A report on the 2018 Daily Grind Ride by Hugh.
“We decided to “grind it out” it out on Saturday August 18th from one Daily Grind to another.”
by Hugh Johnson
On August 11th it was looking as if “Mother Nature” was going to cooperate and allow for a an Albany Biking Coalition (ABC) ride from the “Daily Grind” in Albany to the one in Troy along the bike path.
Well, at the last minute, rain developed forcing the ride to be cancelled even though some rode through the rain for Daily Grind Ride -18 Part “A.”
A week later, the same dilemma unfolded. This time the weather trends went from better to worse, but by Saturday morning, there was hope that we could squeeze the ride despite some gloomy forecasts.
I, being a retired NWS forecaster, put my thinking cap on and looked at lots of data. It looked to me besides a few rogue showers, we might be able to squeeze the ride in. After much discussion, we decided NOT to cancel the ride.
Most of the group, consisting of 11 bikers, met at the Daily Grind on Lark Street in Albany. However, two met with the remainder of the group at the Albany Riverfront Park boat launch. As the group left the Daily Grind, a new line of showers associated with the actual cold front blossomed to our northwest and strengthened. Luckily, the folks who rode from the Grind got down to shelter under I-787 before the big dump.
Unfortunately, there was some small faux pas, as Glenn had to swerve to avoid a biker on the wrong side of the road, taking action only to find his back tire caught in a crack. As a result, the law of physics took over. The wheel stopped the forward momentum of the bike but not the rider. As a result, Glenn took off from the seat and landed onto the road. Fortunately he was probably going less than 10 mph so while a “perfect storm” of events leading up to the minor accident, it could have been worse. He had wrapped his knee up in a Band-Aid as it was scrapped, but luckily not significantly injured. He showed up a few minutes behind the rest of the group.
It took some convincing, but I persuaded all the folks to remain under the bridge. It took some time for the really heavy rainfall to arrive but when it did, I think everyone was glad to be hunkered underneath the 787 bridge as the rain came slashing. We remained anchored for the better part of an hour until the rains finally let up. Our forecast dilemma was not over. There was yet another batch of showers trying to work toward us in the Schoharie Valley. However, I noticed our wind had shifted to the north and there was a distinct cooling compared to the earlier stifling feel to the day. I surmised the cold front had gone through and the next batch of showers would likely remain south of us.
We started, still with some light rain, and MANY puddles on the bike trail. Slowly we ambled, well maybe NOT so slowly. We got to the Rt. 378/High St. Bridge where we had to climb one of our few hills, the curvy extension from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail to the bridge. There was still water flowing down the incline, but it was no problem getting up to the bridge. After that, we stayed on the left side of the bridge and ended up over another bridge overlooking the Wynantskill which was roaring quite a bit due to the rains (see picture).
We regrouped, and then zig zagged our way across the still developing “Uncle Sam Trail” through the riverfront of Troy. At a brief stop, Pam talked about the Burden Iron Museum (second photo below). We did leave the trail, climbing one short but very steep hill that put us on 3rd Street and to our destination, the Daily Grind Café in Troy.
We got in and had a nice brunch/lunch for half price. The staff was very friendly and the food delicious. We hung awhile with chatting away. I checked the radar again and alas, it looked as if the second batch of rain was JUST going to miss us!
We headed back to a slowly clearing sky and a refreshingly drier air mass. As a little perk, we even had a tail wind back to Albany (a north wind). The trip back saw a much drier surface, with just a few remaining standing puddles. As usual, the riders split up a little as some had to get somewhere with a deadline. Some were tired and needed to rest more. By the time we pulled into the riverfront, the sun was brightly shining leaving only a small evidence of the earlier deluge. The ride was a little over 20 miles.
I seem to have this curse about me, the “Hughie curse.” With few exceptions, weather almost always tried to get in the way when I participate in these “organized” events. The same issue happened when I lead a Pine Bush Hike in both May and June. The May hike was washed out but we snuck the June one before it rained. Today was no exception but we won out over Mother Nature!
Our riders were Barb, Oliver, Brent (ride leader), Hugh, Glenn (road warrior), Pam (co-leader), Dana, Mark, Ed, Dick, and Lorenz.