June 28, 2013

Palermo, NY

The thematic presence of rain on this trip has become a normal part of each day, but this morning was a bit different.  Thanks to technology and our fleet of fancy phones, we all woke up to an emergency alert warning us about flash floods in the area.  What fun!  I met with my fellow co-leaders after breakfast to go over our plan of attack.  So far there was rain, but nothing we hadn't experience before, and we decided to keep things business as usual and hit the road just like any other soggy day.  We briefed the rest of the riders on what to do in different cases of weather related emergencies, and we all felt good about getting on the road.  

I felt so good, in fact, that I didn't really bother looking at the directions for the day, and aimlessly followed my co-leader a mere seven miles off course.  Let me add, it was seven miles of downhill.  We shared some laughter when we finally realized, then got ourselves ready to turn around when another one of our riders came by.  At first I was excited thinking that perhaps we weren't off course.  Of course we were, and the rider was simply following us, the leaders.  Well, no better time to get back on course in the pouring rain, right?  We clipped in to our pedals and tried correcting our mishap.

Halfway through our extended morning however, though still cold and damp, the rain did at least give us a break.  I can't say that the sun came out, but the rain did stop and after fifty miles, thanks to our fifteen mile detour, we found our lunch spot.  Yet another treat to warm our spirits and our water logged bodies, our lunch spot was in the parking lot of a church.  The best part being that there were nice folks working there that morning, and opened their doors to us so we could have shelter, bathrooms, and free coffee.  Yes, free coffee.  I'll never forget that generosity.

After perhaps overstaying our welcome, we shuffled off on the road again, though this time without any rain clouds.  It was even sunny when rolling into the parking lot of our new destination!  Before that happened though, there was a cloudy moment on the road.  I heard the word "snake", and before I could process what that meant, I watched as my pedals went right over a long snake in the road.  I panicked a bit and let out a bit of a squeal, but thought maybe the snake just got a little battle wound.  The riders behind me let me know I had, in fact, ended that snake's chance at any future slithering.