There was only a sliver of ice along the edge of the parking area and the temperature was rising from 45.
It became evident about 24 hours previously that New Year’s Eve day would be a special one — temperatures were rising and the various storm systems that have been harrying travelers all over the continent were still avoiding the vicinity of our sheltered city. In the morning, it was 40 degrees by 9:00 am with blue skies. In short, a day for a bike ride.
About a dozen cyclists assembled behind Gaia, the turtle in Cass Park for a ride through and around Ithaca. From the Waterfront Trail at State Street we wound around Brindley Street, past Wegmans across Meadow Street and made our way to the end of Spencer Road at Buttermilk Falls State Park. After a break to look at the ice-covered falls and pose for a group photo, we headed back along Spencer Road and Albany Street and a jog to Cayuga Street.
Posing for the group shot at Buttermilk Falls
We were headed for the Lincoln Street Diner, a place I had never visited but which had a wonderful reputation as a friendly, neighborhood eatery. And so it was — most of us had a good lunch of breakfast food and coffee.
After the lunch stop, we continued north past Ithaca Falls (truly spectacular with ice and lots of water) to the head of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail by the visitors’ bureau on East Shore Drive. The new trail through Stewart Park was beautiful, swooping along the lakefront and passing over the new bridge structures toward the municipal golf course, and eventually to the Farmers’ Market. At our stop at the (temporary) end of the Waterfront Trail, a few riders split off and the rest of us continued into the city via Third Street. On Cayuga Street, several other riders split off for home and three of us followed Buffalo Street back to Cass Park.
It really was a gift of a day — the temperature reached 50 and there was almost no wind. Of course, there will be winter days when we’d rather not be biking; but, still, it’s a city where days like this come at least a few times through the cold seasons, days when we can remind ourselves of what a beautiful place we live in.
– until the next such day!