Heat Warning? Say What? - America's Most Naive Bike Tourist Rides From MN to MA - CycleBlaze

July 1, 2014

Heat Warning? Say What?

Verona Beach State Park, New York

OH NO!  WHAT AM I GONNA DO?  THE WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A HEAT INDEX ALERT!

The upstate New York area is expecting near-record high temperatures for today's date--94 degrees.  Factor in the humidity and they say it will feel like 100 degrees.  That doesn't sound so awful to me, but I admit the alert must have had some kind of effect because I only rode until 12:30 p.m. and the place I rode to was Verona Beach State Park on Lake Oneida.  The "beach" part of the name seemed like it might have some cooling-off aspects.

A storm moved in across Lake Oneida late in the afternoon.  The initial wall of wind made a mess of the campground, flattening tents and canopies and sending bags and food and table cloths and anything else that wasn't tethered down flying through the air.  When the wind let up, campers were in a mad scramble trying to gather up their stuff and re-stabilize their shelters before the inevitable heavy rain began.  Through it all, Jim the Tent stood its ground like a rock.  Nobody called it a pup tent today.  As a bonus, my other companion, The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong got a much needed shower.

The storm coming in over Lake Oneida.
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After the storm passed, I made a visit to the swimming beach.
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I am near another wine making area--the Finger Lakes region.  At a state liquor and wine store on the way here, I found some of the local product, Anthony Road Wine Company's "Tony's Red" for tonight's consumption.  I am tempted to write another wine review, but I think I'll save me the embarrassment of writing it and I will save YOU the tedium of reading it.

I met a few people at the campground today.  As usual, they were interested in what a camper would be doing here with only a bicycle.  In general, I don't mind answering questions about my journey.  The "how" and the "where" and the "when" are easy.  It's the "why" that is more problematic.  On my introductory page I explained my "why."  To have fun, of course.  When conversing face to face with a stranger, however, the "fun explanation" seems kind of shallow.  Therefore, as I laid in my tent this evening, instead of counting sheep I tried to think of some more clever responses for me to use.  Here are a few I came up with:

  • I am riding to FIND myself--and Waldo.
  • I am riding to raise public awareness for Middle Age Naivete Syndrome
  • I am riding because I got sick of my Lear jet and the other modes of travel that us billionaires enjoy.
  • I am riding because the ghost of Ernest Hemingway bullied me into it.
  • I am riding because TV and beer weren't quite doing it for me anymore.
  • I am riding because I was commissioned by Princeton University to conduct some groundbreaking, up close, research on roadkill.
  • I am riding because, for each mile of pedaling I will be awarded a gold star.
  • I am riding because I find the discipline of bike touring teaches me to resist asking intrusive questions of strangers.
  • I am riding to prove I am not mediocre.

Eventually my thoughts became more and more absurd.  (I am riding because of The Voices.  THE VOICES!)  I tired of this quickly and went into a deep sleep.

Today's ride: 31 miles (50 km)
Total: 1,387 miles (2,232 km)

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