Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 7--Day 26--30 Some Miles on the Erie Canal

Isn't there a song about the Erie Canal? Something about 15 Miles on the Erie Canal...


My ride was really 40 miles today, but I had to get back to the trail from the campground, and I went into a couple of towns. 


I got a later start this morning, due to sleeping later, which was due to the rather lengthy thunderstorm last night. There was some pretty loud booming--enough to wake the dead. I was so proud of myself--I had wrapped my "mist protector" around my handlebar, so my handlebar was nice and dry this morning!


Due to all the rain last night, the Canal Trail was pretty wet and soft. It made for slower progress than I anticipated (based on yesterday's bit on the trail). I was only managing a steady 9.5 mph. Not that that was a problem, I had just thought I would go faster. Later in the day when the trail had dried, I was up to 11 mph.

Riding along the canal



A creek that goes UNDER the canal!

I went by Gasport, then when I got to Middleport I decided to go across the Canal into the town. The bridges are metal grate, even the pedestrian walkway, but it wasn't difficult. I dropped Grayson's latest postcard in the mail, then stopped at a coffee shop/cafe for mid-morning snack. I had a piece of blueberry bread, and a "Smoothie Bowl". The smoothie bowl was delicious, but very cold.




Mid-morning snack stop

There are two kinds of bridges on the Erie Canal--regular ones, and drawbridges. I happened upon one of the drawbridges just as a boat was preparing to go through. The most interesting thing is that one can be walking across the bridge as it is going up. When the bridge is all the way up, there are stairs that a person can then go down while the bridge is up. 

Bridge up, boat through

Bridge down



Toward the later part of the morning, I met a group of 9 riding from Rochester to Niagara. The first guy I talked to, Seth, was ahead of the group. This was his first go at bike touring. He was actually biking to Niagara and back to Rochester. The others, two couples and some kids, were just going to Niagara, then driving back. One of the kids was a five year old girl in a Weehoo trail-a-bike being pulled by her dad. She was a veteran tourer, having been touring since she was a year old. When I asked if she had any advice for kids touring, she said, "There are no rules when you are bike touring." Good advice!


At Albion, I pulled off the trail and went into town. I wanted to get a few groceries. I just so happened to ride by a Subway, so I stopped for some lunch. Now I can say I've properly checked off a New York Subway! I found a grocery store. It was a little weird. There were vast empty spaces on the shelves. I wanted some canned chicken, but had to settle for tuna. There was another store next door. Perhaps I should have gone there...


Back on the Canal Trail I came to the bike shop Seth had told me about. I stopped in to see about a sticker, but he was out of them. He said he gives out stickers more than he puts them on bikes. His wife had some crafts for sale. There were a bunch of tile coasters. In lieu of a sticker, I got a tile that is a picture of Holley, NY, where I am camped tonight. 

Trailside Bike Shop



Just a few miles further, and I arrived in Holley. I rode across the drawbridge to the Hiker/Biker/Boater camping area on the other side of the canal. It's very nice. There are picnic tables, restrooms and showers. It's free. The guy at the bike shop gave me the code for the showers (I could have also gotten it from the bridge tender or the police). It's funny--there are no boats coming along the Canal, yet every so often the bells start clanging, and the bridge goes up. Phantom boat? Bored bridge tender? Who knows...



Another touring couple just pulled in. I must go talk to them!

The Big Apple
Pretty flowers
Flat Will on the Erie Canal!


1 comment:

Rootchopper said...

What a great post. I did this ride in 2004. I LOVE this section of the canal. The packet boats, the bridges, the boats drifting by. It's a cycle tourist dream.