From Niagara Falls to DuBois

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Sunday July 25 - 40.1 miles in 2:48:07 hours at an average of 14.2 mph



I started just before noon at the Canadian Falls after taking some pictures.



I think the rapids just above the falls are awesome.

The first 20 miles was up the Niagara Parkway.  For almost the whole way there was a bike path (Niagara Parkway Recreational Path) which was hardly needed as traffic was very light. The temperature and humidity were ideal for a ride and there was always an unobstructed view of the river.





DSCN0466[1].JPG These birds are Comorants.






I could hardly believe the maps I downloaded but there was a special pedestrian/cycling entrance and lane across the Peace Bridge. 


DSCN0469[1].JPG I took a few photos crossing.  It was a little like being on a tightrope on a bike and I just could not look over the side of the bridge without stopping.



DSCN0470[1].JPG This is a view out into Lake Erie - I was standing on the USA/Canada border in the middle of Peace Bridge.



US Door.jpg

When I got to the US side I came to a locked door, had to ring the bell, and wait to enter the country.

.Actually the whole thing was a lot easier than entering by car.  But once I got through the door into my country they forgot about directing us safely into the city.  I picked my way through some trucks and cars and succeeded in getting into LaSalle Park which is along the lakefront.  As I cycled through the park I caught up with another rider and told him I was following him in anticipation of finding a secret exit out the south end of the park.  We talked, he led the way, and he even led me through the streets of Buffalo to find route NY 16 and Seneca Street.


DSCN0478[1].JPGThe streets were deserted - it was so strange after anticipating that this would be the harriest park of the trip. 

In fact I had to cycle further than I thought before I found an open deli for lunch.  Well south of the city traffic picked up but 30 miles of the riding today was virtually traffic free.  Along with the fine temperatures and low humidity it was ideal riding, not to mention the nice views of the river and lake.  My destination was the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, a wonderful historic architectural site.  Their restaurant is very fine too and it is a great experience to dine in this atmosphere.  For a few pictures of this great place go to this website: Cathy decided to change her travel plans and spend the evening and night with me at the Roycroft; we've stayed there a couple of time for special events.  What an excellent start to this adventure.

Monday July 26 - 103.5 miles in 6:52:35 hours at an average of 15.0 mph

I started just after 8:00 and got to Emporium at 4:30.  It was another stunner of a day with blue skies, low humidity, and moderate temperatures. I continued south on NY 16 to Olean.  I had to ride a couple of miles on a four lane but there was no problem.  Even though there was a bit of traffic on NY 16 I felt pretty safe.




There were several bikes decorated with flowers along NY 16 with signs inviting cyclists to explore the rout.





DSCN0481[1].JPGThe roads in NY were much better for cycling than in Pennsylvania since the paved shoulders were four or five feet wide compared to the two to zero feet you get in PA.  You can see the change right at the NY-PA border.  There is a little debate in the cycling community about riding either to the left or the right of the white line.  I am definitely a to the right guy.  Some motorists don't see you and think the odds are better the further from traffic I can get. 


The worst cycling was through Olean and out of town of NY417.  Olean might be a pretty town - I don't know because I needed to concentrate on traffic.  But Portville has one of the prettiest Main streets I have seen.  There are some gorgeous Victorian homes in a setting worthy of the first page of Stuart Little.  So PA 155 to Emporium is only a fair cycling road because of the narrow shoulder even though the traffic was light.  I like to ride to the right of the white line.  The Bottonwood Motel is only fair and supposedly the best place in town.  I called Fra Paul, who officiated at our wedding, who is now at St Marks in Emporium but he was on vacation as it turned out.  This was a fine fine day. The route was surprisingly level as indicated by the great average of 15 mph over this distance.  There was only one real climb towards the end of the day.  As a bonus I had dinner with a former campus student, Lisa Bainey, who is superintendent of Sizerville State Park.  She is a shining star of the park system as they are building a lodge to attract visitors to Elk Country - the first of its kind in PA.  It's great to see her career taking off.  The campus' wildlife program is really fine.  Several of her classmates are doing great too. I did not see elk on this trip.  


Tuesday July 27 - 68.6 miles in 4:45:06 hours at an average of 14.4 mph

After a mediocre sleep at a mediocre motel with a fine breakfast I set off toward home.  I've cycled these roads before and like them much.  It was a foggy cool morning.





Sinnemahoning PA has virtually nothing left in it exept this monument to a Civil War regiment that the region raised.






Riding this road was just so beautiful.






Every time I looked it seemed like a doe 10 yards away was looking at me.  I saw a little fleet of mergansers on the river.  But I didn't get to see an elk this time.





I scared up some turkey vultures and was able to reach my camera for this shot.


I stopped for a piece of pie in Benezette. These roads meander - left and right and up and down.  So while there were no big hills to climb there were dozens of little rises requiring one to get out of the saddle for a few peddle strokes making for a slower average and a somewhat harder day.  Additionally, there is a 5-mile stretch between Weedville and Penfield with a lot of truck traffic.  This is nostalgic territory for me since I lived in the "Valley" in the 80's.  So I cycled past that old house, Rosie's Place, the house where we liberated the claw foot tub, a swimming hole and out Mountain Run Rd - where Tim, Sherron and I had some fine mountain bike rides.


On calories:  It is pretty amazing that one needs to be continually ingesting calories, eating at each meal and stopping for snacks at will - and not gain a pound.  My goal is to take in 100 calories per hour as I ride so that energy is continually there.  Energy bars based on peanut butter seem to work best for me.  Then I will stop at a bakery or diner for an additional snack; the homemade apple pie in Benezette was particularly nice.


As I write this the total raised is $5,300 but the mail box has several donations in it at every pickup.  There are a good number of first time donors this year, pleasantly surprising me.  I had been wondering if this was going to start waning as a fund raiser, but this looks like the best year yet.  I've had to correct my mailing list for a remarkable number of deaths - Matt Belin, Bill Hand, Norma Hiller, Ed Hopkins, Bill McCarthy, Jim McNight, Don Miller, Gwen Smith,  Cheryl Zappa - at my age it is a fact of life that many good folks are no longer with us.


The blog for last year's trip can be seen at:


As of 8-24-10 this ride has raised $5,680 for Habitat for Humanity of Clearfield County and checks continue to come in.


I you read this - thank you for you interest in this my ride.  Consider sending a few dollars to Habitat for Humanity of Clearfield County, PO Box 463, DuBois PA 15801.

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