It’s becoming a routine with me and the weather. Overcast, cold, and occasional rain or mist. I don’t mind, though, because all I have to do is think about what the folks in Texas, the Bahamas, and soon-to-be Florida have to deal with. I’ll take the September weather in the Adirondacks hands down.
Day 4 (43 miles)
I was up at 5am and on the road by 7am. The scenery (at least what I can see through the mist and clouds) is beautiful. I stopped at Tupper Lake for a quick snack and took a picture. I know there are mountains around me, but I cannot see them.
With a slight tailwind, I made very good time to my next destination, Lake Clear, and arrived by noon. I am staying at the Lodge at Clear Lake. It is a quaint, spacious lodge with lake front property. I pretty much had the lodge all to myself. The owners have put a lot of work into the place (all 23 acres). I recommend that you stop by if you are in the area.
Day 5 (43 miles)
I was up and on the road by 6:30am. The predictable weather was there to greet me. Today would be my first big climb into the mountains, with the chance to get up close and personal with the clouds that have been floating just above me. As I approached Whiteface Mountain, the grade steepened significantly. The last three miles to the crest were some of the steepest I have ridden (and this includes the Blue Ridge Parkway). I reached the top of the foggy grade, and immediately started barreling down the backside at 40mph. Such a contrast! At the bottom of the mountain was Wilmington, where I stopped for my second breakfast and warmed up from significant windchill.
In Wilmington I noticed that there were lot of bicyclers on the road, and I mean a lot. They were riding very expensive tri-bikes. I first thought that Wilmington must be home to a serious bunch of health fanatics, but I came to find out that up the road 12 miles in Lake Placid there was going to be an Ironman 70.2 triathlon the next day. All the bikers were checking out the course and making sure their bikes were in good working condition.
As I made my way to Lake Placid, I passed by the Whiteface Ski Area (and I was passed by a lot of those triathletes on their tricked-out tri-bikes.
The town of Lake Placid was anything but placid. More like Lake Hustle-and-Bustle. Triathletes, friends and family were everywhere. Now I know why my motel room at the Placid Bay Inn cost about twice the usual rate. Ah, capitalism at its finest, or is it that a fool and his money are easily parted. You get to pick!
When I checked into the motel, the proprietor told me that there would be road closures during the race. Yikes, I forgot about that. Would I be able to leave Lake Placid in the morning, or would I be stuck here in some warped version of Groundhog Day? But that’s a story for another day …..