I love the beautiful rotation of the pedals; the way I can travel through the world quietly, taking in what I see. Last summer I took my love for a biking to a new level: my father and I biked across New York state and back (a total of 900 miles). We talked with the people we met along the way, sometimes sharing meals or stories. People were always astonished to discover that that we were biking that far; but to me it doesn’t seem like an amazing feat, instead it is just something I love to do.
On our first day my papa and I drove from Indianapolis, IN and left the car behind at Competitive Gear, a bike store in Erie, PA to start our bike trip. We were carrying six panniers, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads and a tent. From Eire, PA we made our way to New York. It was beautiful scenery, but we were making slow progress and were exhausted after 45 miles. We pitched our tent in an old cemetery that night. It was the good start to an exciting trip, but we sure were exhausted.
The second day we made it to Orchard Park, NY and on the third day we went into Canada to see Niagara Falls. At the falls, which of course are amazing, we got pretty wet from the wind blowing all the mist our way. The first two days were difficult to get used to the constant riding, but by the third day my muscles became accustomed to it and I began really enjoying the scenery and the experience more. We met a lot of people along the way who asked questions, filled our water bottles, and were always so impressed. The people you meet while traveling is always what makes an experience special. Meeting people while we biked who offered for us to sleep in their attics, yurts, and trailers, made our experience something that we could share.
The three days after that we were biking along the Erie Canal. I wasn’t crazy about this part of the trip because I got at least 3 flats a day, it was rainy, and the scenery wasn’t very interesting. But then we made it to the Adirondack Park where there were intense mountains but it was a lot more beautiful. Often times my papa and I were riding down gorgeous tree-lined roads and we wouldn’t see any cars. There were moments on this trip that felt absolutely blissful. We would forget every trouble in the world and completely loose ourselves in the moment and the beauty.
On our tenth day, my papa and I stayed at The Hedges on Blue Mountain Lake. It is one of our favorite places in the world and even though we were on a budget, we couldn’t pass up a night at The Hedges. (http://www.thehedges.com/)
On our eleventh day of riding we made it to Ticonderoga, NY where we stayed with a friend. We spent a few days there relaxing and recuperating. We met some people that I jammed with and we visited the local CSA farm. It was a nice relaxing time before we borrowed a car to visit Montreal for a few days. We spent three nights at the University of Montreal before we drove back to start the return of our trip. We ended up spending a total of 21 days. It was an amazing experience and a wonderful first bike tour. It was so good that next summer we plan to bike across America.
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