My Brompton bicycle Basil and I found ourselves in upstate New York recently, and returned to a favorite haunt there: the Erie Canal towpath.
This time, however, we found obstructions: traffic cones, a torn-up trail, and heavy equipment where Basil’s tires prefer to be.
We shot a longing glance down the canal, and then headed out on surface streets until we’d bypassed the construction.
This was the first time we’d ridden on streets in this area, or over any of the rather wonderful steel bridges.
There’s a walkway along the canal in the village of Pittsford, which we viewed, also for the first time, from a nearby bridge.
I stopped in at a bike shop next to the canal to replace a patch kit that had been depleted on a recent group ride.
In former days, tradesmen used to hang signs that signified the profession practised within their shops: In this case, a bicycle chain is embedded in the entry-way.
Some strip malls are a little different in this part of the world. I think most of these buildings have been re-purposed since they were built during the days when the canal itself was far more active than it is now.
This little “mall”, too, looks as if the buildings once served radically different needs — relevant, probably, to the kind of commerce that was once canal-driven.
We did eventually get a little bit of cycling in on the towpath, once we got past the construction.
The trail surface is a bit rough-and-ready; it’s mostly crushed stone. Basil, and his Marathon tires, don’t mind a bit, though: We’ve ridden many miles on it in the past. Those Bromptons look small, but they’re strong and adept!