John is off visiting his family in Colorado this week, so I had to round up another biking partner for the weekend! My sister and I do things together, usually at her suggestion, which has included things like the Becoming and Outdoors Woman, Camp N Pack – in freezing weather, ice fishing in gale force winds, etc. Now it was my turn. A month or so ago, I asked my sister if she would be interested in doing a ride that was a casual 36 mile ride. I wanted to give her time to work on the bike as she isn’t a biker. She agreed and we decided to do the Bike the Byway, which was an organized ride that went along the Mohawk river with stops at historic sites of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers and the Erie Canal.
It really was a casual ride. There were about 16 people on the ride. We chose this for its casual pace seeing as it was Colleen’s first really long bike ride in a few years. We had a lot of stops. 9 in all. I will try not to put in too many pictures!
If you follow the canal, you could go to either place. This used to be a railway stop as well. We were about 6 miles into the ride here.
We were tooling along about about a 12 mph pace, which was really perfect. There weren’t too many hills for the first part. Of course, then I blew a front tire around mile 15 or so. It had to happen, right? It exploded, too, and scared people LOL! I just pulled over and changed the tire. Good thing I have experience with that…. Colleen said we should have taken a picture, but really, who wants to remember that? I have plenty of flat tire pictures I could insert here 😀
Anyway, the rest of the group headed on while I changed the tire. Then we caught up to them at the next stop, where there were refreshments waiting for us!
Cookies! Plus lemonade and water. We had stopped at one of the locks of the canal here.
At each stop, we learned about the history of the towpath and the Erie canal and how it shaped the towns in the area. Pretty cool stuff!
We then went a bit further for a rest stop at a local orchard store. The ride organizer had called ahead to see if we could use their facilities, which they agreed to.
This was the cutest place!
It was like a country store inside, too. They served some type of food, but I am not sure what it was. Definitely need to come back to this next time we are in this area!
The next stop was the Vischer Ferry Power Plant. Lots of hydro along the Mohawk.
My sister works for the DEC and part of her job is making sure the hydro plants don’t hurt the fishies. We were joking that she could have charged time for work stopping at all the hydro plants 😀
I love Vischer Ferry. I would love to live here. It’s a Greek Revival style town that was built on waterway traffic. It’s so beautiful.
It was really starting to get hot and humid. You can see how loose my helmet strap was getting. When it gets really wet from sweat, it starts to slip the buckle. We had our protein bars here for some fuel. It sure felt good to get back on the bikes and make some breeze to cool off.
We got back on the bike path for a bit and ended up at this little parking area. This was around mile 28. Note the really dark sky in the background. Foreshadowing…
We had more cookies and drinks here. Two really nice women had baked up treats for us and brought them to 3 of our stops along the ride. How nice is that? They packed up their car and moved the stuff around. Me and my sis! She was doing pretty well on the ride and she wasn’t hating me. She’s much taller than I am, too.
Shortly after we left this stop, we could hear thunder and then it started pouring!
It only lasted about 10 minutes, though. Then it stopped and we hit the next point of interest.
How cool is that? Of course, it came about because of the waterway.
Then we biked to where the Mohawk and Hudson rivers diverge.
It seems like more of our stops were all squished together at the end. This ride actually took a long time because we stopped so much.
Our next stop was the Cohoes Falls. Even though the water level was low, still very beautiful!
We were up above it all. (more hydro plants)
Then we got back on the bike path and headed back to the starting point. It was basically one large circle all around. I know Colleen was pretty tired by that point, but she made it!
I am so proud of her for doing all 36 miles! I hope I can get her to do more biking with us and didn’t scare her away 😀