Miles to Date: 905
May 20, 2015 – Overcast and windy, 40 degrees
I had some good things going for me today. A simple route and easy ride: NY 13 the entire way, with gentle rises and long downslopes along a wide valley. But the moment I stepped out of Stone Cottage on Lake Cazenovia, I realized that the ride would be tougher than anticipated. The weather had taken a hard turn from warm to raw. I began with my windbreaker and Gore Tex gloves. Then I stopped to insert my hand warmers. Then I stopped again to add my fiberfill insulator; more layers than I had used the entire trip. It was difficult to appreciate the beautiful farm country with the grey skies and strong wind, mostly against my favor. The thermometer clung to forty degrees all morning.
I made decent time, considering my shivers, and saw some elegant nineteenth century architecture along the way. I landed at Cortland Diner before noon. The local crowd all complained about the weather. My neighbor exclaimed, “Well, we’ve had two days of summer, and now it’s back to fall.”
Fragments of sun popped through my 20-mile ride to Ithaca, but it remained a chilly day. For some reason, road kill was rampant. I swerved by an opossum, skunk, turtle, black cat and full-size deer. I’ll spare my readers photos.
The other unfortunate deterioration I saw were many abandoned houses. This well-kept little ranch next to a well-proportioned Greek revival ruin struck me in particular; though I also saw more recent houses, from the 1950’s and 60’s, abandoned and naked to the elements as well. One man’s palace is another man’s junk.
I rolled into the backside of Cornell and cruised through campus before descending into the center of town. It looks much as I recall from when I was last here, seven years ago, with the spectacular addition of the new IT building, Gates Hall, designed by Thomas Mayne of Morphosis.
After getting set in my motel, I walked to Downtown Commons, which is under construction but funky as ever. Ate an organic burrito at Vive Mexicana and then cancelled out its beneficial effects with a macaroon sandwich – two cocoanut macaroons with chocolate in the middle. Cornell graduation is in two days, so town is full of graduates and families, and most are happy to talk to bike guy about tomorrow
On the way back to my motel I passed the famous Moosewood Restaurant. It would have been a great place to eat and chat with folks, but the serendipity of this journey is that for every experience I gain, there are uncounted missed opportunities. I pass through each place only once and encounter some small slice of life.