We could not have been blessed with better weather with temperatures in the low 60s at the start. The bright August sun warmed it up to 80 degrees before we finished. We had 76 cyclists set out going west on the bike way soon after 9:30 AM. This is the most I have ever seen on a ride save for the Cycling Club’s Annual Century Ride. After a stop at Niskayuna’s Lion’s Park and at Aqueduct Park we crossed over on Route 146 to Rexford and followed Riverview Road through Clifton Park.
Our first refreshment stop was at the overlook at the Vischer Ferry Dam and Power Plant. In addition to lemonade and water Martha Scherer and Carol Burr offered a real variety of culinary treats. The second stop in Clifton Park was at the entrance to the Vischer Ferry Nature and Historic Preserve with its reconstructed Whipple Truss Bridge. What made the ride special was a short narrative by historian John Scherer. He shared the story behind the features at each stop as well as some of the historic features we would pass as we continued the tour. This also provided an opportunity for Jerry Burr to offer a safety tip or special instruction about the segment of the ride to the next stop. A second refreshment stop was at Crescent Park in Halfmoon where the stone dust trail under the Route 9 bridge provides a safer alternative to negotiating the busy intersection of Crescent – Vischer Ferry Road and Route 9. A restroom stop at Waterford Harbor Visitor Center was overdue. If we do the ride again in the future we will add another restroom stop nearer the half way point, perhaps in Vischer Ferry. The final refreshment stop was at the southern end of the historic Champlain towpath in Waterford where we could look up to the “White House” an impressive Greek Revival that serves as the Waterford Historical Museum. The final stop was at the impressive Cohoes Falls Overlook Park right on North Mohawk Street.
63 people we still with us at the Vischer Ferry Preserve and 59 people finished the entire ride.
We all thank John Scherer and Jerry Burr for organizing this event. I would like to nominate Carol Burr’s Oatmeal Cookies and Martha Scherer’s Carmel Apple Oatmeal Bars as official cookies of the Mohawk Towpath Byway. Would anyone care to second the motion? Thanks are also in order for the Town of Colonie for arranging for the start/finish location and to the other members of the Mohawk Hudson Cycling Club who helped as road marshals and guides. I would also like to thank the entire communications and media crew for such broad publicity for the event and for the Mohawk Towpath Byway.
More pictures are posted on-line at flickr.com. If you’d like to add your photos to this site as well please e-mail me and I will invite you to collaborate.
If you were unable to attend, but would like to do the ride on your own or with your family download the cue sheet, narrative and map and do it at your own pace.
Commemorative, high-tech tee shirts are still available in adult sizes small and medium while supplies last. A $25 donation to the Mohawk Towpath Byway will off set the cost of the shirt and priority mail delivery. If you or members of the family ride within the Byway corridor this makes a great gift and they are highly visible to motorists with whom you share the road.