16 posts tagged Erie Canal

Bikes on Amtrak

Would you take your bike on the train if it was easier to do so? Does the idea of boxing up your bike cause you to think of driving to your destination instead? For today's podcast I'm joined by Champe Burnley, President of the Virginia Bicycling Federation, Kerry Irons with the Adventure Cycling Association and Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bike Coalition. This subject came to the forefront recently as the Amtrak Surfliner in Southern California changed its bike ... Continue Reading

Styrofoam and Road Kill

There were a few things I wasn't prepared for on last week's 10-day Erie Canal ride. My riding companion Kent and I prepared for months; we'd shipped our bikes ahead and carefully packed only the essentials. We were ready for whatever this journey would throw at us — except the ubiquitous Styrofoam and road kill. "Do you get other aging hippies who complain about the Styrofoam?" At first I wasn't sure she understood what I was saying; later I would attribute her delay in responding ... Continue Reading

Erie Canal Post-Mortem

Just a few days ago Kent received an email from someone who did the Erie Canal ride a year ago; he wanted to know of the details, a post-mortem of our 426 mile ride. On the flight home I made some notes. I'll enjoy preserving these, sometimes quirky, notes of our trip — an after-action report of sorts. First, let's get biological: we were traveling in the middle of nowhere much of the time, so there were no bathrooms. We quickly adapted, finding a tree to hide behind, but this habit ... Continue Reading

Glad It Was You

KC writes: I really enjoyed reading about your trip along the Erie canal. You guys faced some pretty harrowing circumstances and lived to tell the tale. I have to say that on the front end of your trip I was jealous for the adventure, however, I am glad it was you and not me on those final two days. Great stories. Continue Reading

Kent’s Wrap-Up

I asked Kent for his final thoughts on the ride: The change in my body around day 4 was notable, vis a vie aches and pains. They virtually disappeared, although the tuchus (Yiddish for rear-end) was an issue off and on throughout the ride (even with a seat change), my back, neck and shoulders settled down comfortably. Synthetic clothing and its drying properties quickly showed their attributes, whereby sink washing at day’s end always resulted in dry, clean clothes in the morning. My ... Continue Reading

The Traumatic End of an Epic Adventure

We had a short ride to Albany, a victory lap is what I'm thinking, but that's not how things turned out. Instead we'd have our most challenging day of the trip — and more mud! Our departure from Schenectady was optimistic; it was overcast, but rain seemed unlikely. This was a great relief, of course, as the forecast had predicted rain for days. We found our way to the trail which would be paved all the way to Albany. How sweet. Our route took us through affluent neighborhoods. ... Continue Reading


Tom of the Window Box Guest House snaps our photo and we're off for Day 8 of this Erie Canal bike ride. It's poured all early morning, so we've got the gear on. But Luck is with us and we barely feel a drop. In just a couple of miles we shed the rain gear; my Showers Pass jacket should be renamed Saunas Pass — it's a steam bath inside. The discomfort combined with the threat of rain makes for a distracting start to this our next to last day on two wheels. Before we know it we're miles ... Continue Reading

Play Ball!

It's Day 7 and we take a break from the canal to visit Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. We share our ambitions with new friends at a bar in Herkimer the night before. Their eyes roll, "you're gonna ride your bikes up there?" It's quite an uphill climb apparently and I already know I don't have the gears for this ride, so we call a cab and ask for a van to pick us up at 8:30 and drive us half way up the mountain to Richfield Springs. Lest you think we were taking it too easy ... Continue Reading

A Little Rain Must Fall

I had a great view of Kent's fall; it happened right in front of me. It rained on this Day 6 of our Erie Canal ride; we were mentally prepared and we have all the gear, but the experience is the novelty. Visibility was greatly impacted; we forget the virtues of our windshield wipers. Our glasses were instantly fogged and water beaded to really make seeing where you're going difficult. We were a good 12 miles along this short day ride from Rome to Herkimer when we're navigating past a ... Continue Reading

All Roads Lead to Rome

Day 5 is over; we pedaled 70 miles. We were motivated to get to Rome; hotels are spread out here in upstate New York. It takes all day to ride that distance. We were on the road at 8am with only a banana in our bellies. Kent needed a tune-up on his rear derailleur and the bike shop was 30 miles east, so we were keen to get going. It was another day of pedaling hard all day with few stops along the way. One nice stop in Syracuse: the Erie Canal Museum. We knew they'd have great postca... Continue Reading