BDT ride Thurs night?

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Katie Moring

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Oct 25, 2022, 9:55:23 PM10/25/22
to Gravel Rides - Finger Lakes Cycling Club
Hi -

Anyone interested in doing a ride on the Black Diamond Trail this Thursday evening, 6pm start time? It will definitely be in the dark, and it's going to be a little chilly compared to the past few days...but...still not too bad for late October! If I get enough interest I will respond to this email and confirm if it's happening - send me a note if you want to come.

Katie Moring

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Oct 26, 2022, 11:17:34 AM10/26/22
to Gravel Rides - Finger Lakes Cycling Club
OK, I received enough interest - ride is on!

Thursday 10/27. Meet at the children's garden parking lot, near the black diamond trail kiosk. Ready to roll at 6pm. Must have lights. Feel free to invite others who may not be on this email list.

If there is interest, we could consider taking some back roads from the top of the BDT into Trumansburg to NY Pizzeria or Garrett's if people want some food/drink. Bring some cash if you're interested in doing that - can see how people feel/how cold it is, or if some people want to go to Tburg and some want to just turn around and head back, that's fine too. 

John Dennis

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Oct 31, 2022, 10:15:32 PM10/31/22
to Katie Moring, Finger Lakes Cycling Club, Gravel Rides - Finger Lakes Cycling Club


Katie had written:  

On Wed, Oct 26, 2022 at 11:17 AM Katie Moring <kmmo...@gmail.com> wrote:
OK, I received enough interest - ride is on!

Thursday 10/27. Meet at the children's garden parking lot, near the black diamond trail kiosk. Ready to roll at 6pm. Must have lights. Feel free to invite others who may not be on this email list.

If there is interest, we could consider taking some back roads from the top of the BDT into Trumansburg to NY Pizzeria or Garrett's if people want some food/drink. Bring some cash if you're interested in doing that - can see how people feel/how cold it is, or if some people want to go to Tburg and some want to just turn around and head back, that's fine too. 

Last gravel ride of the season: Black Diamond Trail to Tburg and back, October 27th, 2022.

 

Our last gravel ride aka Welcome in Winter, was attended by:

 

Katie Moring

Bryan

Gian Dodici

TJ Joyce

Rob Joyce

Susan Kendrick

John Dennis

Jim Baker

 

Seven of us departed the BDT trailhead at Cass Park about 6:05pm with Jim Baker catching up to us when we paused at the parking area at the Taughannock Falls end of BDT.  With temps heading down to the high 30s, I was surprised at the start to see TJ wearing bike shorts with no leg warmers. “I generate a lot of heat once I get going,” he explained. Katie had a new helmet and jersey, but also seemed to me dressed on the light side. Katie’s O2 saturation at the start was 100% and Bryan’s 99%.  Nice!

 

With perhaps 70% of the leaves now on the ground, our tires generated an impressive leaf crunch noise along much of the trail. Perhaps an incoherent mix of some of these species: White Oak, Swamp White Oak, Northern Red Oak, Chestnut Oak, Sugar Maple, Silver Maple, Red Maple, Black Locust, and Ash, with Ash increasingly replaced by European Buckthorn altering the tire crunch acoustics ever so slightly?

 

We met a few joggers and cyclists along the way.  Some of the runners coming our way did not have adequate reflective gear or lights and Katie was quick to signal us into single file whenever she spotted folks ahead of us.  As we biked west across Taughannock Creek, looking up the creek, I caught a glimpse of a thin waxing crescent moon, poised at near vertical and hovering on the SW horizon just before setting for the night at 727pm. Isn’t that unsportingly early for the moon to be checking out for the night?

 

We headed west on Falls Road and when we reached Cemetery Road at the east side of Tburg, we turned right at that ornate cemetery building made from red sandstone.  I love it when a ride includes roads I have never ridden and I soon discovered that the northern end of Cemetery goes astonishingly downhill to the very bottom of the valley of Trumansburg Creek.  (Perhaps this deep valley helps explain why the Tburg business district is limited to one road.)

 

Cemetery parallels the western edge of Grove Cemetery where the many rows of tombstones are aligned along a north-south grid.  Complaint of a recently buried soul:  “Jeez, they’ve got my  tombstone aligned with magnetic north rather than true north!”

 

Susan Kendrick and I were discussing books and, by chance, she was reading Mary Roach’s 2004 book, Stiff, the curious lives of human cadavers.

 

Alignment of coffins can be a thorny issue.  I remember going out to the Manokin Cemetery on the day we buried my grandmother, Mary Value Dennis Clark, in Princess Anne, Maryland, to check on the preparations. It was early August 1984 and scorching hot. The two African American gravediggers, who were working just with shovels, were perspiring heavily and mopping their brows: “No way we can have this grave ready on time. This neighboring coffin is lying in the way.  Another coffin won’t fit until this one is shifted back to where it belongs.” 

 

Aunt Mary Balloch, as she had been known, had been a cantankerous individual in life and here she was, true to form, posing a problem in the afterlife as well. I jumped down into the grave and began digging furiously in hopes that Aunt Mary could be moved the necessary amount  before the funeral procession arrived.  About this time, a funeral home staffer in a dark suit and dark tie arrived and I seem to recall him looking down at me—wearing a white shirt and black tie--in horror and placing an urgent call to the office using a large (newly-minted?) cell phone:

 

“Holy Jesus, George, we got a helluva problem out here. Y’awl are coming out here with the hearse in thirty minutes, but we got this other vault lying partly in Ms. Mary’s grave. And, to make matters worse, one of the family has done jumped down inta the grave and is diggin’ like a banshee!  I’ve asked him to kindly git his ass outta there but it’s true the two diggers are done in.  We ain’t lookin’ good right now. I would slow things down as much as ya can.”     

 

I’m the sort that will probably enjoy listening to Greg Melville’s new book, Over my dead body: unearthing the hidden history of America’s cemeteries.  In her review, Tatiana Schlossberg mentions that “In 1857, Seneca Village, a ‘rare haven of Black ownership stretching from 82nd to 89th Streets, was seized by the city for the construction of Central Park. The ‘tightknit community’ of laborers and service workers (accounting for ‘10% of the city’s Black voting population’) was uprooted but the dead they’d buried in the Village’s graveyards were not. As Melville writes, ‘the park was simply built above them.’”

 

But for our lights, we crossed Trumansburg Creek in the dark and then took a left onto Lake Street.  And just past the Tburg Sewage Treatment Plant, after pausing for two cars, we took a right onto King St, climbing steeply until a left onto tree-canopied Cayuga St. Once at East Main St, we ordered pizza at New York Pizzeria—where I chatted with FLCCer Jim McKenna—and then we repaired to Garrett’s Brewing Company next door. By this time, Jim and Gian had headed back.

 

On leaving Garrett’s, Bryan offered an extra jacket to any of us, but surprisingly there were no takers. TJ and Bryan led the group back and I wondered if my 600 lumen front-light was back-lighting TJ too much.  But, he did not complain and I was able to better see the occasional jumps he did lifting his bike off the ground altogether. 

 

On Falls Road, the stand of goldenrod to the right of the ditch looked like a dead coral reef without a single fish moving amongst the somber dark vertical forms.  I suppose an advantage of night-riding is the ability to focus on the road ahead and to find a rhythm.  I won’t call the pace that Bryan and TJ set blistering but despite their chatting amicably much of the way, there were definitely some horses-headed-back-to-the-barn aspects to the return trip.  The metal pipes erected at the trail entrances at each road-crossing reminded me at our brisk pace of the croquet term, sticky wicket.  Luckily, we raced through each wicket without mishap, and we encountered no one else along the route and no cross-traffic.

 

It was 37F back at Cass Park and I suspect we all felt cold.  My pulse was 50% faster than at the start whereas Rob’s was only 5% faster.

 

Thanks to Andy and Katie for a great gravel season.  X-Country anyone? 

 

Ride and ski safe everyone,  John 
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