Saturday, June 16, 2018

Erie Canal Tour Day 1 - Buffalo to Niagara Falls to Lockport

Here it is. It's pretty amazing.

We set out from our fancy hotel this morning, heading towards a diner we passed just up the road the night before.

Max (who is map-obsessed) says "Today is the closest I will be to Canada all summer."

As if by magic, a Tim Hortons appears right in front of us.

We love Tim Horton's. So much sugar. So much gluttony.

We rode about 8 miles through industrial areas and bombed out neighborhoods to get to downtown Buffalo, where we searched for the beginning of the bike trail along the Erie Canal. And then, right before us, as if by magic, this appeared before us to guide us.

Yes, it's a larger than life statue of Tim Horton, commemorating the site were he played in his first NHL game. It also happens to be the start of the bike trail.

All those donuts fueled us over 20 miles across Grand Isle into Niagara Falls. Which included riding over this horrible bridge onto Grand Isle.

And over another one just like it to get off Grand Isle, which dumped us out right at this tasty diner.

And after just a few more miles of bike trail along the Niagara River, which gets steadily more terrifying, we are there.

After a short break to take it all in, we knocked out 20 miles of back roads to get to our motel in Lockport. I am delighted that Max rides competently and confidently through city streets and country roads. We are pretty much at the point where we can tour anywhere, not just on bike trail networks.

It was 53 miles, flat, mostly with a tailwind. Which is fine, because this is a training and practice tour to get in shape for RAGBRAI.

After we got cleaned up, we headed into downtown Rockport for some dinner and ice cream for dessert. Rockport is a pretty interesting small city. The canal is not historical - it is still in use!

Dinner was at attempt at splurging. I don't think the boy should have to tour on pizza, chicken fingers, and pasta. So we went out to a nice restaurant for steak. This didn't turn out so well.

The restaurant was called Shamus. I think it was about as fancy as this area gets. Some diner had a freakin' Bentley Continental GT Supersport parked out front.

But this will not influence Max. When he orders his $38 steak medium rare and it comes well done, he will not be happy. At all. In fact he will be on Yelp writing a review from his phone before the waitress eventually comes by to ask how things are.

Given that he received an abject apology from both the server and the owner, and they took it off the bill, I convinced him to raise his one star review to two stars.

We had some terrific ice cream afterwards at a place called Lake Effect. This restored Max's spirits, and he declare the ice cream to be as good as Cindy's soft serve. I found my peach champagne sorbet to be somewhat beyond Cindy's league....

No comments: