My puppy had really cut into my riding this year so I'd been anxiously awaiting early June when Doug Lovelace and I were going to ride to a conference our organization co-sponsored in the lovely town of Kingston,Ontario.
Roadcrafter riding suit, so I opted for a new AGV Topanga perforated leather jacket I'd recently bought for warm weather rides.
The total distance from Carlisle to Kingston is about 400 miles with most of the way on I-81, but Doug and I decided to split the trip up over two days and take the scenic route.
On Sunday we went through some of my favorite Central Pennsylvania twisties, stopping for lunch in Lock Haven, taking a quick side trip to Hyner View State Park which overlooks the Susquehanna valley between Lock Haven and Renovo, and then hitting the Finger Lakes district of western New York. After passing through Watkins Glen and miles of vineyards and wineries on the shores of Seneca Lake, we spent the night in Geneva, NY, a cute little town that is the home of Hobart and William Smith College. After a long day in black leather, I did some serious re-hydrating at a pub near our hotel.
The next day we scooted along the shores of Lake Ontario to Cape Vincent, NY, took a quick ferry ride to Wolfe Island (which is Canadian so we had to clear customs and immigration), rode across the island, and took a much larger ferry into Kingston.
Thousand Islands Bridge, stay in I-81 for a few hundred miles, exit at Cortland, NY, pass through Ithaca and Elmira, enter Pennsylvania on Route 14 and eventually pick up Route 15, which would bring us home, just north of Williamsport, PA.
While it rained the first day we were in Kingston, the weather on the return was even nicer than going up. Everything was proceeding according to plan until Doug, who was in the lead, missed the exit at Cortland. I had a few seconds to decide whether to follow him or stick to the route and I opted to take the exit. With hindsight, this was a mistake.
Once Doug noticed I wasn't behind him anymore, he backtracked looking for me. After I exited, I pulled over and waited a bit for him but thought he had decided to just come all the way back on I 81, so I took off on the planned route. He tried to call me but called my work Blackberry, which was packed, rather than my personal cell phone which was in my pocket. As it turned out, Doug also took the planned route but was probably a half an hour or so behind me. Once I got on to the "go fast" isolated rural roads in Pennsylvania, he was probably an hour behind me.
Despite this kerfuffle, it was a great ride. We went through some lovely country, much of which I'd never seen before. The bike and the new gear I'd bought for the trip--the AGV jacket, a new Frog Togg rain suit (which I didn't need), and an additional Ortleib dry duffle all functioned as they should.
Now I'm all excited about my upcoming Virginia/West Virginia ride. Stay tuned.