Tony from Michigan on 3/3/2020 11:58:26 AM:
Hi all. I'm planning to ride the canal solo some time in the summer or maybe fall of 2020, and have a list of questions. My tentative plan is to have my wife drop me in Buffalo, and meet me in Albany when I get there. So - questions:
- What's a typical daily mileage? I've done road tours before, like the Dalmac, where we averaged about 60 miles a day. The longest was 85 in flat country, and maybe 40 in hilly areas. That was on the road bike, though. I've also done 2 centuries on that bike. Because most of the canal trail is off pavement, I'm planning to ride my mountain bike. I'm hoping to do maybe 50 miles a day, which would let me complete the ride in about 7 days. I'm not the fastest rider on the route, and don't need to be, but I'm comfortable with the "just keep peddling" approach. I also plan to do a little sightseeing and geocaching along the way, so I figure I'll have 6-9 hours a day riding or at least traveling.
- I plan to travel light, and find a place to stay each night. I'm thinking either motel/hotels, or AirBNBs. Has someone else done this, and how did it work? I haven't stayed at AirBNBs before, but I've done VRBOs, which is similar. Are the hosts OK with staying a single night, on short notice? I expect I'd probably try to find a place to stay based on where I'm at around noon or early afternoon, how much distance I've covered so far that day, what the weather looks like, where the upcoming towns are, etc.
- How hilly is the canal trail? It follows the water, so I expect most of the trail will be fairly flat in those sections. Are there many hills at locks, or where the trail goes thru town?
- Does anyone have any sources to find out about typical weather in upstate NY? I'm retired, so I'm OK with checking the long range forecast and deciding to go at the last minute. But it would be nice to know a bit about what's typical or likely.
- What other questions should I ask? What things am I not thinking of? I've done about 10 multi-day rides before, but they were all organized by a group that puts these on regularly, and I just had to show up with a bike. This is my first solo ride.