Michael's Excellent Adventure

Day 26, 7-13-2002

Canal

I could not wait to get the hell out of Utica. Fortunately, a post-dinner recon yielded the way back to NYb 5. Fortunately, it wasn't hard to extricate myself from town when it came down to it. Good rolling and the best scenery of New York so far, actually, through the Mohawk River valley. After a nice warm-up run out of Utica, after the village of Mohawk I had two really good climbs up above the river, up to a couple of tabletops where I could see everything for miles around, including the Adirondacks to the north. There was some lovely farmland up top, like climbing up the beanstalk, with a crash back down to Earth at Fort Plain.

On the way from there to Schenectady, I ran into a group riding from Buffalo to Albany, of which I had seen traces (Dan Henry arrows, etc.) and rode amongst them on the canal bikeway for a while. I had a lovely chat with several of them at a rest stop, including Joao De Souza, a very friendly Brazilian who is a frequent contributor to a couple of the HPV mailing lists I read. The path took me well into Schenectady, which made it a shock to get on the city streets again. I got a colossal grinder at Center Stage Deli (yum!) and tried to arrange for lodging in Pittsfield, to no avail. I later found out that Seiji Ozawa was having a last hurrah at Tanglewood, and half the state of Massachusetts was booked solid. So, with no alternative, I quit early, and found a room just east of Albany, figuring I'd done about 110 miles.