Day 8: Mother Nature’s Grudge

Date: June 3rd, 2019

Miles Traveled: 82

Weather: Beautiful. 20mph headwinds from the West.

Physical Status: RIP my legs

TL;DR: Fuck headwinds

Today was physically and emotionally exhausting. After a home-cooked breakfast courteousy of my delightful hosts, Janet and Don, I packed up my bike and rode South towards downtown Rochester. Today, I would be traveling to Lewiston, a small village right along the U.S. side of the Niagara River.

After pedalling through the suburbs of Irondequoit, I passed a zoo called the Seneca Zoo and happened upon a really neat walkway that spans the Genesee River:

“This’ll be a great day,” I thought to myself. The weather was mostly sunny with small cumulus clouds dotting the sky up above. A light tailwind at my back made pedalling just a tad easier, and tomorrow… tomorrow I was going to make it across USA-Canada border.

…and then I turned West.

Suddenly, it was as if mother nature decided to go to Walmart, get a fully automatic version of an Airzooka Air Blaster (TM) and absolutely light. me. up.

20mph winds with gusts of up to 30mph slammed into me, dropping my average down to a warp speed of 8.5mph.

It was as if I was climbing a shallow, never-ending hill for 80 miles. The energy put into every heroic pedal stroke was instantly expelled as drag. I had to work to go above 11mph downhill. And uphill? 5-6mph tops.

I swear I could hear mother nature laughing hysterically at me through the howl of the wind.

“Fucking hell.” I repeatedly muttered to myself. How could the wind be this relentless?

One of the major differences between bicycle touring and regular cycling is that if you get stuck in a headwind while on riding in a loop, for example, it’s no biggie. Sure, it sucks while you’re in it, but you know the suffering you endure now will likely be rewarded with tailwinds later. It’s a trade-off.

With bicycle touring, however, if you get stuck in a headwind, you could be riding through that shit for days.

—–

For a total of 10 hours, I traveled along the Erie Canalway, highway 31, and highway 104 being blasted by that invisible force.

Along the way, I passed by a total of 5 other bicycle tourists all going the other way, cruising at what must’ve been 18-20mph.

As I slowly made my way along the highway, one pair cheerfully hollered out, “you’re going the wrong way!” as they pointed to the horizon behind me.

DAMN I wish I was you guys right now!” I hollered back, laughing at my own misfortune.

On the bright side, at least the scenery and weather was nice:

After about 25 miles of riding I made it to Holley, New York, a quant little town in between miles of farmland. Turns out, Holley has a huge waterfall where I stopped to rest for a bit:

After riding through 75 miles of constant wind, several rural towns and too many farms to count, I was 7 miles from Lewiston and another big gust of wind hit me. I snapped.

Just LET UP! JUST FUCKING LET UP!” I yelled into wind.

No one answered. The birds kept chirping, the grasses kept swaying, and the faint “woosh” of a car could be heard in the distance.

After calming down, I asked myself: What would a person with extreme emptional control do?

And so I cleared mind, accepted the situation, focused on nothing but the road ahead and enjoying the views before me:

It was at that moment that I was reminded of a valuable lesson: no matter what hardships you go through and how seemingly unfair they may be, the only thing the matters is how you react to it.

—–

After the 10th hour of cycling, I turned off highway 104 and rolled into Lewiston at around 8:00pm.

I fucking made it.

With nearly destroyed legs, I lazily cycled to the nearest pizza place in town and feasted on some much-needed food:

Victory never tasted so good.

After filling up my stomach, I rode less then a mile to my the house of my hosts, Mary and Tom, where I am currently staying for the night.

—–

Tomorrow, I’ll be crossing the USA-Canadian border via the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, touring through Niagara Falls, and traveling about 15 miles to my next host in Welland, Ontario.

Until next time!

10 thoughts on “Day 8: Mother Nature’s Grudge

  1. Wow Quinn Ironequit to Lewiston was a tough journey. Your reward Niagara Falls! Hope that’s the worst of the winds for the tip. Miss you! Love Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quinn I would massage those legs if I could but since I cannot sit down with you back on the floor and rest your legs up the wall at your next respite. love from stl
    c

    Liked by 1 person

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