Albany, flat cycling following the canal
I reached another State Capitol today, the 10th of the trip. It was a much flatter ride as I was parallel to the Hudson Canal and there weren’t many small hills along the side. It was a pretty ride and I was surprised at how little traffic was on my route.
New York has designated the Empire Trail as a route that goes from New York City to the Canadian border and from just north of Albany to Erie. The first five miles of today were on local roads getting back to the main trail route.
I am now back on route. In addition to the New York Empire trail there is also Bike Route 9. Often they are the same, but sometimes I get the sense the Empire trail may have some unpaved sections while Bike Route 9 stays on roads. I went through some small towns of Shuylerville, Stillwater, Mechanicville and Waterford. I saw many US flags out and most of these town have special banners honoring veterans. I don’t know if this is all the time or because we are just before Memorial Day.
Just downstream from this photo is Lock #7. This part of the canal is relatively narrow compared to later broader sections.
New York is hiring people for their canal service.
A large lock gate.
Today continued to have many historic markers and also this Saratoga National Historic Park. Here is their web site – https://www.nps.gov/sara/index.htm Apparently, this is one of the first times the British Army surrendered to the colonists.
This bridge has a metal deck. Those seem uneven to ride on. However, there wasn’t much traffic so I quickly walked across. There was room for two narrow cars but when a wider truck would come, vehicles would pause and let only one at a time. Here is a spot where Bike Route 9 goes across the bridge, but the Empire Trail went over the next bridge.
A sign for the Empire Trail. I have traveled roughly along this route between Ticonderoga to Albany. Now I will start heading west to follow the route to Buffalo. There is a mixture of paved off-road trails, designated routes on roads and unpaved sections of trail. Where the unpaved sections are rough, I’ll follow parallel roads.
As I got in through Troy and Albany, I was mostly on bicycle trails including several islands in the Hudson River. Here was one of the bridges.
Sign that explains the bridge.
The spot where the southbound and westbound trails divide. From here a last set of miles along the Hudson River until last bit past the State Capitol.
The capitol complex was large with this building (no dome) and a large plaza with multiple office buildings. I cycled through some urban streets to get slightly outbound but this city doesn’t come across as large as some other cities I’ve recently crossed going up the east coast.
Overall, a not very difficult ride today. Strava says: 56.01 miles in 6:03:41 for 9.2 miles/hour. A total of 1093 feet climbed and 3856 calories burned.
Yesterday, my father passed away. His world had been getting smaller, particularly since March. Hence, while not surprise – there is a finality of this last transition – so thinking some of this as I was riding. Two things I am glad – (a) that he was able to stay in his home environment and (b) that I got a chance to visit for a week in April. Thinking of others including my mother and see what I might do to help. If I can help, I can visit in Colorado but for now my default is to continue with my ride and then come through Colorado at end of August/start of September.
I was also reflecting on two travel related memories I have:
- This first was when growing up, and we would go travel through different parts of the US during Spring Break. I was self-appointed navigator and would have an open map and watch for every river, every county boundary, etc. I see this trip as a continuation of a love for travel and seeing new places – but that was also instilled by my parents on trips such as those spring break ride.
- The second was as I’ve done some of my long rides, my father has been a big fan and supporter. With my ride across Canada (1997), I got them a dial up internet connection so they could follow. On later trips such as around Australia my father became the navigator and web site updater helping keep the “red line” and web posts up and going. Roles were reversed.
It is still a change to work through, but I am grateful to my father for that love of travel and seeing new places and learning more about the world by seeing different places. Lost a navigator but that love for travel continues.
Always love reading the stories, and so sorry for your loss.
So sorry for the loss of your father. The passing of another fine man of a great generation. I love that you honor him with your sense of adventure. My dad, his cousin, did the same with us. Heartfelt condolences to you and your family.