Like many moments in this world you have to grab opportunities as they come to you, or you might miss them. Yesterday I had the opportunity to ride the Erie Canal with a group of riders led by ABC member John Vendetti. The ride was a nice mix of education, perspiration, and fascination.
It all started at the boat launch where John gave us the rundown of the ride with an overview of what the Erie Canal was back when they first built it. Soon we were off and rolling on what was going to be an adventure in cycling, at least for me.
There is something you have to understand about my bike. It is “technically” a hybrid bike, but I found out yesterday that it loves roads better than grass. In fact, yesterday was the first day that I exercised the off-road portion of the bike. I am glad to say that it did perform, but now back to the ride.
It is my understanding, and correct me if I am wrong, that there are sixteen locks (Edit: I just checked and it’s 18 locks –Ken) total. Some of them are closed off to the public and others have been buried over time, but the ones that are left are a sight to see. Especially if you are interested in early American history.
After passing a few locks we came to what was called the Weighlock Building in which boats would come in and get weighed based on the amount of water they displaced. As you can see the stone rock made a nice podium.
After the Watervliet Armory and the rest of the locks we came to my favorite part of the ride, the Cohoes Falls. To think that we have something like that in our own backyard is astounding. While everyone went down to get a closer look I just parked myself on a nearby bench and looked in with wonder at the falls.
Next was a beautiful ride to the Champlain Canal where the trees were changing color and reflecting in the river. At the canal we got to see how it worked, and after a great lunch we headed home through Troy.
Over all the ride was great. There was just enough biking to have a good time with the perfect amount of history and scenery along the way. If John ever does this again I would highly recommend it to anyone.
You know, sometimes life comes at us hard and we feel stressed, but sometimes you just need to take a breath, step back, and be at peace.