Monday, March 1, 2010

Ride report: Genoa

In a last-minute effort to increase my February mileage a bit and to figure out the road conditions for part of my planned ride to Lake Ontario, I went on a loop ride from campus to Genoa last Wednesday. Conditions were mediocre: around 0°C, cloudy, no precipitation, but a really gross film of dirt, salt, and water on the roads. A second pair of pants would definitely have been good.

My route led me straight north from Cornell campus, past the Lansing malls and up to the intersection with NY-34. There I turned left to follow 34B for a short portion (lots of trucks on there, going to and from the Cargill salt mine in Lansing) and then turned right onto Brickyard Hill Rd. This road leads you down into the Salmon Creek valley. Salmon Creek Rd is one of those great Upstate New York rural roads: good surface, mostly flat and almost no traffic.

Salmon Creek Road

The valley itself is not exceptionally a pretty, as it is a mix of farmland and more natural areas, but it's still a nice ride.

Deserted Mack in the forest

At the confluence of Little and Big Salmon Creek, the road name changes to Indian Fields Rd, and the road takes you straight north on the only major climb of the route.

Uphill on Indian Fields Road

Up on the hill, I turned right from Indian Fields Rd onto NY-90, which is an awesome, straight downhill into Genoa proper. There's a convenience store and a gas station in Genoafor getting food and water.

Zoooming down into Genoa. Vmax > 70 km/h

From Genoa, I mostly followed NY-34 back into Cornell.

So what's the verdict on taking Salmon Creek/Indian Fields instead of 34 for getting to Auburn? The former is definitely the prettier alternative, but it comes at the cost of quite a bit of up and down. Traffic on 34 wasn't as bad as I thought, but that might be related to the time of day. All in all I think I would take the Salmon Creek route to take me north.

A short PS: I forgot to mention that after I was back from the ride, had gotten myself a cookie for refueling and came out of the Cornell Store, I saw that I had a flat. The changing of the tire was pretty gross, but at least it didn't happen during the ride itself. The Ritchey tires definitely are not very good in puncture protection. This is the second flat in probably less than 2000 km. I suppose I'll nonetheless keep them until the arrival of spring and maybe switch to something better next winter.

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