Conclusion - Brown's Folly - CycleBlaze

Conclusion

    The Erie Canal Trail is a great thing--more than 80% is off road. Along the way, I saw deer, rabbits, groundhogs, herons and countless other birds. The signage is lacking in a few spots and the trail is single track in some areas. Connie pointed out that every downhill ends in a stop sign. The trail was much better developed at the ends. I never did find an official start/finish of the trail at either end.

   Credit Card touring was tough, especially seat-of-the-pants style. Hotels were sparse in some areas and many would be unacceptable to someone with any standards. Many of the B&B’s did not return messages. I guess B&B’s are not a last-minute booking type of business. Next time, I’ll bring my camping gear. Some of the accommodations were pretty close to camping. I put about 820 dollars on the credit card. I had 2 hotel nights using points. I spent about $300 cash.

  For a newbie the trail is fantastic. I was rarely out of fifth gear and the center sprocket. A slower-paced tour, faster riding or more days would have allowed for more sightseeing and exploring. You could set up your 35 to 50 daily mileage tour with minimal training and by pre-booking accommodations. Just make sure your saddle is broken in.

   I used every stitch of clothing I brought except the rain pants. I did laundry once. I could have used another clothes washing. I couldn’t find a convenient laundromat. The Weather Gods were smiling down on me and I was indoors when the early evening storms rolled through two nights. I rode in the rain for less than a mile all week.

  Food-wise, I ate all the peanut butter, honey, Kind bars and tortillas I brought. I used the multi tool to adjust the clips on the saddle bags and gave the chain a rough cleaning and oil after a muddy first day.

  For a trail that has been in existence in one form or another for 150 years, the lack of amenity-rich camping accommodations was kind of shocking. None of the Lock campsites I saw had showers or flush toilets. Some didn’t have working running water. I didn’t see many private campsites catering to tenters/bicyclists. There just might not be enough business to support tourist infrastructure. I saw maybe 20 boats using the canal for recreation and maybe the same number of touring bicyclists in my 8 days on the trail. Canadian access was closed to boaters but this is the height of the summer season for bicyclists. There were hundreds of day users.

   My goal was the Erie Canal Trail, making it to Kingston was aspirational. I am happy with reaching Hudson.

   The people I met, broke bread with, laughed with, complained with, and camped with made my first bike tour an unforgettable experience. I cannot thank the Philly Boys, Ed, Bob, Ryan and the Colorado Crew (Ed and Connie) enough. I especially want to thank Bob for sharing his tent and Lyons for lending me his sleeping bag.

You'll always know your neighbor

And you'll always know your pal

If ya ever navigated on the Erie Canal

                                 Erie Canal,  American Folk Song

Bob and Ed, two of the Philly Boys
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Tom ThorsenNice story and great accomplishment. Hopefully we can meet up when I’m in the Big🍎. Text me your cell number and I will call you a few days outside of the Big🍎
Hobo,
Tom Thorsen
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1 year ago
The Coloradoans, Ed and Connie
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Rate this entry's writing Heart 5
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Kathleen JonesA nice adventure. Well done.
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1 year ago