Saturday, July 19, 2008

13 Tour de Cattaraugus Area 5 : Humphrey and Around


While the boys in the Tour de France hit the sick Col de Agnel tomorrow in stage 15 (3rd highest paved road in France), I continue my cute little tour of Cattaraugus. I know right, totallly amateur! Ha..!

Previously, you may remember that I had cycled to some places both north and south of Olean in Areas 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Here's Area 5 and the gradient profile of the 60 mile or so route.

My 5.5 hour on-saddle adventure today saw me first in Humphrey, tackling the appetizer Chapel Hill and the unpaved Howe Hill (private wooded hunting lands on both sides).

Then I got into Franklinville, eating up Fish and Laidlaw hills that were nothing really until the creepy Pierce Hill really dished out a workout. This was a pretty steep unpaved climb that gained atleast a 1000 feet in elevation over 1 or 2 miles. Pictures are below.

Just when I thought my heart would pop out of my chest, I had to handle the steep and jittery downhill!

Damn. I was done with Franklinville.

Next, I crossed into Ischua and met the gregarious Dutch Hill. It was paved, hurray! Dutch Hill road takes you up the Ichua Valley to about 2200+ feet or so, very close to the highest treeline. The views from up there were great.

Finally, I hit the unpaved Maple Hill and went a little into Union Valley and Smith Hollow but having been reminded that I needed to be home back soon to run errands, I turned back, hit rt 16 and rode down to Olean.

So here are the conquests of the day :

And below is my cyclophotography, all done riding with a handheld camera, placed in my jersey pocket. Out in the country, all by myself and not a thing to worry about.

Hope you enjoy the pictures from my saddle.

Long way to go (5 mile road)

Chapel Hill begins here

Climb begins

This is one of those fancy pancy bikes (click here to see my bike and its components)

Howe Hill begins

Loose gravel section of Howe

Warning sign for trucks

The view from atop Howe

Fish Hill

Atop Laidlow

Can't bike up there, can I?

Great view

It was so hot today that tar was melting (here is melted tar on my tire)

There's no weekend for farmers

Horse country

A store in Franklinville

What are bikes doing with liquor bottles?

No cyclocomputer needed nor a GPS.. here's my GPS - directions written on Flash cards (I'm such a nerd!)

Rt 16 South

Fancy cars...

.... poor drivers, they must be tired

Pierce Hill begins

Lovely view on both sides

Unkept and uncouth - Pierce Hill

Looking back at how much I climbed - Pierce Hill


The famous Dutch Hill

Picture taken as I was climbing Dutch Hill

Behind me - so far, so good..

More views from atop Dutch Hill

Just at about treeline (2200+ feet)

Found this on the side of the road (rt. 16 south)

I'll fly it :)

Turns out, its a memorial ground


  1. Anonymous10:50 PM

    I couldn't put a ride better in pictures that you. Great blog!

  2. Sounds like a great ride with some good climbing. What website/software do you use to get your hill profiles? I use but am looking for something better.

    Take it easy and keep on ridin'!!

  3. Zach,

    I use for profiles. For more features you can use Yeah, this are is great for cycling.

  4. Nice tour ron. Thanks for the great pics.


  5. Blue you're welcome. I want to see Nova Scotia though! We're just across the Atlantic! Have you visited NY before?

  6. Nice bike. Zero gravity brakes - how do you like them? Beautiful part of the world you are riding in. Thanks for the picture tour. I love seeing other parts of the world so please keep taking your camera on your rides. :-)

  7. Zero gravity .... to be very honest with you, I'd take that off now and just put on some conventional brakes. They're just lightweight, performance has been bad.

  8. Nice ride Ron... very entertaining pics. I think Fish Hill is my favorite... just for the name. So, your bike (sweet), HED wheels... you like? Just researching and thinking of wheel set purchase down the road. Thought "the engineer" might have some good suggestions. Thanks!

  9. Don : I know you into the climbing thingy :)

    My personal suggestion? Get custom wheels, pick your parts and save a lot of money....go for DT Swiss everything, Chris King hubs etc if you can to go down in weight. 1300-1400 grams for a wheelset is really good for climbing unless you have more money to shell out to bring it down. You have this option in and other sites like competitive cyclist.

    Otherwise, check into Rol and American Classics (sprint 350's etc)

    HED Jets are very durable. For me, no truing in 5000 miles. Not a single issue with the hubs. They're 15 or 1600 grams a pair, but thats a non issue for me. If I'd do something different, I'd go down a notch in rim depth to maybe 30mm or something...that should make it versatile in most situations. For me, wind and hills are a big factor. Can't do much flat out time trialling around here for sure.

  10. Ron - I heard that before (about the Zero Gravities). That's why I asked. Just saw that you were discussing wheels with Donald. Any thoughts on 32 spoke front wheels? Necessary? Good idea? Better go 28 and save some weight (I'm not a weight weenie but if I can save some ...)? It's just for the front wheel of my PowerTap wheelset (Mavic OpenPro Rims, DT Swiss spokes and PowerTap matching front hub).

  11. Wow Ron, I feel like I was on the ride with you. Great pictures.

  12. Groover : If you're light, you're better off with a less spoke count aero wheel on the front. The mavic open pro's are really good. Have you looked into them?

    James : Glad you liked the pictures. I'll be riding more, so keeping checking in.


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