Sodus, NY. He’s a good fellow, a BMX cyclist who helps look after his widowed grandmother. Justin told Jeffrey that crude local people often toss bottles and cigarette butts at pedestrians and cyclists. This made Jeffrey feel less singled out; today someone pitched an empty bottle at us from a car speeding by at about 50 mph. The projectile missed. It was the only time this has happened to Jeffrey in his many years and thousands of miles cycling on America’s roads. It feels better to know that we weren’t necessarily a real target. More likely we were a target of opportunity.
After hours more on the road, we passed some wind turbines, still despite the 17 mph wind.
And then . . . at sunset . . . Lake Ontario, the smallest of the Great Lakes, at 7,340 square miles (18,960 square km), yet still the 14th largest lake in the world! If states could float, it would float Hawaii, Connecticut, Delaware or Rhode Island. And there it sits. Amazing! Below you see a harbor and beyond it, the horizon is only fresh water, with no land in sight. Perhaps in daylight we can give you another look.
We are staying with one of Jeffrey’s friends from his native village who lives with her family in Webster, a suburb of Rochester, NY. Tomorrow we continue west.