Tag Archives: Comings and Goings

~ Albany Bicycle Coalition ~ What’s Our Role in the Capital Region?

logo-blogs-smallAlbany Bicycle CoalitionFounded 2004

Promotes cycling in the capital region. Advocates for cyclists. Meets last Thursday of the month, LaSalle School, Western Ave. (corner of Partridge St.) , Albany.

 Social Media –

 Activities –

Many members are League of American Bicyclists League Cycling Instructors who conduct “how to ride” workshops.

Affiliated With –

 

Go to the Albany Bicycle Coalition website to …

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  • Join our mailing list
  • Get more information about ABC and what we do
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Filed under Activisim, City Review, Support the Cause

Blessing of the Bicycles

Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible,

we come to you in prayer and thanksgiving.

 

In a world burdened by motorized transportation and consumption,

we give you gracious thanks for the wondrous bicycle,

on which we enjoy the goodness and beauty of your creation

while improving our fitness and health.

 

We ask you to protect the children who ride or who are learning to ride.

We ask you to keep all riders, leisure riders to elite athletes, safe from accidents.

We ask you to protect all riders from anger and theft.

We ask you to give us skill to ride in all sort of conditions, and

to help us forgive those who are negligent and mean.

We ask you, in thanksgiving for those who build or repair bicycles,

that you will guide them to be diligent and competent in their work.

 

Heavenly Father, be with us now and bless us as we dedicate these bicycles

and their use to the preservation of lives to your honor and praise.

Grant us faith to know your gracious purpose in all things.

Give us joy in them and lead us to use all your gifts, including our bikes,

with wisdom, compassion, patience and love.

We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Composed & Delivered on 8/13/16, Troy NY

Fr. Michael Gorchov, Rector
Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church
58 Third Street
Troy, NY 12180

 

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Filed under Activisim, Editorial, Rides

The Black Bridge and Beyond

If you’ve taken the Black Bridge (or some other) route to Waterford (see earlier post), you’re in for a pleasant (but unusual) treat if you use it as your starting point to explore the Champlain Canal Trail north toward Mechanicville.

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Hee Haw

After riding from the Black Bridge along the bikeway and after crossing from Peebles Island into Waterford, turn left/west of 2nd St. onto Broad St. (10.9 miles from the Row Center at the Corning Riverfront Park). Pass four streets on your right and come to the old Champlain Canal (11.1 miles from the Row Center). If you’re on 700X25 tires, lock up and take a nice walk up the canal towpath. If you are on wider tires, take the towpath (you’ll cross Division St., the only intersection in this area) past the foundations of the Weigh Lock and then those of Lock #5 and dry dock about 1.5 miles to the landfill and Momentive Performance Materials industrial complex (12.7 miles from the Row Center). The northerly path then continues on to Mechanicville.

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What’s comin’ outta those pipes?

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Momentive Monolith

But where is that path?

As you cruise over the landfill (with its ominous ventilators spewing forth God knows what) toward the fencing, you think that you’re in Gitmo with no way out. (The landfill covers the Old Champlain Canal – so guess where the leakage goes?) But as you get to the end where it appears that you are completely fenced in, you’ll spot a narrow, deeply rutted path leading down to the right (easterly) through the tall weeds and grass. After a tick check at the bottom, remount and head on a winding, unmarked  narrow paved road (Google says cross Clute St. onto Bells Lane North which changes into School House Lane). Notice up and to your left the original towpath that is inaccessible at present. Lo and behold, where the unmarked Schoolhouse Lane bears left at 13.4 miles from the Row Center and 2.3 miles from Waterford, you’ll come to the Half Moon Trail skirting the old Champlain Canal on your left.

The Half Moon Trail is a nice ride on hard-packed stone dust. At “high noon,” there is no shade, so choose your ride time accordingly if it’s hot hot hot. A curious feature of the trail is frequent “Hazard – 100 Feet Ahead,” “Hazard – Keep Left,” or just plain “Hazard” signs. After expecting an alligator or two to rise from the canal, it seems that these signs are to alert trail users to the utility poles along the side if the trail. Those lawyers in Hal Moon must be looking for something to do…

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The North End Trail Head

Along the trial, watch for historical markers and remnants of the 200-year-old canal and later railroad structures. Cross Brookwood Rd., Lower Newton Rd., and an unmarked gravel pit road.  At 16.4 miles from the Row Center and 5.3 miles from Waterford, you’ll arrive at a trail head with parking for 4-5 cars, no hint of where you are, and stick-on letters on a utility pole saying “1 Mechan School” (20 Upper Newton Rd. according to the Town website). Just across the road is a barricade across the trail, which at this point is just grass, weeds, and brush leading on to Lock #8 and Mechanicville – clearly unrideable. There must be a plan here …

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Future Plans?

Time to turn around and enjoy the peaceful, quite trail back to Waterford to continue learning about “Canal Days.”

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A peaceful ride back to Waterford…

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Filed under Erie Canal Trail, Rail Trail, Rides

The Black Bridge Isn’t

Here is a nice day ride from Albany to Sunny Waterford. From Albany Bicycle Coalition HQ in Pine Hills, it’s 4.4 miles to the Boat Launch/Row Center at the Corning Riverfront Park via the Conventional Bicycle Lanes on Clinton Ave., Broadway, and Erie St. (Can’t wait for the new entry to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at Colonie and Quay Sts. so one can avoid the crazy exit ramp from I-787.)

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Row Center

Starting from this nice view of the Hudson, you have 4.5 miles from the Row Center to the car park/fishing spot in Watervaliet where the tunnel leads under a roaring I-787 to the pretty calm streets of the city.

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Under I-787

Take a right onto Broadway. A recommended detour of a couple blocks (take the first left you can) will result in the best glazed doughnuts in the area from the Schuyler Bakery (637 3rd Ave. – open Tue – Sat) (Coffee is a Stewart’s – four or five doors south of the bakery.)

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Yummy!

You can take your coffee and goodies down Broadway to the memorial park behind McDonald’s or save them for Green Island – see below.

Pay attention, as there are several challenging intersections and sometimes-heavy traffic on Broadway. As you get near the north end of Watervaliet at 23rd St., follow the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail straight ahead and not to the right onto NY Bike Route 9. Caution advised. Simply follow the MHBHT signs until you enter the Sovereign and Independent Nation of Green Island (which is green but not an island) for a rest stop at the Heatly School or the GIG (“Green Island Gazebo”) Park (with views of N. Troy and the Federal lock [it’s federal because its tidal]) (3.3 miles and 7.7 miles from the Row Center).

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Green Island Gazebo & N. Troy

Now, here’s the well-kept secret – just past the school and park on Hudson Ave., the route turns left onto Tibbits Ave. and passes the large Paine Street Park on your left. Take the first right turn after the park and leave the MHBHT to go on Cannon St. Ignore the road closed signs as you pass between the gigantic concrete barriers and you’ll be on gravel but only for 1/10 mile, so don’t despair. Travel on and you are at the non-black Black Bridge (1.2 miles from the Green Island School and 8.7 miles from the Row Center).

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The “Black” Bridge

The bridge takes you across the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson – stop and lean on the rail to enjoy the sight (on both sides) before you enter Van Schaick Island, Cohoes. (Cannon St. now becomes Railroad Dr. and later Delaware Ave. and finally Second St.)

You are now on a paved “multi use” path which will take you to Peebles Island and then again over the Mohawk to Broad St. in Waterford. While on the path, be mindful of the several intersections especially the intersection with Van Schaick Ave. that has no advance warning or stop signs and that of Ontario St., Rt. 470 where people in cars will show no mercy and there is a busy Cumberland Farms “quick stop.” (Be sure to contrast the Van Schaick House on your left with the monstrous development on the right.)

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Van Schaick House

Be courteous to the walkers and joggers and verbally announce your presence when you overtake and with a “thank you” especially if they step aside to let you pass.

As you cross from Peebles Island into Waterford, see our remaining Dutch replica ship, the “Onrust,” to the right and the Canal Harbor. At Broad St., you’re about 12 miles and 1.5 hours from the Corning Riverfront Park.

You can spend days in Waterford exploring the old and new locks and other structures of the Erie, Champlain, and NYS Barge canals. The Waterford Historical Museum is located in the 1830 Hugh White Homestead just east of Saratoga St. Rt. 32 as it heads south to Cohoes. However, all this is another adventure.

Turning left/west onto Broad St., from Second St. and passing four streets on your right, you’ll come to the old Champlain Canal.

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The Champlain Canal Trail at Waterford

If you’re on 700X25 tires, lock up and take a walk up the canal towpath. If you are on wider tires, take the towpath past old Lock #5 about 1.5 miles to the landfill and Momentive Performance Materials industrial complex. The northerly path then continues on to Mechanicville … but more on that later…

Heading back south to Waterford, continue directly across Broad St. to join up with the bicycle/walking paths for some easy touring along the canal with a visit to the Harbor Visitor Center (scene of the annual tugboat rally). Again, you can spend days exploring.

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Filed under Local Bike Rides, Rides

Champlain Canalway Bicycle Tour – Sun, 8/14 – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

5th Champlain Canalway Trail Bicycle Tour REGISTRATION OPEN!

Sunday, August 14 – Start: 9:00 am – Return: 4:00 pm – This year’s tour will begin at Hudson Crossing Park near Lock 5 just north of Schuylerville. It will then proceed through villages and countryside to Saratoga National Historical Park, with stops at selected significant historical landmarks related to the 1777 Revolutionary War campaign. Expert historians at each stop will introduce cyclists to local historical events that led to the Battles of Saratoga and changed the course of the war and our nation’s destiny.

Riders may return via the Caldwell Belle on the Hudson River or simply bicycle back to the start.

 Info and registration, here.

CCTour 2012 ~ 7-18-16

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The annual ride is presented by the Champlain Canalway Trail (CCT) Working Group in collaboration with the Saratoga National Historical Park, Hudson Crossing Park, Lakes to Locks Passage, Mohawk Maiden Cruises, and Akiba Travel. The ride shows the efforts to complete the Champlain Canalway Trail, a 62-mile multi-use path along the Hudson River and old or current Champlain Canal. The canal links the Erie Canal in Waterford with Lake Champlain in Whitehall and connects the communities in between. The trail is presently about 25 percent open for use. The CCT Working Group is a coalition of municipalities, counties, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations promoting the development and enjoyment of the trail. A percentage of the proceeds will go to Hudson Crossing Park to be used to advance the building of the Champlain Canalway Trail.

CCTour Talk 7-18-16

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Filed under Erie Canal Trail, Rides