The Black Bridge – On the Ground

Barton & Loguidice are the project engineers for the unpaved section of the Black Bridge trail on the Green Island side of the Mohawk River. A recent report by these engineers OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstimulated a visit to see the work accomplished to date. For more on this project, see “Black Bridge Revisited – A New Beginning.”

For background and information on this riding opportunity, see also –

The Black Bridge Isn’t

The Black Bridge and Beyond

The following views tell the whole story of progress to date:

  1. Entrance to the trail that was previously unpaved with trail view north toward Cohoes and Waterford/Railroad Ave. – Delaware Ave.
  2. Trail view south toward Green Island/Cannon St. with Silhouette Optical visible through the trees to the right
  3. Parking area with rest stop #1 that will have with a shelter and info kiosk and Rest stop #2 that will have with a shelter
  4. Rest stop #3
  5. Retractable pylon and new lighting fixtureThe Black Bridge is a connecting route on the New York State Canal Corp trail system/Empire State Trail. It goes between the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and the Champlain Canalway Trail. A cyclist can now leave the Albany Riverfront Park and travel to Peebles Island, Waterford, and the Champlain Canalway north without having to cross I-787



















The Black Bridge is a connecting route on the New York State Canal Corp trail system/Empire State Trail. It goes between the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and the Champlain Canalway Trail. A cyclist can now leave the Albany Riverfront Park and travel to Peebles Island, Waterford, and the Champlain Canalway north without having to cross I-787.

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Filed under Black Bridge, Empire State Trail, Erie Canal Trail, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail

Why Ghost Bikes?

A ghost bike reminds us that all road users are responsible for all other users – whether in cars, on foot, in wheel chairs, on public transit, and on bicycles. As long as a ghost bike remains in place, it serves as a graphic reminder that someone was killed in a crash – regardless of fault or responsibility.

Fairbanks 6 (Susan + Patrick Briggs)  5-9-08

A second and more touching reason is that the ghost bike provides the surviving loved ones a focus for their loss, and, by their commemoration, serves as beacon for the rest of us.

On 9/3/12, Matthew was riding north on Rt. 22 toward Hoosick falls at 8:30 AM on a clear day on a straight, smooth road with wide shoulders. He was an avid, experienced cyclist.

Becky Goodermote struck him from behind and left Matthew lying by the road 30 feet from where she hit him. Goodermote, 37, was charged with leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, driving with a suspended registration and failure to use due care.

Matthew died on 12/20/12 having been in a coma since struck. His third child was born during that time. He left Jennifer, his wife, and children, Kylie, Connor, and the baby. He worked at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in radiology.

A local business owner went to the scene. “It was pretty bad. I saw one of his shoes and thought it was a young kid at first. It was a big mess,” he said.

A Rensselaer County judge sentenced Goodermote to 2⅓ to 7 years for her plea to leaving the scene of an accident that caused a death and 1⅓ to 4 years for criminally negligent homicide, both felonies. Everybody loses …

His ghost bike was installed 1/13/13 near the point of impact a few days after Matthew died. Jennifer, Matthew’s widow, visits frequently leaving flowers and cards. Below is the ghost bike shortly after St. Valentine’s Day, 2018.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read more:



ROS 10 yr logo 2017Annually, there is a “Ride of Silence” in Albany to commemorate those who were killed or injured while riding and to remind us all – drivers and cyclists – to be careful. We pass by and stop at the ghost bikes sites in the city – Paul Merges, Nicholas Richichi, Diva DeLoayza, and Jose Perez. This year there are two new sites – two new fatalities. A daughter of a deceased rider, the wife of yet another, and another’s co-workers sometimes join the ride. This year’s ride is on Wednesday, 5/16/18 starting at 6:00 PM at the Row Center in Albany Riverfront Park and at 6:30 at Capital Park Washington Ave.

Matthew Ratelle 10-26-72 -- 12-20-12 C

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Filed under Ghost Bikes, Local Bike Rides

Human Power Planet Earth Bicycle Shop ~ Empowering Humanity

If you’re in sunny Saranac Lake, be sure to ride over to the “Human Power Planet Earth Bicycle Shop” where owner John Dimon will give you a friendly welcome and logofull1-e1464831248233a run down on whatever is happening in the area. This is a full service shop with new and used bicycles, rentals, and service. During the winter you can rent pond skates or get you own skates sharpened.


Here’s a rundown based on the website:


  • Tuesday – Friday – 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Saturdays – 10 AM – 5 PM
  • Closed Sunday and Monday.

LOCATION:Saranac Lake B

  • 77 Main St.
  • Saranac Lake, NY 12983
  • 518-524-6177, htt


Rentals – Feeling the need to get out on the town or trails, but don’t have anything to ride? Not a problem! Choose from our selection of fat tire bicycles, now available to rent! Rates: $50/day, $30/2hours

Repairs – Does your bicycle need some love? Our team of qualified mechanics is ready to help! From basic tune-ups and safety checks, to hydraulic brake bleeds and suspension rebuilds, we’ve got you covered!

thSales – Need a new ride? We are proud to announce that for 2016 we now carry KHS bicycles. Since the late 70’s KHS has provided high quality bicycles at a great value. We have Fat Bicycles, Mt. bicycles, Hybrids, Commuter and Fitness bicycles, and children’s bicycles on the floor or available to order. We also have restored Vintage (read Charming), Pre-Owned, and Consignment bicycles, for sale. Come check our growing fleet of bicycles. We have something for everyone!

Classes – Focusing on the following: fixing a flat, patching a tube, straightening bars, breaking a chain, seat adjustment, fixing chain-suck, checking bearings, and more. An “advanced class” offers the preceding plus a tool kit with the following: Crank Bros. M17 multitool, Park tire levers, Jandd Seat pack (color choices), Lezyne patch kit, White Lightning Epic Ride chain lube, Park Tool mini pump, and Kenda tube for your bike.

Here is a final opportunity – The “Barn Rescue” Tune Up – The Complete “Barn Rescue” Tune Up is for those who want to get back on their trusty steed. You know the story. It has been in the barn, in the cellar, or outside under the eaves for years. We want you to ride it again. However, there is usually corrosion to deal with, even on alloy parts. We wire brush and grease rusty bolts, take the corrosion off the rims, clean and polish pivot points. We clean, lube, polish everything, and replace what is necessary to make your bicycle rideable again. Parts replaced as necessary. It is worth it – for you and the Planet.

If John is not there, he out on his bicycle – as he is rumored to “go everywhere” by bicycle.

Before or after your visit, be sure to stop in to the next door “Origins Café” for a great meal, pastry, and coffee – You might meet up with Joshua, owner and former Exec Director of New York Bicycling Coalition.

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Filed under bicycle shops, City Review, Local Heros

Black Bridge Revisited – A New Beginning

At the recent Capital District Transportation Committee Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting, Barton & Loguidice – the project engineers for the “Black Bridge Project” – briefed the group on plans for its completion. Those who have taken the bridge as part of a wonderful ride from Albany, Watervaliet, Green Island, or Cohoes to Waterford and beyond can attest to for the final changes on this project.


For background and information on this riding opportunity, see also –

Here is a summary of what is done and planned to complete of the original $499,000 project by April 2018:

  • Pave the stone portion of the trail south of and leading up to the bridge
  • Install a half-way-point shelter/rest stop
  • Add a Cannon St. trailhead in Green Island with a shelter, motor vehicle parking, and info kiosk
  • Install security cameras linked to local police
  • Modernize and enhance the existing lighting
  • Open up views of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers at the northbound approach to the bridge (ED: why removing the trees was needed, is a mystery. There never was a problem finding either river)

If you want to plan a nice ride with major off-road portions, check the referenced links  so you can include the Black Bridge in your 2018 riding plans.

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Filed under Erie Canal Trail, Rail Trail, Rides

News on the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail

One of the best projects for recreational cyclists is the coming Albany-Hudson Electric Trail. The project derives from the Albany-Hudson Electric Trolley, an interurban system that operated from 1899 to 1929 powered by the Stuyvesant Falls hydroelectric plant.AHET Map













SOURCES: , , Times Union 12/3/17 –, ,See map here – route_map

Recently, representatives from the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail and the director of the Empire State Tail reviewed plans for the trail which will extend from Rensselaer County at the north end through Columbia County at least as far south as Stottville and maybe to Greenport. The state taxpayers have given $36 million for the project and National Grid has allowed use of the company land for the trail.

The project is also part of the Hudson River Valley Greenway, a voluntary program created by state law in 1991 to “facilitate the development of a regional strategy for preserving scenic, natural, historic, cultural, and recreational resources while encouraging compatible economic development.” See: . Perhaps more importantly, the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail will be a large link in the proposed 750-mile Empire State Trail.  See the complete trail plan here .

The next step is complete the design with construction starting in 2019 and finishing in 2020.

The trail will be marked with signs saying no ATVs. Municipalities will maintain the trail, generally limited to mowing a small section. The Erie Canalway Trail will provide municipal officials with the proposed costs of that maintenance work so they could use it for budgeting. The state is committed to long-term maintenance. While the state does not plan to put up fencing along the trail, it would talk to homeowners adjacent to the route who have “site-specific concerns.” The plan calls for six bridges along the entire trail.

To schedule a meeting with a member of the design team, call 518 898-9595. Submit comments at .




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Filed under Albany-Hudson Electric Trail, Empire State Trail, Rail Trail