2022 Erie Canal Tour: Day 4 – Savannah to Syracuse, with spokes!

Our stay at the BnB in Savannah was comfortable and clean. I slept OK and woke up early to get packed and ready to roll. Since we needed to get to the bike shop in Syracuse, we wanted to get started early. Our host, Chip, did a nice job and made us feel welcome.

When we went to bed last night, we expected it to be a mostly dry day today. Well, that didn’t last very long. Mist, then drizzle, then light rain stuck with us most of the morning. It wasn’t too bad, but it sure would be nice to see some of the elusive Upstate NY blue skies during our tour.

We had several miles of roads before getting back to the trail today. The canal doesn’t have a bike path with it in this area, so the route takes you along NY Route 31. In this area, the shoulder is mostly a very wide area, and the traffic was generally well behaved. So although it wasn’t too bad, it felt good to get back on the path.

We were mostly on path again once we reached the town of Jordan. I remember this little town from my tour here in 2010 with my daughter. I recall taking a picture with her at the flagpoles, and I also remember the beautiful gardens just east of the town.

Eventually we made it to Syracuse. The new route into Syracuse is much nicer than the one I remembered from before. Back in 2010, we had to route through the west side of downtown through some so-so neighborhoods. Since then, they have now completed a trail along the lakefront that is very nice. Good pavement and some wonderful views of Onondaga Lake.

There is a new biking/walking trail into downtown that runs along Onondaga Creek. We picked that up and used it to get to the central part of town. We then used the Garmin bike GPS to take us to the AirBnB. We dropped our bags and quickly made our way down to the Mello Velo bike shop to get our bikes fixed.

We briefly stopped at Clinton Square and continued along our way. Clinton Square is where the canal used to run through downtown. It was an area for commerce and banking, supporting trade along the canal.

Mello Velo is an awesome little shop. It is a cafe and bike shop. We walked in about 12:20 and they immediately prioritized our repairs since we were on our way through. We had lunch while we waited. The food was a little pricey but my Turkey Club was really delicious. Hand-carved turkey, not deli lunch meat, fresh bacon and lettuce with aioli on it. YUM!

It turned out that my bike had not one, but two, broken spokes. I will be getting this wheel completely re-laced with new spokes when I get home. Something is suspicious about breaking spokes on it, for sure. They had the right parts to fix JB’s broken spoke. And Zubby had them check out his bike. It needed some repairs as well. I usually do all of my own bike mechanics work. Talking to the guy who fixed our rides, I was happy and felt very confident in the repairs. Huge kudos to Mello Velo and I highly recommend their shop.

While wandering around, I was clearly tempted. Some people say the devil is a “woman in a red dress”. For me, today, it was the signature blue-green Bianchi in the corner. Exactly what I would buy if I won the lotto. At $6K today, no chance of taking it home, but man, it sure was beeeautiful.

After the bike shop, we decided to do some touring around Syracuse. We wandered and made a route up to Syracuse University. I’ve been on campus a few times and sort of remembered some of the highlights of the tour we did 7 or so years ago when my youngest daughter was looking at schools. After that, we just meandered around the city at a slow pace to enjoy the sights.

Back at the BnB, we scrubbed up and threw a big pile of wet slimy clothes into the washing machine. Extra time on the scrub cycle. Time to go look four some dinner! I think it will either be the Dinosaur BBQ or a Mexican restaurant nearby. Hmmmm.

Until tomorrow, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.
— Dcn. Matt

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