Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Bike Ride

After a wonderful Women's Weekend, filled with laughter, great food, ice cream, hiking, knitting, etc., I am now on another bike ride.

Today was the first day of the Great Hudson River Valley Pedal, from Albany to NYC. I drove from Jenny Lake to Albany, in the rain yesterday afternoon and it rained well into the evening. The meeting place for this ride was on the campus of Sage College. I decided to find a place to sleep in the Student Union of Sage and not set up my tent since the ground was completely saturated.

I attended the Wine and Cheese Reception for the ride, getting a chance to meet some of my fellow riders. We were told some statistics about the ride, so I will pass them along to you. There are 159 riders, 60% men, 40% women. The oldest rider is 80 and the youngest is 6. The average age is 53!

After the reception I drove around looking for a place for dinner and ended up at the sports bar and grill at the Hilton, hoping to see some Olympics. And that is what I saw while I ate. When I returned to the campus it was still raining, so I hauled by baggage and my bike into the union and started to look for a place to sleep. I ended up on the floor in a dark room off the main entrance, which had a squeaky door! Around 11 PM the security guys came through and told me I was not supposed to be sleeping in that room. I told them I was harmless and would be up at 5:20 AM. They let me stay! So, it wasn't a great night's sleep, but it was dry and packing up was easy this morning.

The skies were clearing by the time we had our official send-off and we had a delightful day to ride. We were escorted out of Albany by the police since it was rush-hour, that was pretty cool. Today's route covered 38 miles and included 2 official rest stops with food and drink supplied. Both stops were at parks along the Hudson so were very scenic. The riding was fairly easy with a few good hills and a tailwind for part of the day. I arrived at our camp town shortly after 11, so early that the baggage truck was not unloaded by I helped get the bags out, along with some other early riders. I have a nice camp spot under a tree, near a picnic table and a stone bench. We are on the campus of Green Columbia Community College.

This afternoon I toured Olana, the home of artist Frederick Church and it is an amazing place, with incredible views of the Hudson River and surrounding Catskill Mountains. I hiked back to camp with some other riders. Tonight there is a boat cruise on the Hudson-that should be good.

Tomorrow is a 43 mile day to Hyde Park. I am having lunch at the Culinary Arts Institute at 1 PM so I will have to watch my time as I am riding.

So, overall, a great start to this ride. I have met some very nice people and look forward to tomorrow's activities.

Once again, I cannot share my photos until I get home.

Hope all is well.

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