Enjoy the countryside… but, be safe
There are some really spectacular outdoor recreation opportunities in the Ulysses area, and this weekend was no exception. Saturday, I enjoyed the annual “Hector for the Heck of It” group volleyball-hiking-picnicing-campfiresinging-camping extravaganza in the nearby National Forest on Saturday– marred only by former T-burg resident John Rogers having to leave to rescue his son, who had a bicycle malfunction while coming in from the Spencer/Van Etten area. On Sunday, I volunteered to help host the Local Farms tour, which began with a big breakfast of local foods at the Cayuga Nature Center, followed by farm visits at several local farms. I was stationed at Glenhaven Farm on Sirrine Rd., where the winetasting will continue to be available, but, alas, the blueberry picking is now officially over for the season, after today’s last chance. Picking was not as easy as earlier in the season, but, the weather was very conducive, and lots and lots of berrypickers came through with buckets full of berries, and children with blue fingers and tongues, and big smiles. The planned bicycle-tour of the farms on the farm trail was, unfortunately, canceled, as not enough people signed up for it…
…but, there were certainly lots of bicyclists out enjoying the countryside and the cooler weather on Sunday. We passed several on Perry City Rd., and, as is typical for a Sunday this time of year, there were also cars parked along DuBois Rd., their owners enjoying biking the nice, flat road with the peek-a-boo views of the lake….
All very pleasant, indeed. When we were driving down to Taughannock State Park in the evening, to enjoy our typical BBQ-and-swim (tonight’s menu: local lamb chops, local organic sweet corn and beans, local organic Yukon Gold potatoes– a freebie from a Cornell researcher– and local wine)…. we had the sobering experience of seeing the down side of all that blissful enjoying of the countryside. We arrived on the scene along Rt. 89 just after one of three bicyclists riding together had been hit by a car. While his fellow riders both had bike helmets on, there was no helmet visible on the stricken rider, who was being covered in blankets to prevent shock while waiting for the first-responders to arrive. A woman in the car that hit him was totally flipping out. Later, as we were swimming at the beach, the Medivac helicopter landed in the big field where the Saturday concerts are held, and the EMT and Volunteer firefighter crew tranferred him from the ambulance, and the helicopter took off again, heading South. Sure hope he is going to be ok. Moral of the story: enjoy the countryside, it is wonderful…. but, take your cell phone so you can call a friend or relative if your bike breaks down or your bike tour gets cancelled, wear your bike helmet every time, and, especially on Rt. 89, which is narrow, curvy, and full of over-relaxedand-under-attentive-on-vacation drivers, take care to ride single file, and keep to the right-hand side of the road.
OOPS! Update– looks like the guy hit by the car on Rt. 89 was actually walking, not biking– that explains seeing no bike helmet. I had assumed that the helmeted bicyclists taking excellent care of him before first responders arrived were his friends, by their attentive and caring actions. I guess they were just first on the scene, knew first aid, and got the situation in hand.