Finger Lakes Summer “Bike or Die 2”

July 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

Biking around Skaneateles lake

View from the top

I think I have determined a sub-theme to my blogging. I profess to love everything about the Finger Lakes and now that it’s peak summer and HOT, I can sit on my porch, gaze out over the water, soak in the sun … and dream about my next bike ride!

I am in love with the hills around these lakes.  Their insanely steep grades confound my muscles, yet just when I am ready to hop off and walk, they level off and provide a respite with a terrific view. On my last ride, I torqued out my derailer trying to climb up an endless incline. Giving up, it popped out of it’s fitting and slid down the frame of the bike, leaving me with one gear — a very hard gear to make it the last 3 or 4 miles back home.

What makes this terrain so unique? Blame it on glaciers.

Millions of years ago, enormous glaciers covered the region. Then they receded. This happened several times. Each time the glaciers proceeded southward, they scoured the land. When the last glaciers melted about 12,000-10,000 years ago, they left behind eleven finger-shaped basins that were filled with water from the melted glaciers. For more info on glaciers.

Niles New York, 38A

TThis is a very hilly area— the marking shows where I started the long climb up.

One HOT Saturday in July, I started a ride south on 41A, on the west side of Skaneatleles Lake. South past Anyela’s Vinyard, right on Hencoop, (a fabulous starter hill if you chase it all the way up to Benson Rd) then a left at Weeks Rd. Follow the great the view down to HWY 359. Stay straight on it and it quickly turns into 38A. This road provides nice access to several other great routes — either south to Moravia or through New Hope and around the southern tip of Skaneateles Lake.

Farm on Cream Hollow Road

Steep hill, pretty farm, nice spot to stop.

Today however, I was completely enchanted by the long disappearing up hill grade of Cream Hollow Road. Fortunately there was a charming little farm halfway up the steepest section that charmed me into stopping and breathlessly watching the cacophonous feeding of goats, ducks, chickens, and guinea hens.

That was when I discovered that my water bottle had migrated around the stem of my frame until it rubbed against my tire enough to spring a leak, leaving me with little water — and a very long hill.

Bike ride around Skaneatleles Lake

I think I rode up this hill and it was the end of my derailer

Biking down hill leaves one hand free

LONG downhill ride from the 12 Corners

I followed it up to an interesting intersection, 12 Corners — an almost intersection of 3 roads, Cream Hollow, which became Grange Hall, Twelve Corners Rd and Corrigan Rd., which becomes Murray Hill Rd. — I’d love to know the history of this little confused collection of thoroughfares. Grange Hall continued it’s climb upward and I will follow it — another day — but the lovely downward slope of Murray was calling me. It was a long slow decline all the way back to 38A. This road is a great bike access between Owasco and Skaneateles, well paved and wide shouldered.

Having biked across 7 countries in Europe, — which is not a trip to be missed — I can still say that Finger Lakes riding is unparalleled.



Entry filed under: Activities, Biking, New York, Skaneateles Lake. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Finger Lakes Summer: Kudos to the City of Rochester Finger Lakes Summer Goes “Dutch”

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