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Reply to Planning a spring tour 2021

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ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 1/3/2021 2:59:03 PM:
When we cycled the Katy Trail, we ( 3 couples) flew into St Louis, rented bikes at the terminus, arranged a shuttle to the start (4 hrs) and cycled the 260 miles or so eastward. Stayed at airBnbs, BnBs & quaint hotels. Did the ghost tour of the Missouri State Prison; tasted wine in Hermann; ate some fine food, and some basic grub! In charming St Charles, dropped the bikes, stayed the night, ubered to the Airport. Easy planning. (I'd be happy to share my detailed itinerary !) I can also share a great itinerary, for the C&O/ GAP trail ! My question: Has anyone done something similar on the Erie Canal ? We are thinking Buffalo to Albany(averaging 45 miles per day)

bigwebs from Connecticut on 1/3/2021 4:15:00 PM:
My wife and I have biked Katy Trail, GAP/C and O and Erie Canal with different logistics. Erie Canal - We rented an SUV (one way rental) in Connecticut, placed our bikes in the SUV and drove to Buffalo. Drove next day up to Niagara Falls and then dropped off the car in Buffalo. Then biked Buffalo to Albany, rented a car in Albany, placed bikes in car and drove home returning the car in Connecticut. GAP/C and O - Flew into Pittsburgh Airport, took cab into Pittsburgh where we rented bikes and then biked to Washington. The bike rental shop in Pittsburgh had an arrangement with a bike shop in Washington so for an extra $50.00 rental fee, you could drop the rental bikes off in Washington and every two weeks or so the Pittsburgh bike shop would go to pick them up. We then took the train home from Washington. Katy Trail - we had our own bikes packed up here at the local bike shop and shipped to the lawn mower repair place in Clinton, Missouri. I believe we used for the shipping, obtaining the labels ourselves. The lawn mower shop reassembled the bikes. We flew from New York to Kansas City, rented a car in Kansas City and drove to Clinton where we dropped off the car and then picked up the bikes. The car rental place drove us back to the lawn mower shop! We biked to St. Charles, dropped off the bikes at a bike shop in St.Louis which packed them up and shipped them back to us in Connecticut using again and we reassembled them ourselves. We flew home from St. Louis. All these ways worked fine and were probably the cheapest and quickest logistically. Seems to me your best bet would be shipping your bikes to Buffalo - either your hotel (reassemble the bikes yourselves) or to a bike shop - rent a car in Buffalo - go to Niagara falls, bike the Erie canal and find a bike shop in Albany to ship your bikes back and then fly home. We used hybrid bikes for all the trips. All were great trips. Enjoy.

ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 1/4/2021 11:46:24 AM:
Thanks for the input. We would prefer to rent/ not to ship our bikes. We always have rented, and bring our saddles/clip ins/ panniers. The Katy and CO/GAP are well set up for this. I have read that the Amtrak is not the best option for transfer, so a one way van or car may be our best bet. Sounds like you had the same experience in Missouri with the friendly and kind folks !! Loved that trip ! May I suggest the Loire River when (and if) travel opens up again ? You can rent your bikes at one end, drop them off at the other end, or towns in between.... and take the train back to Paris to fly home. Planning is very easy using their website. (Europe is much further ahead with cycle tourism than we are... ) Would like to do this Erie ! My next step is to see if there is a bike rental shop in Buffalo or Albany. Stay Well !

Yankee John from Vermont on 1/4/2021 12:07:56 PM:
I'm interested in the trip on the Loire Valley. What did you do with your suitcases while you rode? Or did you fly only with the gear you would use while you were riding?

ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 1/4/2021 12:19:54 PM:
Yankee John, We were lucky. Met friends from Guernsey (UK) who brought their Land Rover, on the ferry. We put our suitcases in their car. However, you could either leave the suitcases in your first hotel, most properties of very supportive of this idea. Or, pay for a luggage transfer service. Cycled this in 2011. It is amazing! and I would do it again. Here's helpful links...

Yankee John from Vermont on 1/4/2021 1:10:53 PM:
Thank you for the links. Our 4 week retirement celebration trip to France was cancelled by COVID, hoping for fall of 2021. Please note that it takes a bit of planning and flexibility in the more rural sections of the Erie Canal Bike Trail if you plan to stay in lodging. Hopefully some of the B&Bs will re-open post COVID.

ThoseDaltons from Park City, UT on 1/4/2021 2:53:55 PM:
Welcome. I get it ! We had to cancel two 2020 retirement trips. May-Cycling Japan. Italy in September: Trekking Dolomites & Cycling Tuscany. Italy is rescheduled..... we hope !

bigwebs from Connecticut on 1/5/2021 12:38:57 PM:
ThoseDaltons Sounds like we have had similar experiences. We were scheduled to bike the Dolomites this past spring but cancelled due to COVID. We have biked with a large group in Tuscany. We have had two self guided rides in Europe - Danube River - Passau to Vienna, and then biked around Lake Constance. The Dolomites trip, Danube and Lake Constance all arranged through who subcontract with the European bike companies. They make all the hotel reservations, provide the routes, provide the bicycles and move your luggage and will help out with transfers if necessary. We will look into the Loire Valley. Plan on skiing in Park City next month but COVID dependent.

Elaine from Stormville NY on 1/6/2021 2:31:37 PM:
I am thinking about riding the Erie Canal Trail sometime in May 2021. I have the flexibility to go either direction. Not sure if it makes a big difference so I was wondering if anyone wanted to comment on the Pros and Cons of riding from Albany to Buffalo and Pros and Cons of riding from Buffalo to Albany. Thanks!

Bktourer1 from Da Bronx (living in Mass) on 1/7/2021 8:28:34 AM:
Prevalent winds are West to East. That's why Mt. Washington has the weather it has