At the risk of jinxing myself, I am going to say that the last time I put my rain gear on was for two hours in North Dakota. I have been chased by rain clouds, surrounded by rain clouds, it has poured rain at night, but my rain gear has been largely ignored. Today was such a day. At the top of a two mile climb on NY 5S, I looked to the north east and the clouds extended right down to the ground. Someone was getting wet and it wasn’t that far away.

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I did three long climbs today, two miles or so (with equally long descents) and I realize that I better get my climbing legs back soon or I am going to be suffering.

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New York is interesting for cycling. State Bike Route 5 can be a busy four lane high speed road or a deserted country by-way. The route today paralleled the Mohawk River. Also shadowing the river is the Erie Canal Bike Path, which is where the horses plodded as they pulled barges along. A cyclist could be cursing noisy traffic on the signed bike route, while a few feet away is a desolate bike path.

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The bike path switches between pavement near the towns, and hard packed, smooth gravel as elsewhere. To the other side of the bike path is an equally deserted country road. Several times I could see Interstate 90, State route 5S (which is Bike Route 5), the bike path, and the old country road; four different east-west routes within a stones throw of each other. If you count the river, the train on the other side of the river, the road on the other side of the river, and the grown in canal, that’s eight linear, side-by-side routes. Interesting.

The best part of the day was when I arrived in Amsterdam and my friend Brian Pawlow was already here, with his brother’s old touring bike, and some make-shift camping equipment. We rode down to an outdoor cafe/restaurant situated alongside the bike trail, commandeered a table, spread out the maps, and started to plan our campaign across New England.

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Brian’s wonderful wife, Marion, gave him a ride up here, left him, and drove home. Thank you Marion! And thanks to Brian’s employer, Middlesex Hospital (he is a P.T.), for bending over backwards to let him take the time off. I am really going to enjoy his company for the next week.

Bonus photo;
There was a cacophony of barking coming from this barn;

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