2022 Erie Canal Tour: Day 3, Spokes? Nah, who needs ‘em

We spent yesterday evening at my parents’ house. It was about an extra 13 miles each way, but I think we all agree that it was very well worth it. Mom and Dad took great care of us. Food is one of Mom’s “Love languages” and she loved us a lot. Mom fed us a huge portion of pasta with her marinara sauce, home made meatballs, zucchini, salad, fresh corn on the cob, and then home made cherry tarts for dessert.

After dinner, I took JB and Zubby to Wegman’s – the local grocery store that is famous in this area. The one in Webster isn’t even one of the nicer stores, but I think they got a good dose of what a nice grocery store could be like. I went to get some snacks for the ride, but especially because I had given some Benadryl to a cyclist in Buffalo who had been stung by a bee. I wanted to replenish my supply.

Today’s weather was really good for cycling. Cool and comfortable. We started by riding south from Webster back to Fairport and had a nice tailwind to push us along.

The ride east from Fairport was uneventful. We met a few cyclists, saw some canal locks, and enjoyed the scenery. The surface was largely dried out from the rain and it was much easier pedaling.

We passed through Macedon and when we arrived in Palmyra, we wandered into town to look around. When we stopped to get a drink, I went to get my wallet and noticed that my top-tube bag, where I usually keep my wallet, was missing. After a minute of panic, I found the top tube bag in my pannier. Whew.

A few more miles of trail and we reached Lyons and then Clyde. Along the way, we saw this dry-dock. Several barges and a couple of tug boats were in the dry dock.

Dry dock

We stopped in Clyde for a late lunch / early dinner because there isn’t much of anything else nearby. Just before the west side of Clyde, my tire felt spongy. As I was noticing that, Zubby said “your back tire looks flat”. Sure enough, flat tire. First one I’ve had on this bike. It was starting to mist a little, so we found an awning and pulled under it. I removed the rear wheel and prepared to replace the tube. As I was removing the tire, I heard a “twang” sound. Upon further inspection, I discovered a broken spoke. Ugh. I’ve only broken two spokes in 12 years (and tens of thousands of miles of cycling), both are on this bike. This spoke must have been fatigued enough that it was just about to go. We got the wheel put back together and decided that I’ll just get it fixed tomorrow in Syracuse. There’s a wobble in the wheel, but not big enough to cause a major issue. I called a bike shop in Syracuse and they said they’d be happy to get it fixed up right away and get us back underway tomorrow.

After dinner, we finished our last few miles to an AirBnB in Savannah. Along the way, JB said “Hey, my wheel is wobbling now, too!” Sure enough, JB also has a broken spoke. The odds of two of us having broken spokes seems awfully low. Nonetheless, that’s the situation.

So we’re here at our AirBNB. The house is very comfortable and has a wonderful yard overlooking a small lake. After a good scrubbing, we convened in the back yard to enjoy the cool air. Fall is coming, for sure.

Tomorrow is a short day as we make our way into Syracuse. We expect about 40 miles or so to the bike shop. We’re going to try to get out early so that we can get the bikes in early and get them fixed asap. The weather report for tomorrow looks full of … drizzle! Hopefully we can get done before it gets too wet.

– Dcn. Matt