Started south on New York Route 96B. Rode uphill for the first four or five miles to get out of the Cayuga Lake valley. Route 96B becomes 96 after a while. Continued south to Owego where I saw a sign for Bike Route 17. Followed the signs for the rest of the day.
Followed them a little too faithfully. East on New York Route 17C, parallel to the Susquehanna River until Endicott, a suburb of Binghamton. Across the river on New York Route 26. East on Broome County Route 434. Back across the river on Broome County Route 201 into Binghamton. City streets in town, then north on US Highway 11. North? The beginning of a mistake. Didn't know how far I'd gone until it was too late to turn back. Still heading north, but now on New York Route 12 to Chenango Forks. Out of Binghamton, finally. There must be a reason for this detour. East on New York Route 79. Uphill for miles and miles. Checking the topographic map book shows no apparent reason for this detour. It's just as hilly to the South. Lot's of downhill runs with only short uphill segments. Lot's of cute little dairy farms in cute little valleys. Like riding through a postcard. Downhill some more until I'm back on the Susquehanna River then four or five miles to Old Route 17. See a mile marker, "Binghamton 16 miles". Don't know exactly, but I think I rode 26 miles since Binghamton. Feels like more than a ten-mile detour. Bicycles are likely prohibited on Route 17, but there are better ways to follow it than the one the state recommends. This segment should be rerouted.
Old Route 17 runs east through wooded country. No more farms. Saw a huge coyote cross the street, nearly six feet long from head to tail. The sun is setting. Find a motel in the unbelievably named town of Deposit. Decide to stop pedaling even though I have enough energy for another thirty miles. Don't feel like riding in the dark. The manager takes forever to get to the desk. Cross country skis, hunting-related ads, and Catholic tracts in the office. A weird odor. I consider bailing out the door during the abnormally long wait. A run down place, but it'll do.