Erie Canal Bike Day 5. Canastota to Herkimer, NY


It was a beautiful mild day for this 49 mile ride to Herkimer, NY.  We had planned on making good time and didn’t begin riding till around noon.  An hour or so into the ride Brandon’s self sealing tire got another puncture.  There was nothing left to seal this time and he had to install a tube.  That was after wiping the inside of the tire to remove the remnants of the sealant.

It got humid later on and we had to stop a few times at service station convenience stores to refill our water.  I was doing 8-10 a day, and Brandon was drinking just a little less.

We struck up a conversation with a guy measuring the gas tank supply with his 10 foot yard stick looking thing.  I asked him the name of this town.
“Frankfurt” he said. We asked if there was a cheap motel around and he gave us a couple of suggestions.  As we were getting directions from Franky Frank, Mike and older guy started to give us opposing suggestions but pretty much saying the same thing.  It’s a knack small town people have I suppose.  Everyone who came into the convenience store knew Mike.  I asked if this was his regular hangout.  “63 years.” The place was once a gas station owned by his father.  Mike lever left.

I also had a 7 year old Erie Canal Guide Book that listed places to stay. Some were still there, some gong and others had changed names and telephone numbers.  Everything close by was booked.  We changed our destination to Herkimer, NY and began calling.  All were booked.  I mentioned to Brandon that it was the weekend and that’s probably normal.

“What could possibly draw people to these towns on a weekend or any other time was his response.”  I could think of nothing.   We were getting antsy until one of the clerks said call Inn Town Motel.  They had one room left and saved it for us.

As we were about to leave, I thanks the slide rule guy.   “I’m Frank. Wanna hear something funny.”

“Of course.” I said

“My name is Franky Frank.  I live in Frankfurt and live on Frankfurt St.”

I told him that if I was a Hollywood producer I would make a movie about him.

“Franky Frank from Frankfurt St in Frankfurt. ” Catchy.

We got to the hotel in Herkimer and low and behold, it was the place we stayed in 2012. The owner came around the corner and I said, “Sarah?”  She was miffed.  I told her that we stayed here in 2012 and she was just a little impressed.  Then I pulled up my crazyguyonabike page and showed the photo I took of her. She had me send it to her phone and gave us a discount on the room.


Erie Canal Bike Day 4. Seneca Falls to Canastota, NY

Brandon races bikes and has a personal trainer and nutritionist working with him, figured out that I was not eating properly.   He had me buying a protein drink twice a day and that fixed everything.  Once I began doing that I could ride for hours on end.  Not fast, mind you, but my endurance returned.

We were following the PTNY bike tour arrows and itinerary for this ride.  They made today a short 39 mile ride to Syracuse, NY.  Followed by a 63 mile ride to Rome the next day.  We wanted to do more miles and set our goal to Canasota, and additional 40 miles. What we didn’t realize that Syracuse was hills, hills and more hills,  I had probably the worse day riding in my life.  Actually, every day was pretty bad.  I was running out of energy by mid afternoon.  The final 20 miles was brutal.

Today we met others on tour.  Tim was riding around Lake Ontario.  His goal was to circumnavigate all five Great Lakes.  Later on we met a trio of woman, a mother and two  daughters riding from Ithaca to Buffalo.


We had dinner at a local pub and got the best chicken wings evah.  Mike the bartender was a riot and was a spitting image of Steve Wilcos.  I told him these were much better than any wings we had in Buffalo.  Buffalo wings were once the best, but over time, others have perfected the recipe. BTW these were garlic parmigiana.