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  1. #1
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    The View from My Saddle…..March 2011

    Well there is no doubt that this year the weather is going to be much more normal than last years was. There won’t be an early Spring this year.

    March 1st….clear skies and temperatures in the upper 20’s. O.K., it’s time to start riding again. The old Trek is in surprisingly good shape after spending the last six weeks on the back porch, often times covered with snow. The chain is still supple, the brakes work fine and the tires were only down about 15 psi!

    As I almost always do, I headed off to the South East into the older section of the Town of Greece. It’s cold so I’m riding at a very slow and leisurely pace of about 10 mph, keeping the wind chill to a comfortable level. The roads are clear of snow and there are only a few areas of refrozen snow-melt across the roads.

    I enjoyed the quiet peace of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery but I wasn’t alone. I spied a group of four white tailed deer gracefully bounding over bushes and headstones. I tried but could not capture a picture of these elusive beauties. The best I can do is show you where I last saw them. They ran behind this pond and that’s the last I saw of them. Notice that little patch of green? That is the first grass I’ve seen in well over seven weeks. You’ll also notice that the water is still a little stiff…



    Normally I take the Genesee River trail from this point Northward to Lake Ontario. Due to the thick layer of frozen foot tracks I opted to stay on the roads along this stretch. Traffic was extremely light, thanks Libya!! Here’s the Merry-Go-Round at Charlotte Beach, all but forgotten until the Summer season arrives. Notice all the green on the ground? Spring is getting closer!!



    The beach is quite abandoned this time of the year too. It looks like it’ll be quite a spell before anyone’s sunbathing or swimming here about….



    From here my little journey heads west towards Braddock Bay. Unlike the beach and park, the Bay is bustling with activity. No need for a boat to fish around here from December through March!!



    It was a great little 25 mile re-introduction to “The Beast” and quite a teaser in anticipation for the next day of peaceful weather.
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 03-26-11 at 11:27 AM.

  2. #2
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    March 15th…..Well it certainly was a long spell between ‘Peaceful Weather Days’!! O.K, I finished work at 05:30 a.m. this morning, unlocked ‘The Beast’ from the bike rack, wiped the morning frost from the saddle and handgrips, and High Tailed it straight home. I needed to squeeze in a little nap before taking a long awaited ride.

    11:00 a.m. and I’m jumping (well, crawling maybe) out of bed and as I rushed to the window I was greeted with glorious sunshine! The weather dude must have been right when he predicted sunny and near 50*!! Oh joy!! Having been fooled on occasion in the past I decided to play it safe and turn on the weather station as I eagerly get dressed. 33*!! You’ve gotta be kidding!! The weather dude’s a weather dud!! No matter, I decided to just pile on one more layer and ride anyway and it was a good choice as the temp did rise up to about 44* by the end of the ride. That North wind coming in off the lake was what kept us cooler than what was predicted.

    Today’s bike of choice was the Sun EZ Sport, LWB Recumbent. It’s comfortable, versatile, and very easy to ride which is a key point as I’ve only been riding my upright Mtn. bike since November and I like to transition into recumbent season on an easy to ride machine. I was surprised to see that the 100psi tires were only down to 75psi. By 11:15 I was merrily rolling down my driveway with my trusty Canon A580 digital camera strapped over my shoulder and around my waist. Funny thing happened during the winter, the waist strap seemed to have shrunk!?!?

    One of my weaknesses is Architecture. I have a habit of loosing track of everything around me and just gazing at all the different styles of buildings that abound in the area where I live. We have buildings that date back to the late 1800’s, buildings that were built last year and everything in between. I tend to like the older buildings and newer ones that resemble old buildings. My house was built in 1926 and still retains many of its original features such as ¾ inch wide hardwood floors (red oak), leaded glass windows, gumwood trim. Of course many upgrades have taken place too. The old wood shingled roof is now asphalt, the coal furnace was converted to an oil furnace and then replaced by a natural gas furnace. The ice box is gone as is the ice door and the milk box door. I told you I liked this kind of stuff.

    So now, who can guess what today’s photo theme is going to be? Yep.

    This is a view of what used to be St. Bernard’s Seminary, built in the late 1800’s. That little structure in the foreground is a covered bus stop. Lake Avenue is just on the other side of the stone wall running between the building complex and the little bus stop. When I was just a little guy I can remember looking out the car windows as we traveled down Lake Ave. and almost always seeing young men waiting for the bus. My mother always spoke very highly of whoever they were simply because they chose to study for and eventually enter the priesthood.



    I wish I could see the inside of that building complex as it was back then. I can only imagine some of the building materials I might have encountered. It’s since been a business park and now an apartment complex and I have no desire what so ever to wander through it now. I can’t imagine that there’s much of the original interior left.

    Down the road a piece is the entrance to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. I imagine this little structure sitting at the gate was some sort of security building or gatehouse, though I really don’t have a clue. There’s a smaller and slightly less ornate building just across the driveway from this one and a nice iron gate that gets closed during off hours. Here is the building as seen from the street….



    …and from inside the cemetery….



    I’ve occasionally wondered if it would be worth seeking a retirement job as a grounds keeper just to get an opportunity to explore the inside of these little buildings.

    Here’s a picture of the cemetery’s chapel. This is probably my favorite of all the little chapels I’ve seen. I photograph it often and sooner or later, just like a blind squirrel finds a nut, I’ll get a good picture of it.



    Here is another angle…



    Let’s wander from architecture for a moment and look at something that I know less than nothing about, sculpture. I’ve ridden past this piece several times a year for the past several years and all I ever noticed was a big ring. I never took the time to stop and actually look at this thing until today. Now I’m far from a religious type of person but once I stopped and saw what was in front of me I finally realized what it actually was depicting.



    As you can see, the hill with the three crosses in the background didn’t escape my gaze or my camera. Draw your own conclusions as symbolism is not a strong point for me. I did learn however that I need to pay more attention to those sculptures that I run across every so often in my travels both near and far.

    I was thrilled to see that all the snow and ice had melted from the Genesee River trail. I traveled it from the cemetery to the park at the mouth of the river. As you can see from this next picture, the ravages of Winter have yet to be thoroughly cleaned up.



    Now here’s an advantage to riding a recumbent that doesn’t come up very often, I actually was able to ride under that downed tree without ducking down!!

    As you can imagine from its name, Beach Avenue runs along the lake shore. There is a lot of history in this area, which again can be seen in the architecture. Here’s an example of an old Lake Cottage. These structures have all been converted to year round residences now and they are quite close to each other. I’m anxious to see this renovation project when it’s complete.



    A lot of these cottages have been altered so much that they’re no longer recognizable. Many of the porches have been walled in to gain much need living space and most of them have had several major additions built onto them. Notice the white house in this picture, it’s had some additions and the porch has been walled-in but it’s still recognizable as an old lake cottage.



    A few doors down sits this example of a similar Lake Cottage that’s been very nicely renovated.



    So that wraps up another 25-mile ride around my little slice of Paradise. I was surprised to feel my legs were quite tired at the end of this ride. I moved at a very leisurely pace, but then again this was my first recumbent ride since early November. Also of note, though I rode my Trek throughout the winter I did not rack up all that many miles and my riding was kind of sporadic. Oh well…the weather is getting nicer so I’ll get more rides in, more often I guess.

    MARCH 17th…..today I basically did a repeat of the same ride with the same bike, you can just review the previous pics or continue reading as I didn’t take any pictures today.

    I did cross paths with a gentleman who I see around quite often. He rides a Sun trike and we know each other very casually and pretty much by name only. We visited along the Genesee River Trail for quite a spell and before long we were joined by a third frequent cyclist of this area of the trail. Now this gent was riding a mountain bike, but he also rides a Rans V-Rex and with his wife a Rans Screamer. After a nice chat about bikes, accessories and repairs we parted company and continued on our separate ways.

    It had been a sunny day and when I left the house the temp was around 40*, but it was a very mild 60* by the time I completed my 28 mile ride. We seem to be slipping farther and farther away from Winter. The commutes to and from work will be becoming more enjoyable now that the weather is changing.
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 03-26-11 at 11:41 AM.

  3. #3
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    Here are a couple of quick shots on the way home from work on the 19th of March. Here’s “The Beast” on the bridge over the creek that feeds into Round Pond



    And here’s the pond….



    …notice how clear the sky is. My bride reminded me that tonight was the night of the “Super Moon”. O.K. here’s a couple of very amature pictures of the Full Super Moon of March 19th, 2011.

    Rising.....



    Risin (rose, rised (?))...



    Well weather wise, the joke is on me I guess. I managed to ride home from work Wednesday morning, the 23rd, just before the big snow hit! It’s been deep-freeze here ever since. We’re having a typical La Nina transition from Winter to Spring whereas Winter stretches well into April and then poof….it’s Summer like.

    Spring has sprung
    The water’s froze
    My fingers are numb
    And so are my toes.

    So now it’ll just be some bundled up and frigid commuting for me until sometime in April, I guess.

  4. #4
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    Very nice report, Cranky. You have a way with words and the camera!

    The renovated cottage is impressive. I'm assuming the structure in the roof is a skylight, but I wouldn't swear to it.

    It's in the mid 30s here, fairly windy with light rain and mist. Having seen the snow in you area, I don't feel quite as bad about what we have. I'll use the down time to get some chores done.

  5. #5
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    I've love those pictures ! On my side of the lake, most of the old "cottages" are now long gone but there are still a few streets that have them.

    The snow from last weeks storm is mostly gone but oh.. man.. the salt ! It's going to be a while before all that is washed away !
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    Nice pictures, very nice, and a good story too.

  7. #7
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    I'm tellin' ya Cranky, you could put all these pics and words from your "The View from My Saddle" series together and have a nice coffee table book. I'd buy one.

  8. #8
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    What is that white stuff piled up on the ground? We now have all our spring flowers in bloom......
    Ride your Ride!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    I'm tellin' ya Cranky, you could put all these pics and words from your "The View from My Saddle" series together and have a nice coffee table book. I'd buy one.
    Yes

    You truly are the "poet laureate" of the 50+ group. Once again, thanks for sharing your deep, peaceful and quiet thoughts and perceptions with the rest of us.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

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    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Great pics, thanks. I recognized several of the shots from our visit last summer.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    My last visit to your neck of the woods a decade or so ago impressed me that much of northern NY state felt as if life went at the pace as it did in the 1950s. You're a smart and/or lucky man to be out there enjoying it, and thanks so much for reminding me just how nice it is.
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  12. #12
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Great pictures and I would love to ride the area one day. Maybe one summer we can spend it there and take in the area.
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  13. #13
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    Well golly gee whiz fellers, thank you for the accolades.

    I hope I can inject some more variety in the April edition.

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    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    Well golly gee whiz fellers, thank you for the accolades.

    I hope I can inject some more variety in the April edition.
    Naked ladies on bicycles?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Naked ladies on bicycles?
    .....or maybe "Hussies on Huffys"?

  16. #16
    Senior Lurker, mostly. DW99's Avatar
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    Nice read and pix! Thanks, cranky old dude.
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  17. #17
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    Good stuff, Cranky! Thanks!
    ...those snow pics SHORE have me looking forward to warmer days!

  18. #18
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Naked ladies on bicycles?
    It's not out of the question... back when I was a college student in Rochester, I was riding in one of our parks ( Genesee Valley Park, as it happens ), and was more than a little surprised to encounter some topless ladies lounging about and one riding a bike.

    They were the locally-famous "Topfree Seven" women protesting for the right for women to go topless in New York. They eventually won.

    Unfortunately, I kept getting lost, and had to circle the park again and again and again and again...
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  19. #19
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post

    So now it’ll just be some bundled up and frigid commuting for me until sometime in April, I guess.
    Nice shots!

    I've been out on the bike with my kids a couple of times this Spring, but in spite of having done hundreds of miles on the Erie Canal, we've never gone on the River Trail. Maybe this weekend!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member GordoTrek's Avatar
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    great shots of Rochester... i live right near the cemetery and use it to get to the genesee river way trail... and i also have a trek 930... i usually shoot up to charlotte or down to pittsford through the city to the canal
    i think im going to start bringing my camera with me on my trips... thanks for the inspiration!!!

  21. #21
    Spin Meister icyclist's Avatar
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    I love your ride report and admire your determination to have a good time. I don't want to go for a ride when it dips below 60 degrees, here in Los Angeles, so thanks for letting my vicariously enjoy your neck of the woods.
    This post is a natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.

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  22. #22
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Had to check the dates - I'm glad to see it was LAST year. Hoping this winter won't last as long here on the west coast.

    Yes, I can attest to the beauty of upstate NY. We flew the tandem to Albany back in 2008 to ride the Eastern Tandem Rally, stayed at a motel near the airport and our first ride was to the Erie Canal. I then packed the tandem into the rented SUV and we drove to Glimmerglass (near Cooperstown) for the opera festival before heading to New Hampshire. Great holiday, loved the quiet & scenic roads!

    Luis

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