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A Tour Through History
Meandering down through Wind Ridge and West Hollow Rd. into Naples, the riders can enjoy passage through this turn-of-the-century town. The settlers of Naples first entered the valley by crossing on the winter ice of Canandaigua Lake. Naples also claims to being home to the first automobile invented in the United States. One of its most famous natives was Marion Clark, a nineteenth century abolitionist governor of New York State. His daughter was Mrs. F. F. Thompson, who owned the estate at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, and extensively donated to the community, including donations for the founding of F. F. Thompson Memorial Hospital.
Of course what comes down must go back up in Highlander minds and so the rider quickly encounters a steep climb up CR36 to another well- placed rest stop at the foot of the next climb (French Hill). Here you will cross paths with Lowlander Century riders coming down the Honeoye Lake Valley. In 1779, a Seneca village at Honeoye was destroyed by the expeditionary force under the command of General John Sullivan. Interestingly enough, Canandaigua was also the site of another Indian village destroyed by Sullivan’s troops. Today you can see why the area was coveted and fought over. The name, Canandaigua means “The Chosen Spot”.
Italy Valley and Sliter Road
The next several miles are filled with nice passage among forests of pines and streams, followed by a long climb up SR53. As the route heads south, we are reminded of The Wilder family in South Bristol, who formed the first religious society in the Phelps-Gorham Purchase. The purchase comprised the land running approximately from the Genesee River to Geneva, and from Lake Ontario to the Pennsylvania state line. Once reaching the apex, the rider is treated to a sweet descent down Prattsburg Road into Italy Valley. A welcome refueling stop can be found
here at a Mom & Pop style convenience store. For the extremely courageous, there are extra bragging points available for climbing the hill next door (Italy Turnpike). But don’t forget to come back down. You may want to think twice though. Only the veterans know what is about to hit them next up the valley road. After a nice cruise though Europe-like scenery, a sharp left takes the rider up the incomparable Sliter Road. Peaking at 23% grade and nearly 1 mile long, the climb is nearly unbelievable to the screaming legs and arms. Only the strong and proud will conquer this climb.
“Naples claims to being home to the first automobile invented in the United States.”
“Sliter Road, peaking at 23% grade and nearly a mile long.”