with Susan Lowery and David Bayley
John's brother, David, came over from Ireland
to visit us for several weeks in July and August of 2005. Poor
lad flew in from cool wet Ireland to a brutal heat wave here.
In his first week the temperatures topped 95F every day. We
showed no mercy and had him out riding long hilly rides every
Susan had been talking about various rides in
the Finger Lakes for a while. We did some research, looking
at routes for various organized events and also contacted Mark
Frank, organizer of Quadzilla. He was a wealth of information
and provided us with many maps and cue sheets and lots of advice.
Sadly we did not hook up with Mark on this trip, but hope to
The area is absolutely gorgeous, or as Ithaca
t-shirts say, gorges. The terrain can be intimidating, lots
of short intense climbing, and just constant up and down. The
views out over the lakes from the ridges were incredible. And
the heat - well they kept telling us it was unusual.
Susan provided a van for transport, so we could
do unladen day trips. We first headed out to the Hudson Valley
and did a few rides there, and then onto Ithaca, where we based
ourselves for two nights. Each day, we'd do a loop ride and
then travel to another town. It's nice sometimes to ride with
minimal weight. We'd initially talked about doing some camping,
but the temperatures had us seeking our air conditioning every