Niagara to Florida

Day One - October 30th, 2010

Before we get started, lets introduce the crew.

The oldest rider on this trip is 76 years old. Paul Foy. Retired. He will be 77 the first week of December.

Next is Dave Watson. 65 years old. Retired.

I, Harvey Gordon, come next at 60 years old. Semi-retired. I didn't win a council seat in the Elections on October 25th. Guess I'm still working.

Finally our youngest rider is 57 years old. Dale Winger. Semi-retired.

We have a back-up driver, my 28 year old niece, Rebecca Hare. We use Verizon telephones to stay in contact with her and she may go 10 to 15 miles (16-25k) ahead or behind. She doesn't actually stay with us. It's not required: she can be found if we need her.

Today we left from Drummond Road in Niagara Falls at 7:45 a.m. Dale, who lives in Welland, had ridden 12 or 13 miles to meet us. So his mileage today is higher than ours.

We crossed into the United States on the rainbow bridge at 8:05h. I told the officer we couldn't tell him where we were going because he would think we were crazy or be jealous. We told him Florida. By bicycle? For some reason he wasn't the least bit jealous. He told us he's met a lot of crazies, but didn't indicate if we were included in this. He passed us through and we carried on. We followed hwy 62 from the bridge to Hamburg, NY.

We figure we lost an hour somewhere by crossing the Rainbow instead of the peace bridge to end up in the same place. Either we ended up traveling farther, or more likely, the headwinds slowed us down.

We stopped in Hamburg at Macdonalds for a coffee. It was 11:35h. After a short break we continued. We change hwys here to #391 to its' end and go straight onto the Springville-Boston Rd. Somewhere over the next hour I lost all energy. I didn't even try to keep up. I stopped in Springville for a drink, but found it so hard to get going. The other 3? Wayyy ahead. Becky figured an hour.

I just kept plugging along until I met up with Becky again about 5 miles (8k) North of Ellicottville. I suggested she go through Ellicottville, and wait for me at the Burger King. I should be there at 17:15h (5:15 p.m.). I suggested that the others would be so far ahead by then I would have to give in and ride in the van to catch up before dark. I carried on, Becky headed out.

I arrived at Burger King at 17:30h (5:30 p.m.), and there was Becky. But something was wrong. There were also two bicycles. Dave & Dale were sitting inside with Becky. Now I'm puzzled.

Because I was so far behind and we are trying to do this ride together, Paul went to church, and the other two waited for me. They had been there well before 5 o'clock.

Paul came back from church and we discussed our situation. Right across the street was a place to stay, The Inn at Holiday Valley. They gave us a very favorable rate for the Fall season. We checked in. After showers and cleaning up, we went back into town for dinner at the Gin Mill.

We returned to the Inn at Holiday Valley and called it a night.

Todays mileage (for 3 of us) was about 130k (81m). It took me 7h 45m, the others, less.

Our next day.

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