It Was Wet Then It Wasn’t

Wellsville, NY to East Aurora, NY

Waiting out the downpour.

While the title of this update essentially sums up the day, it’s not really a FULLY accurate assessment of the day. Yes, it was wet and then it wasn’t. But in between there was a progression from wet, to very wet, to VERY REALLY wet. And then it wasn’t. At all. One might even say it was sunny … and it’s not even Philadelphia (sigh).

It would be safe to say that today’s plan was vague. The only thing I really knew was that there would be biking. And there would be rain. The latter I only knew because Dale, last night’s host, checked the weather forecast. I rarely do that. I figure I can’t change it and it’s not going to affect whether or not I ride, so I generally don’t even think about checking the forecast. That said, I’m glad Dale checked because my rain covers are more effective for visibility than water repellency these days – especially the front covers. So, with the heads up regarding the pending rain, I was able to wrap up some of my more “water sensitive” gear in plastic bags.

I’m not sure when the rain actually started but by the time I crawled out of bed everything was more than a little wet. On the upside, the rain was limited to a bit more than a drizzle.

After an oatmeal breakfast (made by me, I might add … highlighted with fresh blueberries courtesy of Dale’s backyard), I loaded up the bike and suited up in my rain gear – which is really more about providing warmth from the wind than keeping the rain out. One way or another, when you pedal for hours in rain gear you’re either going to be wet from the rain or wet from sweat. Waterproof and breathable just don’t go together. And really, biking in the rain isn’t all that bad if it’s warm. And today was warm … ish.

Today’s destination was …. well, a bit unknown. I was planning on finding a motel tonight because I was hoping to finish off a freelance project by tomorrow morning. And that would be hard to do while wild camping somewhere. I figured somewhere south of Buffalo would provide a solution.

When I hit the road, the rain was what I would call a steady drizzle. Enough that you knew it was clearly raining, but the not the kind of rain the beats down on you and pelts your face into submission as you try to ride through it. Although, that would change. But fortunately, time was on my side when that happened.

I was about 35 km into my wet ride when I became mildly concerned that I had missed a turn. Fortunately, there was an open garage at the intersection in question so I figured I’d retreat to some shelter to check my map. There was good news twofold when that happened. First, I didn’t miss a turn. Second, just as I was about to return the road, the skies opened up and the rain came pelting down. I delayed my return to the road.

2 for $6.

As is often the case with such downpours, this one was short-lived. Maybe 10 minutes. After which, it returned to the steady drizzle I’d gotten to know so well this morning. As such, I was on the move again. But then, about 10 km later, something unexpected happened (no, not a broken spoke). The rain stopped. There were still dark clouds as far as the eye could see but the rain had stopped. Completely.

Things continued that way for another two hours but as I neared Arcade, NY there were actually glimpses of blue sky to be seen. As I arrived in Yorkshire, NY there was considerable blue sky to be seen. Considering the forecast had led me to believe I’d be riding in the rain ALL day, this was a VERY pleasant turn of events. I decided to celebrate with two whoppers for $6 in Yorkshire. Yeah, I know … we all have our own way of celebrating and apparently destroying my arteries is high on my list of celebratory methods. Don’t judge me!

An internet search while enjoying my lunch revealed a motel in East Aurora which looked like it would suit my needs. My vague plan for the day was becoming significantly less vague. I finished off my burgers and set course for the Bluebird Motel.

The ride to East Aurora ended up being beautiful. The sun was out. The sky was blue. The temperature was more than comfortable. And the wind was negligible. I certainly didn’t expect any of that when I set out this morning. If only I had some pizza to finish off the day.

Cargo bungee nets are fantastic. Especially with pizza.

I checked in to the Bluebird Motel without incident and promptly got my laptop up and running as I had more than a few videos to export and upload by morning. Fortunately, that could be done unsupervised. So, with my laptop working away I turned my focus on to more urgent matters. Pizza.

While the the Bluebird Motel is a bit isolated there are food establishments about 2 km down the road. And yes, there was pizza. I opted for Papa Geno’s based on the recommendation of the manager at the Bluebird. The challenge of course would be carrying the pizza on my bike – not that it would be a first. Moritz and I each did so in Sault Ste. Marie in 2014 … as I recall, it may have been too much pizza (if that’s possible).

Anyway, one of my favourite recent additions to my collection of gear is my bungee cargo net. Today only added to my fondness for said item. It was more than up to the task and made pizza transport completely effortless. I can’t believe I used to tour without it. Okay, yes I can. But it’s certainly VERY useful and effective.

Upon returning to the motel, it took all of 11 minutes to eat the pizza. While I probably (i.e. definitely) could’ve eaten more, I certainly didn’t need any more. Especially since I also bought chips and salsa while waiting for the pizza to cook and had that for dessert. Oh, and I bought milk too since my room has a fridge – strangely, it had two. Anyway, there will be cereal for breakfast tomorrow. Yup, the day may have started off slightly less than idyllic but today was another great day.

5:30 PM. Supper!

5:41 PM. End of supper.

Today’s totals:
Distance travelled: 122.43 km
Ride time: 5:30:06
Average speed: 22.25 km/h
Maximum speed: 46.65 km/h

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