Schenectady to Albany – 38 miles

It was a beautiful ride to Albany, and the end of our Erie Canal tour!

 

 

 

 

Albany

 

 

 

End of the ride!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first ever Uber ride to the Albany airport…so exciting!

 

It’s a good kind of exhaustion!

 

 

 

 

Little Falls to Schenectady – 60 miles

It was a beautiful 60 mile ride today.  The sun was shining all day and the terrain was mostly flat along the canal path.

 

 

 

 

Diana’s favorite bird.

 

Lunch stop at the River Roadhouse Restaurant.

 

Ann at lunch.

 

 

Amsterdam Castle was built in 1895 by Isaac G. Perry, and was a National Guard Armory.  It is now a hotel.

 

This guy was really curious about the ladies on the bikes.

 

Reg roasting a marshmallow for her after dinner dessert.

 

A nice way to end the day!

 

 

Rome to Little Falls – 41 miles

It was a hot day with a strong headwind.  I struggled on this ride today due to the headwind but the town of Little Falls was a treasure.  We had a delicious lunch at Ann’s Deli in Little Falls and then walked around the town for a bit before checking into our hotel for the night.

 

 

Diva Camp!

 

 

 

 

Little Falls

 

 

Golden Doodle puppy shopping with his mom in Little Falls

 

Canadians were allowed in this store……Yay, eh!

 

Syracuse to Rome – 47 miles

Construction of the Erie Canal started in Rome.  The flat topography made it possible to build many miles of canal without locks and progress was quick because one crew could go west toward Buffalo and one crew east toward Albany.  It was an easy flat day of riding today!

 

Map meeting this morning before heading out for the day.

 

Kerry at the hotel in Syracuse…..some people just can’t get enough exercise!

 

And some people love the rain!  Last night in Syracuse when we were all out for dinner……

 

Emily in the rain. Love this pic!

 

Peggy on her recumbent.

 

 

 

Ronnie, our magnificent Sag support……Dunkin Donuts!! Gotta Luv Her!

Seneca Falls to Syracuse – 46 miles

This morning we were all geared up for thunderstorms and rain all day, but we were pleasantly surprised when the sun came out!  It was a tough riding day with some challenging hills and heat in the afternoon.  An ice cream stop called Peter’s Polar Parlor made the day for us!

 

Paula’s riding companion was even geared up for the rain.

 

We stopped at the Camillus Erie Canal Park, which is the halfway point between Buffalo and Albany.

 

Snapping turtle on the trail

 

In Camillus, there is a replica general store circa 1856, run by this lady.

 

We rode past many beautiful flowers in bloom.

 

Colleen having a snooze. We take cat naps wherever possible!

 

When we all got settled in at our hotel in Syracuse, it started raining.  At one point there was a major downpour and Emily, from California with its forest fires, was so excited to see it rain!

 

Emily in the rain. Love this pic!

Pittsford to Seneca Falls – 55 miles

It was a hot day today!!  There were more hills on today’s ride and the heat and humidity made it the most difficult of all the rides on this tour so far.  But we all made it to Seneca Falls with time to check out the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women’s Rights National Historical Park.

The Women’s Hall of Fame honors great American women and their contributions to the arts, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, philanthropy and science.  The Hall inductees include Harriet Tubman, Madeleine Albright, Maria Tallchief, Susan B. Anthony, and over 250 other outstanding women.

Two of the most significant social reform movements of the 19th century – abolition and women’s rights – began and spread along the Erie Canal.  Seneca Falls is known as the birthplace of the suffragist movement, as the first women’s rights convention was here in 1848.

 

Robin, our Sag support for today. She did an awesome job!

 

Our tour guide, Anna

 

Ann

 

Morning breakfast and snacks

 

Chris

 

We came across two people painting a mural depicting what this section of town looked like before it was demolished.

 

 

One very challenging hill today.

 

 

 

Brockport to Pittsford – 28 miles

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister Linda!  Hope you had a wonderful day!

We had an easy ride today along the canal way, with sunshine and the wind at our backs.  It was a cyclist’s dream!

 

Ronnie – Sag support for Brockport to Pittsford. Yay Ronnie!!

 

Mary – Sag support for Lockport to Brockport. You rock Mary!!

 

Beautiful flowers along the way. My bees would have loved this ride!

 

Reg and Sarah

 

Deb, Kerry, and Colleen

 

Kerry’s penguin tattoo….so cute!

 

Not to be outdone, Diana and I had to show off our Camino tats.

 

Sarah, Diana, and Reg

 

Paula, Robin, Mary and Karen

 

Paula

 

Christine

 

Pittsford on the canal

 

Sarah with her dream bike!

 

Laundry in the room.

 

Dinner out tonight…Christine, Ronnie, Deb, Kerry and Patricia

 

Joanne

Lockport to Brockport – 48 miles

We had a nice leisurely ride along the canal today, winding up in the small town of Brockport.  We checked out a bicycle shop there and found a great coffee shop before ending our day at the Hampton Inn in Brockport.

We were riding over a bridge when an alarm went off warning us that the bridge was going to be raised to let a boat pass underneath, so we quickly cycled to the other side before it started going up.

Rising bridge to allow for boat to pass under it.

We were prepared for rain, but were pleasantly surprised when it never came!

Buffalo to Lockport – 34 miles

Originally four feet deep and 40 feet wide, the Erie Canal cut through fields, forests, rocky cliffs, and swamps; crossed rivers on aqueducts; and overcame hills with 83 lift locks. The project engineers and contractors had little experience building canals, so this massive project served as the nation’s first practical school of civil engineering.

For eight years US laborers felled trees and excavated, mostly by hand and animal power, mile after mile. They devised equipment to uproot trees and pull stumps and developed hydraulic cement that hardened under water. With hand drills and black powder they blasted rocks. Their ingenuity and labor made the Erie Canal the engineering and construction triumph of its day.

The goal of the Erie Canal project was to make travel faster and cheaper.  Canal boat passengers traveled in relative comfort from Albany to Buffalo in five days—not two weeks in crowded stagecoaches. Freight rates fell 90 percent compared to shipping by ox-drawn wagon. Freight boats carried Midwestern produce from Buffalo to Albany. Most continued on to New York City’s seaport, towed down the Hudson River in fleets behind steam tugboats. Mid-western farmers, loggers, miners, and manufacturers found new access to lucrative far-flung markets.  The canal transformed New York City into the nation’s principal seaport and opened the interior of North America to settlement.

We began our ride on a paved bike path along the Niagara River through downtown Buffalo.  Today was a shorter ride so we had plenty of time to explore the Erie Canal Discovery Center at the end of the day in Lockport.

We saw some of the original locks built in 1825 alongside the modern ones being used today. The method of raising and lowering boats in a canal hasn’t really changed that much.  Here is a simple explanation of how they work.  Click on the image.

We took a two hour boat ride through the Lockport Locks this afternoon.  It was a very interesting ride and we learned all about the history and the making of the canal, and we got to experience moving through the working locks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erie Canal Trail – August 12 to 21

Built in 1825, the Erie Canal was considered an engineering marvel. It facilitated trade between the busy port of New York City and the rural farmland of upstate New York. Long overtaken by railroads, highways and airplanes to move goods, the 385-mile long beautiful waterway is now used for recreation and has been designated a National Heritage Corridor. We will ride the entire length of this historic canal. Most of the time, we’ll be on the flat towpath that mules used to pull the barges long ago.

 

                       Our stops from Buffalo to Albany.