Start: East Rochester 12:49
End: Holley, NY 8:05
Moving avg 13.0
Moving time 4:33
Stopped time: 2:43
I have started writing this while sitting under a bridge on the Erie Canal Path, waiting for the rain to stop. The day began with a wicked storm. Fortunately, we were at Tim’s place visiting when it hit (and we had already packed up the tent). We knew from the weather radar that another system would pass. The black sky was are second warning. I remembered a spell of rain in Ottawa where I sheltered on the pathway underneath the Queensway bridge, so when the first drops of rain occurred and there was a bridge near, we decided to stop .. and not a moment too soon. Within seconds of us stopping our bikes under the bridge the heavens opened into a downpour. We stayed dry!
How did we end up on the Erie canal path? We were following the Seaway Trail. When we went to pick up the rental car, we had to ride 15 km south. As a result, we were very close to the canal path. Rather than riding back to the Seaway Trail, we decided that we would spend a couple of days riding the Erie Canal path from Rochester to Lockport. From Lockport we will make our way to Lewiston and the bridge over to Canada. We hope to spend a couple of nights camping at Niagara on the Lake (although, I’m not sure we can afford the time, given how few miles we ride in a day).
Life is becoming a balancing act, and we haven’t figured it out yet. One important part of this trip was to get away from the rush of it all, and yet we keep finding ourselves in need of pushing forward to get to the next place in time. We don’t seem to have the time at the campsite to just enjoy camping.
We are finding that we are meeting so many more people that we have met on other cycling trips. When you carry all your gear and ride funny bikes, people are much more apt to talk to you. It also helps that we move rather slowly. Our average speed is somewhere around 12 km per hour. Since we joined the canal path, about 75% of the cyclists we see stop to ask us where we are going and where we come from. This can be really handy for gathering local knowledge. When a local cyclists stops, we can find out the condition of the roads ahead, locations for campgrounds, and great places to eat. This information can be hard for us to find on our own.
=== Afterwards ===
Our first attempt to leave the bridge was not particularly successful. The rain had eased to just a spit, so we decided to continue riding – without our wet weather gear. After about 100 m, I realized I wanted my light rain jacket. Shortly thereafter, the rain began to pick up. Unfortunately, my wet weather gear wasn’t easily accessible. So, we headed back under the bridge to put on our full wet weather gear before continuing to ride. Of course, this meant that the rain never really got heavy again. It did spit on and off for about an hour. Then we got too warm and needed to take off our wet weather gear. Fortunately, mother nature cooperated, and it did not end up raining again – although it did look rather threatening at times.
We took the advice of the canal master at Spencerport and headed up to Holley for the night. Immediately upon arrival at Holley, Mike the bridge keeper greeted us and provided us with directions on where we could camp, how to access the showers, and how we could access the Internet. We were amazed and grateful for the service :).