Day 52, 88 miles, Herkimer to East Greenbush, NY.

Today became a bit of an ordeal in Albany.

I started with breakfast at Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner.

  

I felt pretty tired and the first few miles were tough. I slow pedaled though the mini gorge at Little Falls

   

   

And on the other side there were a lot of downed trees. Coming into Amsterdam I had a flat tire so after I’d fixed it I googled a bike shop close to my route. I found one on Rt 5 in Schenectady and made a bee line for it. Resupplied with 700c x 25 tubes I rode through Albany’s rush hour traffic and managed to get onto the bike path across he Hudson.

  

I checked into my motel in East Greenbush and headed to the Super Buffet across the road and paid $11.90 for all you can each Chinese food, sushi, dim sum, cake, fruit and I’ve cream.

The motel is as far east as I can go so that I can climb up to Pittsfiedl and through the Berkshires tomorrow.

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Day 51, 95 miles, Weedsport to Herkimer, NY.

Today was in two parts; the morning to Conastoga was done on the canal path and the rest on roads to cut off the loop the canal path takes up to Rome.

  

I went through Syracuse ands or a coffee and a muffin from a funky coffee shop to fuel me for Syracuse’s hills. Lunch was pizza in Conastoga and I talked to a group of 3 ladies doing the Erie Canal Trail. One of them had a Rivendell Atlantis so we talked about bikes for a while.

I got onto the road to New Hartford and then as I came into Utica the rain started. I put on my rain jacket and kept going. Then I went to cross some train tracks that crossed the road at 45 dregs and off course the obvious happened. The front wheel skidded and went out and  I ended on the floor with a skinned elbow and some sore ribs. I jumped up checked for other damage and found none so continued on. At the next rail crossing I walked the bike.

The rain stopped and I’d dried off by the time I pulled into the Applebees in Herkimer. I got a beer and Mac and cheese and got talking toa guy at the bar. Dave was retired and loved my trip. When I asked for my check I found HST he’d paid it for me. Thanks Dave.

  

Then as I was going into my hotel room I got chatting to a German couple having a beer outside their room. They offed me a beer and were also very interested in my trip. They were cyckng fans so I got my first “chapeau” if the trip.

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Day 50, 105 miles, Albion to Weedsport NY

I had breakfast in McDonalds and the sky looked very ominous.

  

My goal today was to do a century and see if it will be possible to get back to Boston by Saturday to to to a friends party. I got back on the tow path and headed for Rochester. In Spencerport I stopped for coffee and a cinnamon roll which took me through Rochester and as far as Fairport where I got an ice cream to hold me over until lunch which I planned to have in Newark. 

I got to Newark at 2:00 and simply headed to Wegmans and got a roast turkey meal with potatoes and cauliflower…. It was white but tasty. 

I had 34 miles to do and I got on NY 31 as it was more direct than the canal path. I’d booked into a Best Western in Weedsport and I was glad to get there as after 105 miles I was tired. 

 After booking in I went out for dinner at the Old Eire Pub and got the most enormous piece of haddock ever. 

  

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Day 49, 89 miles, Port Colbourne ON to Albion NY

Last night I set myself up in the guest house of my Warmshowers host because he was not at home. The door was open so I cooked some soup and went to sleep on the couch. At about 9:00 some other guests arrived that my host had mentioned might turn up and stay in the bedrooms upstairs. They didn’t know about me so there was a bit I explaining to do,  but it all worked out.

I got up early and took the bike path into Fort Erie. I rode with a guy out for a Sunday morning ride for a while and at Firt Erie I stopped for breakfast. Then I took the Niagara Trailway up to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and took the Rainbow Bridge back into the USA.

   

     

   

 

I ate lunch at Wegmans and contacted my Wranahowers goat in Lockport NY, but she was having a very busy Sunday and I decided to push on up the Erie Canal path. The campsite at Holly looked like a good bet so I got going. I had a tail wind and Lockport came along soon enigmatic and I started along the canal path proper from there. 

   

 

By the time I got to Albion I was getting tired so I looked for a motel and go a room at the Dollinger Motel where I met fellow bikers Riger and Kate. I joined them for dinner at a Greek restaurant and had prime rib.

  

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Day 48, 72 miles, Port Ryerse to Port Colborne.

Last night’s campground at the Norwich Conservancy was quite a party place with families enjoying the start of the long holiday weekend which is making finding “on the fly” accommodation difficult. But I had a good nights sleep and woke up at 6:00 and was all packed and riding by 6:45. My only other comment about the campsite is that for $35 Id like to have had better shower and toilets……

I was quickly in Port Dover which is a large place and had breakfast at “The Coffee Shop” on Main St. It’s not a fancy coffee place, but more of a cafe like you get in the UK, so I got the full breakfast with a fried tomato and a cup of tea.

Just as I was finishing John, the bike tourist is met in Marine City, walked in and we decided to ride together as far as Dunnville where he had  a motel booked. 

  

The route took us along the coast where there was lots of the development that was missing from the coast farther West. There were lost of cottages and trailer parks to take advantage of the lake shore views and the beaches and a big steel plant.

   

     

In Dunnville was had lunch at a vegetarian coffee and sandwich shop and a roasted vegetable and quinoa wrap was a nice change from burgers and fries. John left to check into his motel and I rode the 20 more miles to Port Colbourne and into the middle of a city festival. 

   

   

I worked my way through the stalls and crowds and out if the other side of town to Cedar Bay Road where my Warmshowers host is for tonight. Once again my host is not at home but has given me permission to camp in his garden or on the beach and use his guest house.

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Day 47, 64 miles, Port Stanley to Port Ryerse.

I hung around Port Stanley this morning to enjoy the early morning at the beach and to eat the hotel breakfast which didn’t start until 9:00. I watched the parks department raking the Big Beach and then came back for breakfast which was very good. Nice cereal, tea, coffee, OJ, fresh fruit salad and good Greek yogurt and a great choice of muffins and breakfast breads. But it was 10:00 before I left for Port Bruce.

  

The morning became a game if counting the miles between hamlets until I got to Port Burwell where I stopped for lunch at a pub on the corner. The meal was ok, but the service was really slow and my fool took forever to arrive.

   

 

I rode a lot on completely undeveloped shoreline. Miles of lake front covered with either corn or just grass, it’s really lovely with the sun glinting off the water.

Past Port Rowan the road gets a lot more hilly and twisty as it goes through some nice quaint port towns. There are a couple of wineries along this stretch that I though about visiting, but I didn’t really need to drink any wine.

  

I arrived at the Norwich Conservancy area camp ground around 4:00 and the lady said they usually needed reservations for holiday weekends. I shrugged and she said that because I only needed a tent site she could squeeze me in…..it still cost $35, but she did give me a cantaloupe she had in the fridge. I also bought a couple of sodas and headed off the pitch my tent and eat the melon.

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Day 46, 66 miles, Chatham to Port Stanley, ON

Today was a day when I got to like Ontario. Chatham was not a good experience as the town isn’t very attractive and my motel wasn’t really with the $50 I paid for it. I left early and headed out across Ontario’s flat farmland for Blenhiem. When I got there I asked a passerby for a breakfast recommendation and was told that Home Run was the place. It was good advice; I got an enormous breakfast for $10.

   

 

After Blenheim the road turns East and becomes the Talbot Trail. This isn’t a bike trail, but just a road that runs along the coast of Lake Erie. I stopped at a great cafe in Palmyra that was a converted barn and had some line sherbet and used the WIFI. The ladies running the place were super friendly and started to erase the memories of Chatham.

   

 

Just before Wallaceville I passed this thought provoking cemetery. I stopped in Wallaceville for lunch and had a Greek burger with feta cheese and a great piece of gooseberry pie. I love the English type desserts you can get in Canada.

 A lovely 20 miles to the coast got me to Port Stanley by 3:30. It’s a cute port town with lots of galleries and a couple of nice beaches.  Pitching my tent on the beach was a free camping option that I d been told was OK, but before I took that option I thought I’d check to see if a hotel room was available. I wasn’t expecting to get one easily because the town was very busy, but the first place I tried had a room available. It’s a boutique type place on the harbour and definitely different from a tent on the beach.

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I went out for a couple of beers in town and then bought a ticket for the evening performance of “Old Wive’sTales” at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre. I had a perch sandwich at the Roxy Diner and then went to see the play. It was fun.

   

 

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