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Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Trip Wrap-Up

This is posting #8, the wrap-up, of a camping and bicycling trip I took with some friends through the Finger Lakes region of upper-state New York. Here's the complete set of postings:
  1. Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Overview and preliminary travel, Sunday, Monday June 2, 3
  2. Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Tuesday, June 4
  3. Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Wednesday, June 5 - small incident, no biking
  4. Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Thursday, June 6
  5. Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Friday, June 7 - campsite transition, no biking
  6. Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Saturday, June 8
  7. Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Sunday, June 9
  8. Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Trip Wrap-Up    <- are="" here="" i="" you="">⇐ You are here
This trip was demanding, and worth every bit of the effort. I'm very glad I went.

Before summarizing some bits that are important to me, I want to summarize the most important - thanks to friends (old and new) for helping to make it happen, and worthwhile.

Thanks to Ash and Ingrid for inviting me, and arranging it so I could! In some ways it was an opportunity of a lifetime, particularly because I was supported in investigating how to extend my digestive regime to be able to camp and do intensive daily biking. Also, thanks to Ingrid for sharing in a spirit of travel for the sake of travel, rather than being bound to a particular agenda - it was great to navigate with you. Thanks, too, to Ana for being supportive of my venturing out, particularly at a critical time, and for the collapsible cookware, in which usefulness and niftiness I took great pleasure! And also, Steve and Susan and family, for their welcoming hospitality and the treat of the additional beautiful places where we stayed.

The trip was terrifically engaging in a number of ways.

I had two primary purposes in mind for the trip – an engrossing vacation, where I really got away from typical daily life, and an experiment with my food regime, to see if and how I could adjust it to sustain such intensive daily activity. I am very happy with how both purposes were met.

Camping and biking can be demanding in a moment-to-moment way, one that can be quite rewarding. I had to pay immediate attention to whatever I was doing – more so than usual – to make things work well, with the reward of being closer to nature and the moment-to-moment course of my day. I noticed the taste and sustenance of camp food more than my regular meals in part because I had to work more for it, I was more hungry and less distracted. Food and sleep felt more "earned". Friendly encounters with people along the way can be more encouraging, because I'm more engaged and everything matters a bit more. I did the pedaling to get up the hills that wind up at gorgeous vistas. I was sometimes uncomfortably weary, and sometimes bored and ready for a change, but more often (and sometimes even meanwhile) I was smelling the freshness and savoring where I was and, altogether, a bit more able to arrive more fully in these places that I like to be. A sense of greater "susceptibility to arriving" seems to have lasted, even a few weeks after my return. I expect it will make some positive difference in a long-lasting way.

I've detailed some of the food/fueling challenges and what I did about them. There have been some lasting but thankfully small consequences, which seem to be settling well. I still am settling the indigestion residual from my experiments, though it seems to mostly be gone, two weeks later, and I would say was pretty slight, even within a week of my regular food cycle after my return. And I feel that cost was very worth the knowledge gained - that I do have (enjoyable (-: ) ways to sustain intensive daily energy outlay, when I need or want to do so. This is a big deal! But it isn't a trivial proposition - there was some modest cost. Happily, I have not experienced the kinds of fouling that can happen with some foods and some other regime changes. I'm also a little surprised, and happy that my lack of need to snack during the day hasn't been disrupted – it took years for my body to grow accustomed to that.

I got to get some decent perspective on my continuing capacities for such adventures.

When I was a kid - 14, 15, 16 - on three-week long summer bike trips with American Youth Hostels (now Hostelling International USA), by the middle of the second week and after we were doing sometimes 75 mile days in mountainous terrain carrying all our gear on our bikes, day after day. Could I get to that point if I stayed out longer? I don't know, but I have more sense of what I would need to do to sustain a longer venture than the one I just did. Whether or not I do more, what I learned is useful, and strengthening and refreshment are both treasures.

In the way of more technical notes...

When used carefully, Google Maps was fantastically helpful. The bad turns we got were few and trivial - small short-cut roads that no longer existed, and easy to work around. It was crucial to take some proactive steps:
  • Use the maps download option to ensure maps are stashed for offline use
  • Learn how to add "stops" to tweak a route to your specific needs
    • (In the Maps mobile app, in the "Directions" activity, use the "..." ellipsis menu by the first stop to either "Add stop" or "Edit stops". Once you've added a stop, use the horizontal-lines "grab" button to move the stop to the order you want.)
  • Learn how to preserve routes you've gotten, so that they're still present when internet connectivity is missing.
  • Learn to share routes across the internet with your companions, when you have internet, and how to activate location sharing with them to help you track each other.
  • Have everyone get a paper map, for fallback if everything else fails.
Finally, the upper New York state Finger Lakes region is a great area to visit and explore. Lots of beautiful farmland with many small, pleasant roads going over interesting and beautiful terrain, lakes, interesting terrain, idyllic small towns, and lots of fresh air! I would be happy to do this again.

Previous: Finger Lakes 2019-06 Biking: Sunday, June 9

Comments

Ana Orenstein said…
Yay glad the collapsible cookware was a success! ... And that the trip was so worthwhile and yielded such wonderful discoveries.

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