For the second day in a row, the historic Erie Canal was the focus of fun and adventure! Last night, the Old Hippies sailed in on a house boat and performed for a wonderful concert on the canal between the Main St and Ingersoll St lift bridges. Then, this morning, about 750 cyclists peddled through our town on their ride along the Canal Towpath from Buffalo to Albany.
First – a quick shot of the Old Hippies – this is the second year they made a stop for a concert in Albion on a multi-town concert tour along the canal. What a treat! It was a fun event and a perfect evening for it – not too hot – just perfect! Local band, Crandall, Wood, and Main, opened up the evening and got the crowd prepped and ready for a night of great music.
Now, for the bike tour:
This is the 18th year for this particular bike tour and Albion has greeted the cyclists with open arms every one of those 18 years! Albion is the Orleans County Seat, but it isn’t an official stop on the bike tour. But, we like to take advantage of any opportunity to show off our small town hospitality, so we set up as an unofficial stop by offering water, granola bars, apples, and coffee free of charge to each and every one of the over 700 cyclists that want something to snack on or wet their whistle! And, they are so appreciative – it is a half way point between their official stops and the chance to stop, rest a minute, use the restrooms, and replenish their snacks and water supply is a welcome service to them! Many also take the time to head up Main St and check out our beautiful architecture and the churches that open up for tours for them. This is one event we look forward to every year……and I was honored to be there to welcome them, cheer them on, meet some wonderful people from all over the country, and get some awesome photos! Yes, riders come from all across the United States and Canada to participate in this ride each year. If I remember right, last year we met some from other countries, as well – not sure if anyone came from outside the US, besides Canada, this year or not. I heard the oldest rider was in his 90s! I didn’t see anyone younger than early teens, this year, but last year there was a two-year-old rider! So, we get to meet all kinds of people – all ages – from all over the place……and they get to visit our lovely little Village! 🙂 Can’t beat that with a stick!!!
Our Main St lift bridge – the unofficial snack stop was set up beside the canal next to this bridge
Just after I arrived and before the cyclists began to come through, I spotted this gaggle of geese making their way under the lift bridge
The Albion Merchants Association organizes the welcome station. Lisa Stratton, owner of the Hazy Jade Gift Shop, put out at request for granola bars, water, and apples in hopes to get enough donations to help offset the cost of buying enough for 700 cyclists. Well, the Albion community came through with more than enough of all items plus coffee! Just goes to show that Albion is a great place to live and visit — and we have some awesome citizens!!!
The first guys I met were a three generation team – grandfather, father, and son! The father and son live in Fayetteville, NC and the grandfather lives in Virginia.
They came in waves – all happy to be here, eager to talk about their experience, and curious about our town!
These folks are from (l-r) Virginia, Missouri, and Florida!
This lady was a hoot – she is from Nashville, Tennessee! I loved her hat – beautiful flowered visor over her bike helmet, but you can’t really see it in the photo! And, as she rode away, I noticed her bike was all decorated with flowers, too! Wish I had gotten a photo of the whole package! 🙂
My one “artsy” shot – focused in on the handle bars of a parked bike with the riders out of focus in the back ground! Hey, I gotta sneak in a cool shot every now and then! hehehe
…..and they just kept coming and coming and coming…..the towpath was ablaze with bicycles!
This guy was from Chicago! But, he quickly informed me he only rode his bike since Buffalo……he said he was sure there were some who rode from “home” – wherever that was for them – but he was NOT one of them! 🙂 He was fun to talk to!
The cyclists were excited to get to see a lift bridge raise for a passing boat while they were here for their break.
There was ample snacks and drinks available for our visiting adventurers!
This lady had a cool passenger riding along with her! I forgot where she said she was from – I want to say Ohio, but I’m not positive! I love that the teddy bear is wearing a helmet, too……safety is number one!!! 🙂
Some ventured up Main St to check out the churches that were open and get a glimpse of our downtown. This is my new friend from Chicago, taking some photos to help him remember his time in Albion!
Bikes parked while their riders are inside the Pullman church
These two cyclists are checking out St. Joe’s and the Baptist churches
Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County Historian, gives some cyclists a tour of the Pullman Church and tells them all about its history!
Cyclists admire the beauty of the Pullman Church, including this Tiffany stained glass window – one of several original Tiffany stained glass windows in the church.
Cyclists passing by a tug boat docked between the Main St and Ingersoll St lift bridges
Cyclists and two canal work vessels docked in Albion!
If you’d like to see more photos of cyclists touring the Erie Canal Towpath, click here for last year’s blog post!
Can’t wait until next year!!!