Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Biking - A Long Flat River Loop

Today was one more nice day before the rain and cold arrives. I wanted to bike, but needed a reason, and not just another loop to nowhere. I decided to hook up with Holly's biking group, the SOBs (Seniors on Bicycles), which was doing an 18-mile ride on the Erie Canalway Trail between Amsterdam and Auriesville. I would extend that ride by biking from Schenectady to Amsterdam, meeting them at their starting point, and riding back to Schenectady afterwards, making my ride about 50 miles.

The temperature was about 35F when I left Schenectady, and there was no wind whatsoever, making for great riding conditions, with the right layers of course. I attached one rear pannier with an extra layer, and also to use later once I started shedding layers as the temperature approached 60F. I reached Amsterdam in a little over an hour, and the group headed on to a rest stop at Schoharie Crossing. The river was like glass, reflecting the remains of the Schoharie Creek Aqueduct, which once carried the Erie Canal across Schoharie Creek.

A little farther along, Bob and I rode up a short steep hill to the Auriesville Shrine, while the rest of the group turned around and headed directly back to Amsterdam. The parking lot at the shrine provides a great view up the Mohawk River valley.

Leaving the shrine, we stopped at Karen's Produce, where I picked out a pumpkin to stuff in my pannier and take home. On the way back to Amsterdam, we stopped at the dam across from Lock 11 for another photo opportunity.

We caught up with the rest of the group shortly after they'd reached the cars, and then I headed back toward Schenectady. I crossed the NY-30 bridge to cycle on NY-5, making this a loop ride. Shortly after I got going eastward on 5, an annoying easterly headwind appeared, making the last 10 miles a little tougher than I was expecting. Fortunately, it's pretty flat, and I've become used to much worse.

No more riding for a few days, as we turn colder and wetter. I guess it must be almost November.

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