Erie, PA to Hamburg, NY

80.68 miles

Leaving the hotel the clouds looked ok so I left my waterproof jacket off. After half a mile I stopped to put my jacket on. In doing so I lost the group and thought I was on my own again destined to play catch up for an hour or two. Navi (the youngest member of the group) pulled up alongside and so we headed off together through town. I hadn’t really ridden with Navi much before so it was fun riding and chatting with someone different for a change. I also think we both had the same idea which was to relax and not rush today. It was not going to be a difficult ride and so why waste energy before tomorrow when we have 90+ miles and another 4,000+ ft of climbing to do. So we chatted and just rolled along the banks of Lake Erie until we came to the New York State line. Pictures taken we headed off again now with Ken alongside.

After about 30 miles we entered the town of Barcelona. No we have not crossed the Atlantic and entered the Mediterranean city of Barcelona, we were still in NY state at a small village/town with the same name. After buying some drinks at a small shop I saw Barry zip passed as I sat drinking my Starbucks Vanilla triple shot outside. Next to the shop was an old Lighthouse which as I found out later was the very first natural gas lighthouse in the USA. Picture taken it was time to go on again through mainly vineyards at this point.

Another 20 miles of gently rolling hills and we had are only SAG of the day. The usual quick filling of bottles, snack and back out again left me riding alone which was fine by now. I was riding maybe 2mph slower than normal which suited the day for me really. When we got to Portland I couldn’t understand the sign here. As I read it it said, ‘ Town of Portland”, “Hometown of Marmaduke & Brad Anderson”. I couldn’t understand why a town would put up a sign just to tell you that Mr and Mrs Anderson lived there. Terry did put me right later by telling me that Marmaduke was not actually Brad’s wife but a cartoon Great Dane Dog character created by Mr Anderson, which now made far more sense of the sign.

One last bit of Americana on the route today was a store that had a lot of statues and garden ornaments for sale. One in particular caught my eye as it was so big and I think looks like it is from a diner or fast food stop from the past. I thought how much fun it would be to go in and buy it. However common sense returned as I thought the 5 minutes it would be funny would not warrant the idea of cost, shipping bla bla, what were you thinking, obviously far too bored by now of route 5.

Turning onto route 20 made me think of the great football (soccer) cliche, ‘It was a game of two halves’. Today was definitely a ride of two halves. Route 5 was a rolling road through mainly green trees, vineyards and nice homes. Route 20 was a busy road with mainly Gas stations, Vapor stores and Native American stores selling discount cigarettes. With 10 miles to go I found a gas station (no surprise there) and got another drink. Here I met Mark from the UK or as we know him ‘Captain Century’. We rode together for the rest of the way in and chatted about everything and nothing until we reached the hotel.

So an easy ride, followed by salad, pasta, rest, pizza, beer and finally blog. Oh sorry missed out snickers and a cookie in there also. Yes we are still eating like mad and losing weight. Tomorrow looks like it could be wet, cool and tougher than today with double the climbing. We shall see how it turns out but to be honest it will take more than a mountain to stop me now.

We passed the $30,000 mark and are heading to $40,000 quite quickly. So my thanks to everyone who have so generously donated and spread the word for WM research.