The last few days had seemed pretty easy, but today was a reality check on a number of fronts. Last night before turning in, I changed
both front and rear tires on the bike, as the old ones were wearing pretty thin, and I (mistakenly) thought the roads from here on
out would be pretty good and relatively free of debris. As we left the hotel in Batavia, I had a flat within 5 miles of the hotel.
So much for my theory. Mark Wanderman stopped to help and lend moral support, and within 10 minutes I was underway, heading to Liverpool
(a suburb of Syracuse) some 120 miles away. But it was not a good start to a day that would get worse.
As I rolled into the little
town of Caledonia, the horns to alert the volunteer fire and rescue squad were blaring. I was soon passed by a fire truck rolling
down Route 5, and within a few minutes, came upon the accident scene. I saw one of the America By Bicycle vans on the side of the
road, and immediately had an uneasy feeling that one our riders had been injured or worse. Chris Cullum, a transplanted Mississippian
pharmacist living in San Diego, had been struck by a car illegally rolling through a yield sign onto Route 5. The lady claims she
never saw him, but nonetheless, he got clobbered and is lucky to be alive. He was transported by ambulance to Rochester, where he
has been subjected to all kinds of tests to insure no hidden injuries. Other than a bloody face and massive road rash, he seems ok.
His Cervelo road bike was destroyed, and the ABB staff has been working with local bike shops to procure him a replacement assuming
he is released to ride in the next day or two. His helmet was cracked open, protecting his head. It’s a real shame he got within 400
miles of the Atlantic and won’t be able to totally do the entire ride. Chris is a very strong rider, and we have had him in our thoughts
and prayers all day long.
As I got near where the lunch stop was to be set up in the town of Seneca Falls, I got my second flat
of the day, and just said “screw it, I’ll ride on a flat to the lunch wagon—it’s got to be nearby.” So I did. It was only a half mile
away, so I wobbled to the SAG and with a decent lunch in my belly and a high-pressure floor pump to work with, it was much easier
to repair than it would have been back away.
Later on I helped UK Steve repair a flat he developed, so in reality, I fixed three
today. After what seems a long dry spell of flats, it seems they’re very prevalent again. Oh well, only three days to the beach, so
we can only have so many more, right? BTW-by my count, I am now up to 12 since leaving SoCal four weeks ago.
Today was a little
hilly, with warm temps and a very strong wind out of the south, which was at times a cross-wind or a quartering head- or tail-wind.
Tomorrow is a 118-mile ride to Amsterdam, near Schenectady.
Stats for the day---climbing 5,007 feet; calories 9,028, avg.
speed 16.7 mph, Total miles 3,102 (355 left.)