Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bike Tour is Complete

Brandon and I completed our bike ride across the state of New York mainly on the Erie Canal. We were forced onto Bike Route 5 which is NY Rt31, a wide shouldered bike friendly road a couple of times.

The ride was physically ok but at times mentally demanding. The weather and misjudged distances caught us in the middle of nowhere twice. Those times we had to make do by commando camping in spots we would not have chosen if it wasn't so late. Both times we pitched our tents after 10PM.

We rode though some torrential downpours simply because there was no way to get out of them. We got lucky when the best camp spots were taken by a large group of canoe people touring the canal. We were forced into low ground between two clusters of trees. The wind was so severe on the high ground that night, some of the canoe tents were blown away. We heard the wind, but felt nothing.

The people who approached us alway warmed our hearts. Everyone was so friendly and interested in our trip. A couple offered places to stay, one woman did Brandon's laundry while he went to the bike shop. Our tab was torn up by the proprietor of an Inn in Fairport NY. Even though were were from Red Sox nation. Neither of us care one iota about that game and were summarily busted once people in the bar started dropping names and we didn't know which team they were talking about.

A county sheriff gave us a break by letting us spend the night in an illegal spot. A woman in Brockport offered to let us spend the night in the welcome center even though we had the best camp spot of the whole trip claimed. In a law office yard no less. And also a wrench at a bike shop lubing Brandon's rusting chain and adjusting his rear brakes as a courtesy.

I had plans to meet a few people while on tour but between the timing, forgotten numbers and any other excuse I can come up with, I only managed to meet one.

It's all posted on the crazy guy journals HERE if you care to look. While your at it, there are lots of fantastic writers on that site that just may inspire you to do your own tour. I'm sure there are a few people posting there that are just like you, however that may be.


  1. Glad you had a good trip - looking forward to the read. Just when you want to move as far away from people as you can, a bunch of nice ones come along and screw things up!

  2. Wow, sounds like an awesome trip. I am gradually working my way through your detailed report on crazyguyonabike. The expression on Brandon's face on the first night in the tent, in the rain, is priceless. You can tell he is not amused.

    I'm glad you were able to enjoy the trip despite the rain. Rain can be a real bummer sometimes.

    Regarding handlebar tape, I haven't found anything in this color either, although you can get expensive leather tape that's close. I got that color using natural cork tape and putting a few layers of amber shellac on it.

    I think it'd be a bit better if I had put a layer of cork tape for padding, then a layer of cloth tape, and then shellac. The shellac is now wearing off the cork grips a bit.

  3. Sounds like a great time. I'd like to get out there in the not-too-distant future for a tour trip.

  4. Hey man,

    Sorry you didn't get to Albany. I was ready! I even had the bar picked out to talk footie, unions and jazz.

    Next summer I'm planning to do the Albany-Boston AIDS ride. If that works out, you pick the hangout spot.

    Jason in Albany

  5. Nice ride. Good to hear of the kind people you met along the way. I hope to do a bike tour, too… someday…

  6. Hey thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and comment. I found it refreshing to hear an opinion of a person with firm convictions.--and not be a fence sitting wishy-washy type. Sounds like yo had a good ride across NY.

    Gary (aka old dude)

  7. I'm glad to hear people treated you well. I sometimes wonder where all the nice people are.

  8. In hindsight the misery of the conditions will make it more meaningful, more of a challenge fulfilled. It's also no surprising that many people were kind to you. Just as there are stories of big trucks and SUVs intimidating cyclists, there are just as many of the kindness of strangers on the road. I'll check out crazyguy, but congrats.

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