Erie Canal Bicycle Tour Day Seven

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I got up early and had a couple of spoons of peanut butter before loading the bike and heading for a place to eat. I rolled past Kirkville Road this time. I crossed Chittenango Creek Aqueduct where the remains of the canal sit motionless over a dead creek. At the town of Chittenango I turned south through town to find a restaurant. There was a fast food place within sight, but I really needed something more. I consulted my smart phone, which told me that there was a diner 100 feet from where I was standing. That was a nice surprise. I had my usual breakfast. I also used a local bank to get more cash for the remainder of the trip.

As I entered Canastota, I stopped at a crossroad and I felt the need for more chocolate milk. My thoughts were interrupted when a guy in his fifties and also riding a bike stopped and asked whether I needed help. I didn’t share my chocolate milk fantasy with him. He was born in Canastota, lived in Maine for thirty years, and moved back to Canastota. It’s ironic that he chose to move back to a town with a questionable future to join the rest of the elderly that lived here.

He talked about the boxing legacy of the town and the Boxing Hall of Fame that was just down the street. Carmen Basilio, a champion fighter from the 1950s, came from Canastota. He suggested that I visit the place. I thanked him for the suggestion and turned left toward the Boxing Hall of Fame.

The Boxing Hall of Fame occupies several acres adjacent to one of the New York Turnpike exits. There are two buildings. The smaller building has walls lined with plaques that honor boxing greats. Howard Cosell and Sylvester Stallone are among the honored non-athletes. Television monitors feature clips from famous fights. There is a collection of fists that were cast from famous fighters. Pictures of fighters and historic fighting events line the walls.

The Boxing Hall of Fame has another building that houses the gift shop and, most important, the ring from Madison Square Garden where many historic battles were held.

After buying and enjoying some refreshments from a convenience store, I headed east once again. At Lock 21 I saw a small craft approaching and entering the lock on the high side. It was a sailboat with the mast lashed to the deck. The skipper was happy to talk about his adventure. He was moving his yacht from Florida to Buffalo. Diesel fuel in large plastic containers was stacked on the deck. His plan was to leave the boat in Buffalo, return to his home in Milwaukee, and complete the trip to Milwaukee next year. He measured his progress each day by the number of locks that he traversed.  I watched as the canal level dropped, the gates opened on the low side, and he motored away.

This night I would again bed down in a motel because the camping locations were too far off the trail. I stayed in Rome at a place that had an attached restaurant. That was handy because I had dinner there and they opened early for breakfast. It worked out well to stay in a motel once in a while during this trip because it helped recharge me. I sleep more soundly in a bed.

1 thought on “Erie Canal Bicycle Tour Day Seven

  1. I have stayed a few times at a motel near there in Canastota when when re-visiting my hometown 15 miles north past Sylvan Beach north of Lake Oneida…. I am really enjoying your diary of your Erie canal bike trip…I bike the c&o frequently and even though many town on Erie canal seem repressed…I am still wanting to ride this. ..most likely next summer..I’m not sure how it would to ride it in mid to late October. ..

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