Start: Fredonia, NY
Finish: Lockport, NY
Weather: 70 degrees, overcast
Distance to date: 2,537
Last night I had one of these sixth sense experiences that there was something wrong
with my plans for the next few days. I checked my maps and the Internet and
sure enough, NY 5 and NY bicycle 5 do not run parallel. The route I planned, through Darien and Canandaigua, did not go along the Erie Canal. To follow the canal, I had to go much further north. After some deliberation, I figured, hey, I am not about taking the shortest route and so I changed my direction and came north today to Lockport, the start of the Eire Canal bike trail.
I woke early, had a terrific Days Inn breakfast and hit the road by 6:30 am. The riding was fine – smooth roads and cool distractions. I stopped at Greycliffe, the summer estate that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the Martin family (one of his biggest clients), I followed the scenic shore road outside of Buffalo, and the very nice bike trail along Buffalo Harbor.
Oops! The trail dead ended and I had to retrace a few miles and take the incredibly high Highway 5 overpass over the Buffalo Canal – surely the most treacherous stretch of my ride. The highway dumped me right into Buffalo’s famous central square and I pedaled
up Delaware Avenue where the robber barons built their mansions, through portions of the beautiful Olmstead boulevards, and then out of the city. I picked up the Erie Canal in Towanda and followed a great bike trail to Lockport, where I plan to stay tonight.
About five miles outside of Lockport I passed another cyclist with saddle bags, so we stopped and talked, Jodie is heading from Williamstown, MA to Shore Haven, MI. She is the first touring cyclist I have seen since Lamar, CO. She was kind enough to take a picture of me so you all can see that I am doing fine and have not been making this up.
Buffalo area is full of Catholic Churches and I passed signs for fish fry Fridays all along my route here. I am hoping for some all you can eat fried fish once I get settled in Lockport.
Me and my Surly along the Erie Canal outside Lockport, NY
No way you could have been making up all the fascinating details! Too vivid and spot-on: you have to have been living every inch of this.
Good to see you so cheerful, dapper, and well-equipped.