Cycling Date: Thursday 30-July-15
Mileage: 78 miles
Weather: Upper 60s and very thick & humid to start. Low 80s to end. Winds out of the west. And wet. Definitely wet.
Highlights of the day:
We got wet again today. Very wet. There were a few sprinkles within the first 5 miles and then it came. Not pouring so hard that you can’t see but very steady. I think I’ve said it before but it (almost) always rains on the day into Little Falls. This is my 10th time crossing from Liverpool to Little Falls. This is the 9th time it’s rained. One rider said that the one day it didn’t rain was an anomaly and should be tossed out of the data set. I’ll keep that in mind next year. The rain did stop for the last few miles so the riders were able to clean bikes without seeking shelter.
Today started on roads through Liverpool and other suburbs of Syracuse. It was more traffic and traffic lights than we’ve seen all tour. After an unofficial count of 27 traffic lights, we made it out of town and on to quieter roads with fewer signals. Our route followed the Erie Canal & Mohawk River for most of the day and then took a parallel route along the NY Throughway. We’ll have more opportunities tomorrow to get a little more up close and personal with more locks along the waterway.
A different tourist attraction today was The World’s Smallest Church. It was built back in 1989. It seats two people. It sits in the middle of a small pond covered in algae. You might ask yourself, as I did, why one would build a church that seats two people in the middle of the pond. If you find the answer – please send it along.
Arriving in Little falls, riders got to work. Bikes were hosed, wiped, and lubed. Clothing washed. Speaking of which, what was the big excitement of the day? A laundromat. A laundromat right across the street from the hotel. A laundromat that is probably the last laundromat for most of the riders & staff on the tour. Wiping a tear as I type.
In addition to their cleaning chores, some riders took a quick side trip down to Lock No 17. It is said, by wikimapia.com, to be “the largest single lock in New York State and on the Erie Canal, and at the time of its 1916 completion it held the title of being the world's highest single lift lock at the time raising boats 40.5 feet.” As explained to me, rather than having doors that hinge open to change the water levels, the door lifts like a guillotine. It is impressive. Oh and there is ice cream nearby. :)
We have a reception, courtesy of our hotel here in Little Falls, a dinner, and rap to go before the end of the day. Then it’s only 4 more riding days until we dip wheels in the Atlantic. Its that :) and :( part of the tour. Excited to see the end approaching but also not wanting it to end. Perhaps that’s why I keep coming back year after year.