Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Erie Canal trail advice?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Erie Canal trail advice?

Old 07-05-17, 08:12 PM
  #1  
fork crown
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 14

Bikes: SURLY LHT, 1984 Pinarello (Vintage Campy Nuovo Record), Jamis XAM-1 MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Erie Canal trail advice?

So I'm all set to start my solo tour on 7/12 through 7/17. The organized Parks and Trails ride is starting 7/9 through 7/16. I'm trying to think of issues I'll encounter overlapping the organized ride. Any thoughts or concerns I should have with riding close or at the same time as the organized tour?
fork crown is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 03:45 AM
  #2  
martianone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern VT
Posts: 2,123

Bikes: recumbent & upright

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Having ridden CEC ride (x5) and ridden the route solo a couple times. During CEC, always met self supported cyclists, no problem. You will be a curiosity for many CEC riders and they will have questions about your set up. You could probably "wild camp" on the edge of the group and be fine, probably could also sneak a shower or toilet facilities. The only caution, many CEC riders lack strong cycling skills and as the ride size has grown, riders seem to be more rude. Perhaps CEC is stretching the route's capacity ?
martianone is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 06:38 AM
  #3  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 23,917
Mentioned: 180 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9491 Post(s)
Liked 1,022 Times in 636 Posts
They are starting 3 days ahead of you and finishing one day before you. Do you actually foresee overlapping the tour, which will have a three-day head start? If so, expect possible tight camping conditions if you stay where the tour stays. One day last year I stayed at the same commercial campground as Adventure Cylcling's Cycle Montana ride. Things were a little tight, but manageable. Ended up running into 3 people who had done ACA's Cycle Vermont in 2010 when I did it. (Talk about a small world.) And I got a free breakfast the next morning courtesy of the tour. Other than that, expect more people on the trail and possibly crowds a places like restaurants, etc.

BTW...It would be bad form to "sneak" anything. Ask, and maybe offer to pay a few bucks for something like a shower. You never know what courtesies might be extended to you. When I stayed with Cycle Montana I could have easily set up my tent and not paid. With so many people, the campground owner would never have known the difference. But that would have been theft. Not my sort of thing, so I went to the office and explained that I was on my own and paid the $12 fee.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 06:39 AM
  #4  
DCwom
Senior Member
 
DCwom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central New Jersey
Posts: 390

Bikes: Burley Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fork crown View Post
So I'm all set to start my solo tour on 7/12 through 7/17. The organized Parks and Trails ride is starting 7/9 through 7/16. I'm trying to think of issues I'll encounter overlapping the organized ride. Any thoughts or concerns I should have with riding close or at the same time as the organized tour?
We intentionally overlapped with the P&T ride, no problems on the trail, in fact some bonuses, fresh road markings, detour info you may not know about, other humans... One day that we didn't overlap we didn't see a sole for almost 20 miles. Even though there are hundreds of riders we never had any "traffic" issues, they string out very quickly on the trail.

The only downside we had was planning for the limited B&Bs, if you are anywhere near the campsite they will be booked out months before with folks taking a night off from the tent.

There were a few occasions where we could have easily blended in with the group and stole their resources at rest stops but didn't, we only used their road markings to supplement my own GPS tracks.
DCwom is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 08:19 AM
  #5  
mulveyr 
Senior Member
 
mulveyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,568

Bikes: Box Dog Pelican, Raleigh Sojourn, Specialized Secteur, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fork crown View Post
So I'm all set to start my solo tour on 7/12 through 7/17. The organized Parks and Trails ride is starting 7/9 through 7/16. I'm trying to think of issues I'll encounter overlapping the organized ride. Any thoughts or concerns I should have with riding close or at the same time as the organized tour?
I live in Rochester, just a few miles from the canal, and have done the route twice with my son; be sure to wave as you go by. :-)

When I've been on the trail on days that the CeC has gone through, people have been spread out enough that it's barely noticeable that the tour is happening. It's likely that the only thing you might encounter is a slightly longer wait at canal-side restaurants/etc if you happen to overlap. But one of the beauties of the canal is that there's invariably another town just a few miles away with plenty of services.

One word of advice; the off-road segments can get quite boring after a while. So unless you really, really like pancake flat riding, every now and then try NY Bike Route 5, which parallels the route. I especially enjoyed it around the Mohawk Valley area ( between, say, Little Falls and Schenectady. ) You'll encounter hills, but some of the views are stunning.
__________________
Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.
mulveyr is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 10:59 AM
  #6  
nun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,483

Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
The thing I'd want to avoid most would be lines for the toilets if you camp overnight at the locks.

The last time I rode the Erie Canal it was really quiet and there weren't many overnight campers at the locks so it was great.
nun is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 12:16 PM
  #7  
kaos joe
Senior Member
 
kaos joe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 934

Bikes: Trek 5200, Rivendell Atlantis, Soma DoubleCross, Bilenky Signature tandem, Cannondale RT3000 tandem, Santa Cruz TallBoy, Kona Explosif, Bridgestone MB2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 7 Posts
If you are camping, there is a very nice camping area with shower facility at Holley. The lift bridge operator there will provide the lock combo. Campsites with tables, right on the bank, town a couple of hundred yards away. The bridge operator kindly showed me his control panel, which was cool. Holley also has bonus points if you're Italian!

There's some chatter among my riding buds for a trip on the Canal in Sept. although I don't think I'll be convincing these folks to camp.

Enjoy the heck out of your ride and be sure to post your experiences for those of us to follow.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
DSCN2127.jpg (48.0 KB, 151 views)
File Type: jpg
DSCN2135.jpg (64.4 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg
DSCN2124.jpg (50.9 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg
DSCN2137.jpg (64.7 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg
DSCN2139.jpg (67.4 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg
RSCN2189.jpg (66.2 KB, 149 views)
kaos joe is online now  
Old 07-06-17, 12:46 PM
  #8  
mulveyr 
Senior Member
 
mulveyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: In the wilds of NY
Posts: 1,568

Bikes: Box Dog Pelican, Raleigh Sojourn, Specialized Secteur, 1991 Cannondale tandem

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kaos joe View Post
If you are camping, there is a very nice camping area with shower facility at Holley. The lift bridge operator there will provide the lock combo. Campsites with tables, right on the bank, town a couple of hundred yards away. The bridge operator kindly showed me his control panel, which was cool. Holley also has bonus points if you're Italian!

There's some chatter among my riding buds for a trip on the Canal in Sept. although I don't think I'll be convincing these folks to camp.

Enjoy the heck out of your ride and be sure to post your experiences for those of us to follow.

To add to this, there are actually quite a few additional places to camp for free that offer services. Newark, Brockport, and Middleport have designated camping spots with showers and potable water, Macedon has camping, water, and you can shower at the fire station next door, etc. As a general rule, lock and bridge tenders will allow to camp on the grounds, though some of the spots are much more pleasant than others.

Plus, there's no end of places to stealth camp, at least along the offroad portions, if that's something the OP i interested in.
__________________
Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.
mulveyr is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 04:23 PM
  #9  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,540

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3388 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 42 Posts
Why not consider joining the group?

In my opinion the Erie Canal by itself is BORING! Having a historian along could really make the trip interesting.

If you don't do that then plan on spending time in some of the small towns along the way. They really are wonderful and make the trip worth it.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 07-07-17, 07:54 AM
  #10  
hfbill
Senior Member
 
hfbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: High Falls NY
Posts: 163

Bikes: Trek 520, Haro Flightline 29er MTB

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post

If you don't do that then plan on spending time in some of the small towns along the way. They really are wonderful and make the trip worth it.
Check out Pittsford. It's a very nice town southeast of Rochester. They've done a lot of work on the canal front there and there are many good restaurants & pubs to be found there.
hfbill is offline  
Old 07-07-17, 04:05 PM
  #11  
kaos joe
Senior Member
 
kaos joe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 934

Bikes: Trek 5200, Rivendell Atlantis, Soma DoubleCross, Bilenky Signature tandem, Cannondale RT3000 tandem, Santa Cruz TallBoy, Kona Explosif, Bridgestone MB2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 7 Posts
Yes, definitely +1 regarding Pittsford. The whole canal front there is a very nice pedestrian promenade. You do however have to walk the bike a couple of hundred yards IIRC. I had a good lunch at the "Coal Bin" I think it was, definitely coal something. There is a bike shop there too if you need something.
Fairport and Brockport are also very nice stops.
kaos joe is online now  
Old 07-08-17, 01:41 PM
  #12  
velonomad
Older I get, Better I was
 
velonomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: nc
Posts: 1,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you camp at St Johnsville Muni Marina, don't play nickle poker with the locals. They will take your lunch money !
velonomad is offline  
Old 07-31-17, 11:05 AM
  #13  
fork crown
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 14

Bikes: SURLY LHT, 1984 Pinarello (Vintage Campy Nuovo Record), Jamis XAM-1 MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hello all,
Finally have gotten around to posting about my trip. I thank everyone that contributed advice. Had a great time on my solo across New York State via the Canal Trailway. DCwom was right being a few days behind I had fresh street markings which were invaluable in the city areas - The P&T book are not detailed enough around the cities IMO. Below are email I sent to friend and family along the way. Hope you enjoy (Read from the bottom up).


Sixthand final day!!! Up at Fultonville an hour early. Stormsmoving west to east over the area and I wanted to get more of a jump on them. However that jump was negated by the worlds slowest waitress inAmsterdam. The ride was majority of roads today peppered with thoserolling country hills that I hate so much. Usually the tow path is veryflat but many paths are not "connected" so roads are used. Gotlost multiple times due to the lack of detailed map in the city areas. But found good people and good directions most of the time. Madereal good time in the morning but coming up on the last 10-15 miles it turnedbrutal. Strong headwinds and the hottest part of the day took its toll onme. Had to seek shade and water much more than any other day. National grid crew brought me back to life by giving me cold water, Coldtowel and bag of ice to cool me down. Made it to the end of the path indowntown Albany! Estimate of close to 400 but I have to confirm bylooking at a map( bike computer crapped out a few times). So ends theanother tour. I'm thinking after time off months, years I will rideagain! And one last treat for the ride...Bruce and a co-worker (afellow MFD member) were here in the hotel on business. We had a drinktogether in the bar. What a coincidence!. To milk this further tomorrowI'll have my last installment with some random and general thoughts - I know youcan't wait! Goodnight , I'm exhausted.





Sent from my iPhone



On Jul 16, 2017, at 8:26 PM, Joe C wrote:


Fifthday. Left Oriskany with the sun shining a first. Passedthrough Utica partially on the path and then on streets. The rest of the ride was mostly tow path and a lot of it paved. Planned tostop in Canajoharie for the day (like anyone knows where that is), but went tonext town for extra 10 miles. Tomorrow will be the last 60 to Albany. And yes rain is in the forecast.
Sent from my iPhone




On Jul 15, 2017, at 10:22 PM, Joe C wrote:


Fourthday. Up at the Camillus FD and thanked the chief and captain forthe hospitality. Within 15 minutes I was caught in rain once again. Sheltered for a while until it passed. Went through Syracuse via a streetpath. Picked up a paved path for a while which turned to a wet puddleladen, muddy mess. Riding was terrible. Every time I hit a puddletire sink in and speed deceases dramatically, not to mention almost crashingfrom losing traction. This happened every 20 to 30 yards. I finally had the abandon the path at first chance to make any progress to Oneida. After Oneida the tow path was much better but it rained again. Lock21 took a break and spoke to the operator a bit. Made good progress from therewith a tailwind into Rome ( NY not Italy if you've been following) so I decidedto go a little further to Oriskany which is where I am now. Did I mentionit rained again today ??? I love watching the rain fall sideways. I lovethe sound as it hits my rain jacket, I love how that one drop gets in and rollsdown my back - sorry I digress... mileage today 65 with somedetours and creative reroutes in spots. Going to bed.

Sent from my iPhone




On Jul 14, 2017, at 9:03 PM, Joe C wrote:


Third day. Whoever said it's the journey not the destination never took a wrong turnon a bicycle. Pulled up the intersection country roads and said"this doesn't look right?". It wasn't. Not too bad atleast it was in the same direction as I needed to go. I saw this bigyellow thing in the sky for the first time - I think it's called the sun? Nice day of riding 70 miles from Fairport to Camillus. Today was amix of tie path, paved trails and streets. A good mix. Felt good ridingtoday. Rain you ask? Of course it rained but I was stopped eating lunchindoors when the sky's opened up again (there is no such thing as light rain uphere). It stopped as fast as it came, then back on the road. The localfire department is letting me stay in their house tonight, showered, did mywash, ate and have a bed to sleep in. All for being a fellow volunteer. What a score! Will continue tomorrow.

Sent from my iPhone




On Jul 13, 2017, at 9:07 PM, Joe C wrote:


Secondday. Woke to reports of heavy storms moving across the region. Scrambled fast to get mileage in before the rain started in Albion. Made it to Brockport and the skys opened up (if it sounds like a repeatof yesterday..it was). Sat 1.5 hours waiting for it to blow over itdidn't... so back out in the rain.


Stay to the road rather than the tow path so as to not getmuddy. Decent riding and then even better with a paved bike pathbeginning in Rochester to Fairport , where I am now. Hoping for some suntomorrow! 54 miles today. Path detour, some north and south runs, toomuch down time. Pedaling faster tomorrow.

Sent from my iPhone




On Jul 12, 2017, at 8:29 PM, Joe C wrote:


Ok 1stday of riding down! Buffalo to a town called Albion. Lunchin Lockport where I got to see the locks in action lifting a boat - very cool. Rid e out of buffalo sucked. Down poured so bad cars were pulling overbecause of poor visibility. I waited it out in a beverage distributor'sloading bay. Buffalo has a paved path from the beginning of the canal andruns about 25 miles. After Lockport the towpath was a base of stone dust. Actually not that bad to ride on but it lived up to the dust part. Everything gets a coat of dust , including me. So 74 miles todayshooting for 60 tomorrow hope the legs are up for it!





Sent from my iPhone

fork crown is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
spinnaker
Touring
57
01-31-19 05:18 AM
Squeezebox
Touring
16
06-09-16 07:52 PM
perspiration
Great Lakes
2
08-09-11 03:34 PM
cranky old dude
Fifty Plus (50+)
9
07-12-11 03:22 PM
spinnaker
Touring
52
04-08-10 06:35 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.