Cycling the Erie Canal – Epilogue

It’s been several days since we finished our trip.  I’ve had some time to think about the journey, and I’ve received a lot of questions and comments.  The blog has been accessed over 450 times in the last two weeks!

I don’t really remember what I expected when we first conceived of this trip.  We began planning with the end in mind: to ride the length of the Erie Canal, but the journey was always more important than what we saw.  What I will take away is that we worked as a team and really did something together, not just two people on vacation with each other.  We had to remain committed to each other or we wouldn’t have succeeded.  I will also remember that my daughter is a fantastic companion and I’m blessed to have been with her throughout all of the training and riding.  I’m also blessed to have had the unwavering support of my wife, Stephanie.

The trip still seems a bit surreal – we spent so long preparing for it that it is hard to believe it is already over.  When I stop and look at the map of New York and read my notes, the distance we covered by bicycle seems amazing to me.  I think about how many times our pedals went around.  I imagine how many people had gone before me since the 1800’s along the same path we took.  And I’ve looked over the few pictures we took to remind me of some of the great scenery we enjoyed along the way.  Since my daughter won’t be this age ever again, it was truly a “once in a lifetime” experience.  Even if we do something like this again, it won’t be the same.

My daughter and I will each take away different memories, I’m sure.  No two people will bring the same perspective to a journey like this.  Just like viewing a rainbow, our perspective changes what we see and experience.  For me, I will remember some of the great scenery, and especially the time I spent with my daughter.  Each day brought some sort of milestone that I can remember: the first day’s completion, persevering through hard rain to reach Rochester, arriving in Newark, navigating through Syracuse, being “off plan” in Rome, Utica traffic, the shrine near Amsterdam, and especially the completion of the trip in Albany.  Each day was unique and memorable.

I want to say thanks especially to my wife, Stephanie, who supported us the whole way and met up with us on most nights.  Back when we dreamed up this ride, she didn’t say “you’re crazy” (although, she did look at me a bit strangely).  When we needed help during training, she was always there.  When we needed lunch or a pickup during the ride, she was the welcome face of support.  And I can’t forget that she put up with me when I was stressed out in Rome.  Thanks, Stephanie, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Lastly, let me say thanks again to all of you who have sent me notes and prayed for our safety.  It’s been great to have so many people along for the ride with us.

With this, I bid you a farewell.

Peace & Blessings!

– Dc. Matt & AMC (My daughter)

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