Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cycling the Erie Canal - Day 1

Day 1 - Buffalo to Medina (46.88 miles)

Gary, Harold and I did not get much sleep before we had to get up and drive about 50 miles from Batavia to Buffalo in order to register for the ride and begin cycling.  Breakfast and the start of the ride were at a private school, The Nichols School. Registration was inside a building in the middle of a hockey rink. I thought it pretty cool, that a private school actually had its own hockey rink. And then I was told that the rink we were standing on was just the practice rink.  The "real rink" was next door in the arena! Wow, a pretty exclusive and expensive school they have here. Breakfast was just as good as the school proper. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage, toast, bagels, cream cheese, French toast, yogurt,  juice, fresh fruit, coffee, Danish, and chocolate milk. I had it all, and can get used to this pretty fast!

The mass start in Buffalo
Since the three of us had our car with us, it meant one of us would have to shuttle the car each day. I volunteered for Day 1, so after registration, introductions, and a first day mass start at 8AM, I drove to the finish in Medina and backtracked 22 miles on the course until I met up with Harold and Gary coming from the other direction. Accordingly, I got most all of the mileage done and only missed the road mileage out of Buffalo and one 7 mile section of Niagara Riverwalk.
The Lockport locks, from downstream
The Lockport locks, from upstream
Lockport has an interesting set of locks. This is where the Niagara Escarpment ends, so there is a pretty big drop in elevation in the middle of the town, which you can see on the Garmin elevation chart. Here, there originally were a set of five locks which have been replaced with two locks (34 and 35). The original set of locks still remain, though they cannot be used anymore.

Jewell, Harold, and Gary headed towards Medina

After today’s ride we drove back for another night at Russ and Gillian’s house. We had a big cookout with many of Gary’s relatives coming to see him. Dinner was very good, especially the sausage and peppers and the “white hot” hot dogs which are a local specialty.

Dinner at Russ and Gillian's

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