Pedaling along the Erie Canal

Today Matt and I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing day riding on the Erie Canal trail.  We rode 92 miles from Niagara Falls to Rochester, NY and the final 60 miles were all long the Erie Canal.  Now I’ve already told you about adding riding the Sacramento River bike trail and RAGBRAI to your to do list.  Well add riding along the Erie Canal to that list as well.  But before I go into the details of the day I need to tell you about Moses Matt working his magic.

Today called for a 30-50% chance of rain all day and when we came down with the bikes at 7:30a ready to roll there was a slight drizzle.  However, by the time we had loaded the car and put on our rain gear wouldn’t you know it but the rain stopped.  Then later in the day while we were at lunch and protected it rained for about 10 minutes but when we got back on the bikes it was sunshine and blue skies.  Then to top it all off we rolled into the hotel in Rochester and literally 2 minutes after we were inside a cloud let loose and it POURED for about 15 minutes.  Matt is starting to get impossible to live with as his Moses Matt powers continue to work their magic.  Here’s Moses Matt letting the clouds he held back all day let loose with rain a few minutes after we were in the hotel:

Now back to the recap of the day.  Upon leaving the hotel Matt went one way and I went the other.  We both stopped a few hundred yards apart and stared at each other wondering what the other was doing.  We rode back to each other and while Matt had started to ride the route for the day he had forgotten that we were going to make a small detour and get a picture at Niagara Falls on our bikes.  Pretty good that it took us 53 days for that to happen.  Here’s the picture of us saying goodbye to Niagara Falls:

From Niagara Falls we rode along New York Bicycle Route 5 to Lockport, NY.  The NY Bicycle routes are roads that are good for cyclists and have been good roads for us to be on.  After our 25 mile ride to Lockport we met Dick and Mary Anna who found a great spot for our B2 and we met up with Brenda, Sarah, Cindy and Katie.  After breakfast we walked across the street to look at the locks and Erie Canal as well as “One of the Widest Bridges in the World”.  Finally a town that could come clean and claim One of the Worlds”…guess their lawyers where the ones who approved the wording of the sign:

Also, notice how we still have our jackets on?  Who would have guessed riding trough New York in August it would be cool enough for us to want a jacket?!?  Shortly after we left Lockport the rest of the gang got to see a boat go through the locks and see how they worked.  Matt and I pedaled a couple of miles down the road and then decided to go check out the Erie Canal trail which is crushed rock not pavement.  So far in both Nebraska and Illinois when we had tried to ride the crushed rock trails the rock was too loose for our small tires and didn’t work for us to ride on.  Matt and I got on the trail and started to ride and were pleasantly surprised to find out that the trail was in great shape and we could ride 18-21 mph.  Suddenly we had a day of riding along the canal with no cars, no need to worry about directions and more or less our private bike path.

We enjoyed every moment of just meandering on the trail, stopping for pictures and cycling through all the old Erie Canal towns that end in port (Lockport, Gasport, Middleport, Brockport, Spencerport, etc).  We road another 40 miles along the trail and met the girls in Brockport for lunch.  It ended up being the perfect meeting spot for the day as Brockport was having a festival going on so the girls could stroll through the craft fair (yes when I showed up both Brenda and Sarah had bags in their hands) while they waited for us.  We had a great lunch outside along the canal and Matt and I were so relaxed we even had a draft beer at lunch.

From Brockport we rode another 30 miles on the Erie Canal trail to Rochester.  It was a wonderful relaxing ride and we get to do it again tomorrow as we can follow the trail to Syracuse.  After relaxing in the rooms, we all headed over to The Back Nine for a great dinner.  This is the restaurant that is owned by Abby Wambach’s (US Olympic Soccer team captain) brother and has been on TV during the Olympics.  Here’s the pictures from today:

Saying goodbye to Amy who did a GREAT job SAGing us.  Notice her shirt which is the one’s we all got last night from Cindy and Mary Anna:

Welcoming the new SAG drivers Sarah, Cindy and Katie!

Boat entering the locks in Lockport, NY

…and now that they’ve raised the water the boat can exit.

New York Barn along the route

Enjoying lunch in Brockport, NY

Leaving Brockport…

The Big Apple

Matt showing the locks. Notice the difference in water levels.

Enjoying our day riding along the Erie Canal!

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