44 Miles and a Cheese Ball

Crunch time is on. November will be here before I know it, and I am determined to have the list completed. So with that in mind, last week I took time to cross two items off.
Wednesday was for cheese making. And really I don't have a lot to say about that process, expect that the fresh mozzarella I usually pick up at Wegmans or Aldis  is about 100% better. Mine turned out a bit rubbery and flavorless. Perhaps I should try again to perfect it, but I am no perfectionist... Next time I'll save myself the hassle and let someone more experienced be the maker. 
And Saturday, that was for biking around a lake. On the list I had mentioned Seneca Lake, however, over the course of the last 10 months I came to my senses, realizing that 77.7 miles is FAR. Sure I relay raced around that lake three consecutive years, but my feet had a rest in between each run. I don't own a good road bike, and the seat on my bike isn't exactly, um, comfortable, so with a bit of convincing I was able to talk myself out of that idea and decided that Canandaigua lake, with it beautifully doable 44 mile route would be the choice.
Late July or early August I pulled out my bike and Carson and I started going for morning bike rides to begin training. That lasted for about 1.5 weeks, until one morning I walked out to the garage to discover that my bike had been attacked! Our puppy, Mia, had gone to town on the bike seat, shredding what little cushioning there was and leaving a bare metal seat. I could have kill that dog that morning, but somehow to this day she still remains alive and well, with teeth that shred anything left in her way.
That put a stop to our training. I should have picked up another seat somewhere, but didn't get around to it.
So when Saturday morning came around, I borrowed a bike seat from my dad's bike, and off we went, Carson, myself, and my sister Kate. 
What I forgot to mention is that I kept checking the weather before we left, and there was a good chance of rain around 11 am. Instead of driving to Canandaigua, which is about 25 minutes away, we changed around plans and biked around Keuka Lake instead. It's the same milage as Canandaigua, but rather than driving we could simply leave on our bikes from my house to get started. Plus, we know a lot of people who live around Keuka Lake, and with the chance of rain, I knew I might need someone to bail me out and pick up Carson.
The first three miles, which are all down hill, were torturous! I couldn't catch my breath for anything, and bike wouldn't coast. I had to work to go down hill! It sounded like something was rubbing, but every time I stopped to try to figure out what was going on I didn't see any issues. I was imagining the rest of the ride, wondering how I was ever going to make it. I'm a fairly strong and fit person, my lack of training was embarrassing.
Finally I stopped once more and gave the entire bike a good go-over. And that's when I noticed that Carson's bike seat had slipped from its normal position and was actually resting on the back tire, basically working as a brake. A few minutes later that problem was fixed, and my legs which were already beginning to feel like jelly were peddling with ease.  The rest of the ride was sure to be a breeze.
The first section of the route is a narrow winding road with a lot of rolling hills. Carson did really good for about the first 10 miles, then he started complaining about his lot in life. When we finally pulled in to Hammondsport, which was mile 17, he was so excited to get out of that bike seat and stretch his legs. I bought him an ice cream cone to munch on while Kate and I enjoyed coffee and a Bikers Bar, a homemade cakey granola bar, from a coffee shop next door. 
That break was all he needed. Carson was excited to get back in the seat as we headed off, ready to complete the ride. 
There was an official bike race happening around Keuka that morning, but all of the races were going around it the opposite way we were. That kept Carson entertained for quite a while. He would way and say hi again and again as we passed groups of racers.
At mile 33 my mom, bless her, came and rescued Carson. He was still doing really well, but he looked sleepy, and I knew he wouldn't be able to sleep well in that seat. 
We still had 11 miles to go, and they were definitely the most grueling. Not because the terrain was rough, not at all. I have tired, and hungry, and my lack of trained and non road bike were all catching up to me.
But we made it!
Almost 5 hours later, as we were pushing our bikes up my drive, I thanked Kate for joining me and made a pledge to never again go for another bike ride. 


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