Net Elevation gain: -157 ft.
Average Speed: 8.3 mph
Top Speed: 31.2 mph
Time spent biking: 6 hours
Total time for the day's travels: 9 hours
Miles biked today: 50.5
Total for trip: 325.5 miles
We started off today with a great breakfast of granola, blueberries, nectarine and soymilk! It was so yummy. Maybe this will become our regular first breakfast of the day.
After we packed up camp and pedaled out of the campground, we got to coast down the huge hill that we'd climbed the night before. Jenny was a little nervous, but Brett made sure to use the breaks a LOT and we made it safely to the bottom.
We got going later than we had hoped we would, and were both feeling out of sorts. Brett was whiny. He was tired, his knee was hurting, the bike was dirty, his cleats weren't positioned quite right on his shoes, the breaks were a little lose, he was hungry, and we had a long way to go. Jenny was frustrated that Brett's seat was squeaking. Not a good combination. It also started raining again.
After few miles we pulled over to fix the squeaking seat. It took several minutes of figuring out the seat's anatomy before Brett finally found two screws to tighten that took away the squeak! The squeak came back a little bit, but not at as strong, and now we know where to look first to fix it.
We returned to traveling west on Route 17C. We stopped for lunch on the side of the road, eating what we were carrying. A bicyclist named Eric stopped by on his ride during his lunch hour. It was fun to talk to him, and explain about our recumbent tandem. The food was great, too: crackers & cheese, avocado and carrot, and soy milk and granola, finishing with some carob-covered raisins. At the end of lunch, Brett also fixed the cleats on his shoe! This helped enormously with one of the issues he had been having trouble with in the morning.
There were a few smallish hills, but we sang and talked our way through them. They really weren't that bad, because we had picked the longer but less hilly way to go. Most of the later afternoon was great riding along Route 96, which we turned onto in Owego. We saw more groundhogs then you could shake a stick at, and we stopped for strawberries at a roadside stand. The strawberries were SO good that we ate the whole quart in one sitting before going on. Yum.
Brett had a nice conversation with Guy, his brother, in the afternoon, too. Good feelings from comments on the blog and conversations with folks back home, combined with the good time we were making helped us feel really good on the bike. We were feeling so good that a short rain shower (6 out of 7 days have had at least some rain) didn't dampen our spirits. A longer rain might have, though, and a few frustrated words may have been uttered when it started.
We were planning to follow smaller roads into Ithaca, but we missed our turn and ended up taking Rt. 96 right into town, where we picked up our directions to Sara/Jeff/Ben/Jem's house. The hill down into Ithaca was a blast, a 4-mile cruise down one long hill. We stopped briefly at a Co-op in town before making one more push 2 miles UP again. We were in good moods, but it was a brutal hill up Elm St. but the views of the sunset from the top of the hill were great.
We pulled in at dusk, Jeff set us up in the Common House guest room, we took showers and went to bed, and looked forward to a day off from biking.