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Old 05-09-2013, 08:15 AM   #96
TucsonStan OP
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Oddometer: 49
It's been more than a few days since I last posted a ride report, let's see if I can catch things up a bit as I've now got some extra time on my hands.

After breakfast with Derek and Lauren, I ride around Ithaca a bit as I try to find Hwy 96B.

Being from Tucson, scenes like this one are extremely hard to come by.

Apparently, Ithaca is well known for it's gorges. I have a friend in Tucson who, when I called her, wents nuts when I told her that I was in Ithaca. She said that I had to look at ALL the gorges in Ithaca. Sorry Maxine, as free form as this trip has been, looking at ALL the gorges in Ithaca just isn't on the schedule. Besides, I can't do that, I have a baseball game waiting for me in Binghampton!

I was impressed by the number of flowering trees. It looks like spring has sprung in Ithaca.

I finally located a street sign which tells me how to get to Hwy 96B. When I'd left Derek's a bit earlier, I wasn't quite prepared for a spring ride through the hills of New York. After filling up with gas, I again put on most of the clothes that I brought as well as my rain jacket. There was no rain in the forcast by it helps with the wind.

Hwy 96B out of Ithaca, turns out to look pretty much like Hwy 79 that I rode into Ithaca on. Hwy 96B turns into plain ol' Hwy 96 eventually, which puts me on Hwy 17 for the short ride back to Binghampton and the Binghampton Mets game that I skipped the night before.

Her is NYSE&G stadium.....

.....home of the Binghampton Mets.

I'm noticing that the pictures are a bit blurry. Maybe the camera is developing a problem or the flurryness is cause by the fact that I'm shivering so badly. In this picture, there's a very little red dot on the outfield wall, under the light pole on the left field side, that is actually a digital thermometer that reads a very balmy 55 degrees. And, that's before the even game starts, it got colder as the game progressed.

After paying my $3 to park (parking at the triple A Tucson Padres games is free!), I park right next to where I paid my $3, figuring that the Helix will be safer there. As I'm yacking with the kid who took my money, a car drives up and the guy driving asks if he has to pay as he's a scout. They say no and off he goes.

In the stadium, I notice that he's sitting only a few seats away from the seat that I've staked out as the best seat in the park. I notice that he has the 2nd best seat.

I've been to a plethora of baseball games over the years and scene more than a few baseball scouts. As there are only few people in the stadium and no other scouts sitting in his vacinity, I decide to walk over and talk his ear off with a bunch of questions.

Turns out that he's a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the teams he used to play for. His name in Alan Benes. That name immediately sounds familiar to me. Later, I look him up on the computer. Turns out that I remembered his much more well known brother, Andy Benes. I knew that name sounded familiar. As a player, he was a pitcher and played 10 years or so. I asked him when he played and he says through most of the 90's. I say that you played with the kid from Port St. Lucie, Fl. He looks at me quizically. I say the pitcher who couldn't find homeplate during the World Series. He smiles and says, oh Rick Ankiel. Yup, that's him. I think Rick Ankiel now holds the record for most wild pitches in one inning in a Worls Series game. Rick Ankiel had a great throwing arm so, after the World Series, the Cardinals sent him back to the minors and retrained him as an outfielder. He later made it back to the majors as a centerfielder. From deep centerfield, he could find home plate with pinpoint accuracy. The last I heard, he had been released from the Washington Nationals organization. Alan said he was still playing but I forget where he said that was.

By the 5th inning, with the Mets losing by a score of 3-0 and that digital thermometer out in leftfield now reading 50 degrees, I do something I almost never do, I leave a baseball game early. Next morning, I look the game up on the computer and, as my luck would have it, I see that the Mets rallied to beat the Erie Seawolves by a score of 4-3.

In the morning, I'm intending to ride in a general easterly direction. It's now Tuesday, I've got nothing more on the schedule other than a quiet week waitng for The Real Cannonball race to begin on May 4th, in New York City. I figure I'll ride east, find an inexpensive motel, if that's possible, in New Jersey somewhere. A motel that's not too close yet not to far away. I want to be able to get to the race start in a reasonable amount of early morning riding time.

My search for Helix continues......
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