David Freeze: Making progress on a less productive day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 25, 2015

Editor’s note: Salisbury native David Freeze is cycling from Mobile, Alabama to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Post is chronicling each day of his ride. Contact him at david.freeze@ctc.net.

Yesterday was almost the perfect day on the road, but today it just seemed like my feet were stuck in the sand. I didn’t have a long day planned, with my only goal being to make it into the Buffalo area and get a reasonable plan together for the next few days.

After another spectacular sunset in Dunkirk last night, I started thinking about planning the last 10 days of the adventure. As I write this, I am still uncertain as to how the next few days will unfold. I will address that later in this update.

I was out and riding again this morning with a jacket on. Lows have been in the 50s for the last few days, but the air temps have warmed quickly once the sun gets up. This morning, I only wore the jacket for about four miles. Back on Route 5 along the water again this morning, I got a few views early before the trees blocked them out. I had the feeling on today’s ride that I just couldn’t get my legs going and most of the ride seemed uphill.

My first town was Silver Creek, where I stopped to send some more material home that will help me recall the trip as I write the next book. Nobody seemed particularly interested in me as I walked around the town. There was a huge 1921 theatre that is still there though it appears unused. The biggest store in town is a Rite Aid, one that has a grocery in it.

Back on the road, I headed toward Irving, but never knew exactly when I was there. Lots of businesses lined Route 5, including eventually the Cattaragus Indian Reservation, who appeared to be called the Senecas. Gambling and cheap cigarettes were advertised repeatedly.

I did stop at McDonald’s and got my two for $3 egg McMuffins and chocolate chip cookies. I take the meat off and usually this is a great breakfast while I catch up using the best WiFi on the planet. Believe me, dependable WiFi is still to be appreciated.

The breakfast helped some and I headed out to Lotus Point, Evangola State Park and Lake Erie Beach on what they call Lake Shore Road. I was on it for close to 20 miles and much of it felt like riding a nervous horse — bumps and holes were almost impossible to avoid. The highlight was some amazing views of Lake Erie beaches and some huge homes overlooking the prime spots. One of the most incredible views was solely owned by a very modest house, right at the top of a bluff. They had a far off view of the tall buildings of Buffalo, enough to provide a “Wow” moment when I saw it for the first time.

Finally off of the bad roads, I headed more east toward Hamburg and a back way into Buffalo. About this time, I called the Buffalo Visitor Center and asked about available motels at reasonable rates, and found that they were pushing the $150-per-night places. He also didn’t help much on the sights to see in Buffalo, but the Post readers have been doing a bang-up job on that.

After Hamburg, I headed for Orchard Park, the home of the Buffalo Bills. I planned to spend the night just north of Orchard Park and ended up with a reasonable place. In fact, I might be in West Seneca now instead of Orchard Park. I can’t tell where they divide. Today’s total was 55 miles.

My best people connection came in Orchard Park this afternoon when I met the six members of the John Boncaldo family at a dairy bar. They were all quite personable and suggested things that I could see while in Buffalo. It was fun to have a picture made with them.

With that all said, I will plan tonight how to make the best use of the days coming up. I am leaning toward spending the day in Buffalo tomorrow and then going into Canada early Sunday. Once a few questions are answered tonight, I might know for sure.

The only sure things are that I will be in Owen Sound, Ontario next Saturday and Toronto on Monday. There should be a lot of fun and discovery coming up.

Thanks again for following along. I love the suggestions on things to do and places to visit. The Post certainly has some amazing readers. I will visit with everyone again tomorrow!