Cycling the Erie Canal – Day 3

Miles today: 36.60, Total miles: 131.20

Today was a much easier ride than yesterday. We started by having a very nice home-cooked pancake breakfast at my parent’s house (thanks, mom!). We then loaded up the bike and went back to where we left off yesterday at the Interfaith Chapel of the University of Rochester.

We slept very well the night before and I let my daughter sleep in a long time to help make up for the tough going yesterday. We took a very leisurely time getting started.

With full bellies and a good rest, things were definitely looking up!

We had another nice surprise today. A high school friend, Randy, met us on the trail and rode a long way with us. It was really nice to talk with him and catch up.

The weather was much nicer today. Mid 80’s and sunny. The rain held off until we were done with our ride.

The ride today took us through some very nice countryside, and through several nice towns. We passed through two of the nicest canal-front towns we have seen so far: Pittsford and Fairport. Both of these towns have built up their canal areas with restaurants, parks, docks, and great “walking around” places. We didn’t spend too much time wandering today since we started so late.

Back when Stephanie and I were first married, we rented a small 1/2 house in Pittsford. We loved living there, partially because of the fun places you could walk to near the canal. So we rode the bike past our old home. You can see a picture of it below.

We continued on to Fairport, where we enjoyed a simple lunch and good conversation with Randy at a local restaurant. With the day starting to drift by, we picked up the pace and plugged on.

Nearly the entire path today was on the trails and away from cars. Some paved, some crushed stones. Most was in pretty good shape.

Our destination today was the town of Newark. We reached Newark around 4:10, just in time to catch 4:30 mass at St. Michael’s church, just a few blocks from the canal. We went in and tried to clean up a little bit, so as to try to minimize the stink that was surely hanging over me like a fog. I felt like Pigpen from the Peanuts as I tried to scope out a seat that was at least two pews from anyone else… I felt a bit sorry for the nice older lady who sat down right behind us.

Stephanie met us just before mass. After church, we packed up the bike on the back of the truck and drove a bit eastward to the town of Weedsport where we are spending the night. In my research for this ride, I found that the canal path ended at Newark and that there isn’t a really safe road path to Weedsport. So we elected to jump the miles by car and pick the trail back up in Weedsport.

Our ride tomorrow is the shortest planned ride for us, around 30 miles, taking us through downtown Syracuse, out to the east side so that we won’t have to deal with rush-hour traffic on Monday.

The weather forecast for tomorrow looks rainy again. Hopefully we can dodge most of the drops.

Here is a link to today’s ride:

– Dc. Matt