Hundreds pedal into Albany to complete statewide bike tour
Hundreds of bike riders rode into Albany Sunday for the completion of an annual statewide bike tour. Our Megan Cruz caught up with some cyclists at the finish line.
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ALBANY, NY -- "It was kind of my mom's idea for a family vacation," said Shea Weilbaker from Saratoga Springs.
Ten-year-old Weilbaker is one of about 500 cyclists who just completed the 13th Annual "Cycling the Erie Canal" Bike Tour. It wasn't Disney World, but he says he's enjoyed the last eight days.
"The experience of biking 400 miles - it's awesome," said Weilbaker.
The annual bike tour is hosted by the New York State Canal Corporation and Parks and Trails New York. Cyclists start in Buffalo and pedal along the Erie Canal through places like Seneca Falls, Syracuse, Canajoharie and Schenectady, and then they finally end up here in Albany.
"Lots of places to see," said Marlboro resident Bernie Cunningham. "Done this three times and I still haven't seen everything."
A feature of the tour that's attracted people from 36 other states and three countries.
"The Erie Canal Tour has been one of the tours that's been on my bucket list for 20 years," said Warren Fisher from Idaho.
"The challenge of traveling across New York State, the history of the Erie Canal - thought it sounded like something we really wanted to do," said Jim Padglick from Arizona.
People say another great thing about this trail is that anyone of any age can complete it.
This year, the youngest cyclist is six years old; the oldest is 89.
"Also a great family ride because it's 3/4 on trails so people can relax and enjoy bicycling and not have to worry about the cars," said Robin Dropkin, Executive Director for Park and Trails NY.
Also a great opportunity to learn a little something about the Erie Canal.
"They're not only riding, they're not only learning about the state, but they're learning about the canal," said Brian Stratton, Director of the NYS Canal Corporation. "So while they're going through these villages and towns, they're seeing ruins of the old canal, our new barge system."
So while it's not your typical vacation, people here say it's a getaway they won't soon forget, as New York pedals its image to recreational bikers around the world.