Today’s Route: Route 5 to Amsdell Rd.
Today: 40 miles. Total miles: 3660 Riding time: 3 hrs 16 min
Elevations: Portland: 784′ Hamburg: 820′
Total ascent: 1358’ Total descent: 1250’
Calories: 2129 Avg speed 12.35 mph Max speed 24 mph
Riding into a rousing welcome to the Hamburg-Buffalo area orchestrated by retired NY State Troooper Don Gleason, I was greeted by members of Western NY C.O.P.S. Chapter, officers from 7 different LE area agencies – FBI, NY State Troopers, Hamburg PD, Cheektowaga PD, Erie County Sheriffs, Buffalo PD, Attorney General’s office and several media outlets – Hamburg Sun, Buffalo News, TV2 WGRZ (NBC) and TV7 WKBW (ABC). After the media interviews, we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon and evening of food and camaraderie with all present; bicyclist’s dream meal: pasta, salad, awesome chicken with mushrooms and artichokes, and meat balls! Relaxed into the later evening on the Gleason’s deck overlooking their pool and the golf course behind their beautiful home! What a day!
The rest of the story: Since Don had asked us to arrive at his house together, Jeanne headed east on Route 5 and, at 2:15pm, turned right onto Amsdell Rd in Hamburg. All was going according to plan until she met the 10’11” underpass about a half mile from his house and realized our trailer is 11’7”! Oops! As traffic quickly backed up behind her on this narrow 2-lane country road with no shoulder – including several school buses in both directions – she frantically called Don for help! Almost immediately, Lt Jim Koch with Hamburg PD showed up, lights flashing – the Lt was part of the group waiting for us at Don’s home! Lt Koch got the traffic moving; another officer showed up and backed our trailer up the road about a quarter mile to the first side street. Jeanne took it from there, following a NYS Trooper and another Hamburg officer on a roundabout way to Don’s to avoid the underpass! Another Hamburg officer met the next challenge: backing the trailer into Don’s driveway which is just long enough to accommodate the trailer, with the truck protruding into the road! Jeanne unhitched the trailer as quickly as possible with several officers directing more backed-up traffic, including several school buses loaded with kids going home on their first day of school!
As all this was going on, I was being escorted by a Hamburg Officer with cruiser lights flashing up Route 5 and down Amsdell Road, under the infamous underpass, arriving at Don’s house to a rousing welcome – just minutes after Jeanne got the truck out of the middle of the road! About 2 dozen Law Enforcement and C.O.P.S. well-wishers had gathered at Gleasons to greet us!
Don’s wife Heidi, a teacher in one of the Hamburg elementary schools, didn’t know until she got home why all the school buses were late, which kept the teachers from leaving on time!
Quote for the Day: “A friend is a present you give yourself.” Robert Louis Stevenson