The Erie canal that i camped next to last night stretches all the way across new York state to Albany. There is also a bike path that follows the canal almost the whole time. However, the bike path is mostly hard gravel, meaning riding is more pleasant but slower. So i decided after breakfast to take bike route 5 which user roads that run parallel to the canal most of the time.
After a bit of riding, i got sick of the road and decided to give the bike path a try. The switch meant that i immediately went from bottom of the food chain, to king of the road, the biggest on the road (except for a rather rotund couple. The bike path was really nice, with the fall colours and the water, but the pace was frustratingly slow.
After lunch i had a decision to make, stay on the path or back on the road. I decided that the frustration of constantly losing and trying to find bike route 5 outweighed the frustration of going slower on the path. After a bit more riding i had to cross over the river to join the path on the other side. As i was coming down the hill to join the other side, i stopped to talk to three cyclists. They had just cycled here from where i was going, and were now headed back. One of the cyclists, Cindy, offered to let me stay at her place that night. By this time i waste no time in accepting such kind offers. We all set off, Bob, whitey, Cindy and me. The next part of the path was all nicely paved so riding was at a good speed.
The pace was good and another advantage of the path is that because it follows the canal, its usually very flat. We said goodbye to whitey and headed for Cindys house, and a fantastic house it was. Cindy then drove me to see one of finger lakes. A series of lakes named so due to their long thin appearance. The lake was really nice, with the sun setting behind. But my main memory of the lake was the incredible hills that surround it, hills so steep that cars might even struggle to get up them. Im glad Im heading further north and avoiding this infamous stretch.
We then headed back home where Cindy cooked up an excellent meal, topped off with my once again favourite course of desert. In the past week or so, i have stayed with Alex, Tim and KimMarie, Cliff and Carol, Pat and Ed and now Cindy, i am certainly feeling well looked after.