On July 9, more than 650 cyclists departed Buffalo for the 400-mile trek to Albany along the Erie Canalway Trail. The 19th annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour was Parks & Trails New York’s largest tour to date and coincided with the beginning of the Bicentennial Anniversary of the Erie Canal.
With riders from 36 states and DC, two Canadian provinces, and Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom each Cycle the Erie Canal rider brought a unique level of familiarity of the Erie Canal to the tour. For more than three quarters of our riders, this was their first time participating in the Cycle the Erie Canal tour. Almost one in four, however, also rode during a previous year and felt compelled to return due to the unparalleled riding conditions and strong camaraderie you develop riding with hundreds of enthusiastic cyclists for eight days. Nonetheless, returners and new riders were treated to some new attractions, such as the recently completed Erie Canal Heritage Park in Port Byron that offers trail users the unique opportunity to bike through an almost 200-year old lock.
Whether it was a large welcome arch made out of balloons in downtown Fairport or free trailside popsicles in Memphis, Cycle the Erie Canal riders encountered the legendary hospitality for which the dozens of communities along the Erie Canalway Trail are famous. In addition to the strong community support, more than 90 volunteers ensured that everything, from meals to luggage transportation, were taken care of so the only thing cyclists worried about each morning was which jersey to wear that day. You can see pictures from this year and previous years on PTNY’s website.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 20th anniversary edition of the Cycle the Erie Canal tour, which will leave Buffalo on July 8, 2018 and arrive in Albany eight days later on July 15.