Waterfalls 1200km Ride Report by Dave Thompson

Pete had a fascinating setup with his 1200k that made maximum use of a very small group of volunteers that included his wife and daughter.

There is a cluster of hotels about 18km from his house. The ride started at a park near the hotels and each ride segment ended and started at his house – a clover.  That sounds simple but the key was that the segments routed by those hotels late in each segment, with an info control in the vicinity of those hotels, so that in fact you ended each day’s riding before you finished the segment, ate some dinner, got some sleep, and then finished off the segment the next morning at “registration central” in his huge garage that had seating, breakfast etc.  You then hit the road again, starting the next segment.

Thus my first day’s ride wasn’t the segment length of 407k but rather 389 (or thereabouts). Day 2 finished off the Day 1 segment and then ended back at the hotels; same with Day 3 finishing off Day 2 and Day 4 finishing off day 3 but ending at his house.   This setup had the effect of shortening Day 1 by that 18k and lengthening Day 4 from the published length of 201 to the balance-of-Day-3+Day4 length of 219.

(Note that the 18k has a variation depending on which hotel you picked).

I visited a grocery store and stocked my little hotel fridge with enough for dinners and a small bite to eat as the main breakfast was at Pete’s place.

Not rocket science but I considered it ingenious.  Otherwise there would have been extra hotel costs, more difficulty providing breakfast etc.  There was no one frowning at us having a celebratory beer at the end.  To top it all off, Pete and his main volunteer Marcia shuttled us to our hotels at the end of the 4th day.

Under-Promised and Over-Delivered always wins out.

Oh – and the route was interesting.  I saw parts of Niagara Falls from the US perspective that I had not seen from the Canadian side.  Other waterfalls within the Finger Lakes provided wonderful scenery (one of which is higher than Niagara but of course has a lot less water flow); I found out that according to local lore, Seneca Falls (the town), or at least the bridge, provided inspiration for “it’s a wonderful life”.   I expected hills and the area delivered – not extreme but the third day had some real punch to it with short steep hills.

Last but not least, Pete ordered up a brisk tailwind for the last 100k northbound.

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