Groton to Elmira, 56.9 mi, 2184 ft of climbing.

In the morning, Shana and the children were off to Scout camp, and Steve made me a scrumptious omelet with roasted red peppers and real home fried potatoes. I let the tent dry out — just a little dew on the fly and water on the footprint — while Steve and I talked about good tours they could do in a couple of days. I pointed him to the Pine Creek Rail Trail as a good loop they could do in 5-7 days, and I’m going to send him some maps from tours I’ve done to the Finger Lakes.

I had an easy day today given that I was going down the hole to Ithaca. Steve gave me some pointers on the route out of Groton to Ithaca, and I made my own route between Ithaca and Elmira. Both Ride with GPS and Google Maps picked routes with very steep hills to avoid the highway. Having done a lot of cycling in my youth on RT 220 in Altoona being buzzed by tractor trailers, riding on a highway doesn’t bother me. Especially here in NY where 95% of the road has 6-8′ shoulders in very good condition.

In Ithaca, I popped over to Moosewood, but it wasn’t open, and I really didn’t want to spend $30 on lunch. I found “The Yellow Deli” which was in the ped mall, had outdoor seating, and had a delicious Ruben and a warm cinnamon roll for $12. I then head out on Rt 13 and had a couple gentle climbs and some energy saving downhills that were quite fun.

On the way to West Elmira, a cyclist pulls up next to me and asks “Hey, where are you going?” “Home to PA after a long tour.” “A tour to Quebec?” “Yes! Ah, you must be Jimmie!” “Yes, you’re staying with me tonight! I’ve got to stop at the store up ahead before heading home, but I’ll see you there soon.” I stopped at the store and he had bought some beer and I carried one of the packs back on my rack.

Jimmie is a PA at a cancer center here and I rehashed my shingles episode (over a couple of those beers!) and he was with the care I got 100%. It felt good to have the consensus. Then he made a tasty garlic, peas, and ground turkey pasta. Yes, I had that yesterday, but Alfredo. This was different, and I’ll never turn down pasta on a tour. Heck, I wouldn’t turn down anything – food is my fuel for tomorrow. Jimmie went out to cut up an ash tree that had fallen in his yard, and I got some good pics of him splitting the wood. Another Warm Showers night like so many others on this trip.