Another hot one today with the high at 93F and humid. We’re basically riding from a suburb of Rochester NY to a suburb of Syracuse NY through the Finger Lakes region of northern NY state. The first 30 miles or so was on a shaded bike path by the Erie Canal. A little cooler under the tree cover and very scenic. Nice! Several sculling teams in their late teens were out training early along with a few fishermen, otherwise traffic on the waterway was very light.
The Erie Canal is 365 miles long and runs from the Hudson River at Albany NY to the Great Lakes at Buffalo NY and navigates an elevation change of 600 ft. via a series of 36 locks. Completed in 1825 at a time when there was no railway system and only horse drawn carts to haul goods, it was by far the most effective way to move goods from the Eastern Seaboard inland to the Mid-West. It was largely responsible for the growth of New York City as a port and industrial center. Canal barges were pulled by mules or draft horses walking along a shoreline towpath. Now it is for recreational use with pretty little villages lining its shores and joggers and cyclists making good use of the pathways.
Again today the terrain after we left the canal was mildly rolling. New York traffic is noticeably more aggressive than other states we’ve crossed. Everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere it seems but luckily the shoulders of the road were generally wide, so we had some breathing room.
I rode in a pace line that held a steady 19 mph for the roadway portion of the ride and we arrived at the hotel about 1:30, avoiding the full heat of the late afternoon. There is a 60% chance of rain tomorrow but it will be warm. Our 2nd rain day? We’ll see.
Five riding days left……