Thursday, August 11, 2022

Hemlock Lake loop, Lake 6 of #BTFL

Tricia and I cycled around Hemlock Lake as part of our quest to ride all 11 of the Finger Lakes, part of teh Finger Lakes Cycling Club's Bike the Finger Lakes Challenge. #BTFL. We've now ridden all the lake to the west of Watkins Glen where we live. We still have the two largest left, as well as some that are smaller, but farther away.

This ride, according to the club site, "boasts both one of the longest climbs and one of the steepest climbs in the Finger Lakes Region.Yet we survived and even had fun.
As beautiful as the ride was, it was somewhat odd to loop a lake, but never see it except at the start and finish. 
At least I managed to make some photos of my favorite model as well as lake at the start.
It's a treat to have so little auto traffic

There are flowers everywhere here. Zillions and zillions. 

Here's the ride start. If we hadn't climbed a few stairs we wouldn't have seen the lake at all

I'd never seen a sign like this before. I was tempted to follow the arrow, but who knows where we'd have ended up.

It is indeed a beautiful lake.

Monday, August 01, 2022

New chain day and first ride with Finger Lakes group

Putting on a new chain almost feels like getting a new bike. Shifting becomes so smooth. Sure, it may be that I left old my chain on too long...OK, I'm sure I did. But it's all better now.

In fact, it's super better, because I installed two new chains, one on the Roubaix and one on the gravel bike. It took a while, mainly because I cleaned the heck out of both bikes first, and because I couldn't find my Park quick link tool that disappeared in our move to NY.  I used a wire wrapping technique I found on youtube, and it worked. Of course, afterwards (but in time for chain two) I was reminded by a comment online that I have a pair of tire levers that could double as quick link pliers. They worked better than the wire method. And I have the proper Park tool on order now.

Let me rant a bit. I know there are "supply chain issues" but holy smokes, the price of chains has sure gone up. And cassettes are even worse. At least I don't need the multi-hundred dollar 12 speed versions, but still, they are almost $100 now. Crap.

In happier news, Tricia and I rode with the Finger Lakes Cycling Club for the first time on Saturday. They're a nice bunch of people, and gaining some local knowledge is always a good plan. 

Of course, I screwed up a bit. Just as we were leaving a cyclist rode past and told me "You left your van side door open." So I rode back and closed it, then spent too much energy killing myself to catch the group. I did catch them, and just as I did they stopped to regroup. I'd have been fine riding normally. Maybe I should just think of it as a bonus workout.

We look forward to riding with them again. But next time I'll check the doors more carefully.