It was a beautiful ride to Albany, and the end of our Erie Canal tour!
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!
And some people love the rain! Last night in Syracuse when we were all out for dinner……
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
We were prepared for rain, but were pleasantly surprised when it never came!
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.
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.