600-plus cyclists headed to Orleans on Sunday, Monday

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Cyclists put up their tents on the grounds of Wise Middle School on July 8, 2018 when 650 cyclists and 90 volunteers with Cycle the Erie Canal were in town, making their way along the canal to Albany.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 9 July 2022 at 8:38 am

MEDINA – Wise Intermediate School will be a beehive of activity on Sunday when the return of the annual Erie Canal cyclists.

The ride, sponsored by the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation, begins Sunday morning at Nichols School in Buffalo.

Jim Hancock, head of Medina’s Tourism Committee, said the 630 cyclists expected in Medina is the largest number since the pandemic. With volunteers, 700 visitors will be in Medina Sunday and Monday morning.

The Tourism Committee has arranged a full schedule of things to welcome and entertain the cyclists, including a shuttle service by Ridge Road Express from Wise Intermediate School to attractions downtown and back, and setting up an information booth for the riders.

File photo by Tom Rivers: These cyclists ride along the towpath towards Medina in July 2015.

Cyclists are expected to begin arriving about 1 p.m., Hancock said. They will set up a tent city on the lawn of the school, where they will spend the night. Zambistro will cater Sunday night dinner and breakfast on Monday morning in the school cafeteria.

Several downtown locations have agreed to stay open past regular hours, including the Medina Railroad Museum (7 p.m.), Sandstone Hall of Fame and Visitors’ Center (6 p.m.)

Other attractions on the shuttle loop include the canal basin and State Street Park, where the Dave Viterna Group will entertain from 4 to 6 p.m. The band Pocket Change with Dave Stockton will play at the school from 7 to 9 p.m.

As an added perk for the cyclists, Ledge Rock Farms and Guinn Panek, will provide a tote of sweet cherries, and Twisted Treats ice cream truck and a coffee vendor will be on the grounds. The Tourism Committee has also arranged for a masseuse to be available.

Julie Berry from Author’s Note will be at Wise Intermediate School selling historic books about the area. She also offers to mail them so the riders don’t have to contend with them on their bikes.

After staying in Medina overnight on Sunday, the cyclists head east on Monday and will be greeted in Albion and Holley on their way to Fairport.

The eight-day trip includes the following:

  • July 10 (Day 1): Buffalo to Medina (48 miles)
  • July 11 (Day 2): Medina to Fairport (62 miles)
  • July 12 (Day 3): Fairport to Seneca Falls (50 miles)
  • July 13 (Day 4): Seneca Falls to Syracuse (40 miles)
  • July 14 (Day 5): Syracuse to Rome (48 miles)
  • July 15 (Day 6): Rome to Canajoharie (61 miles)
  • July 16 (Day 7): Canajoharie to Niskayuna (46 miles)
  • July 17 (Day 8): Niskayuna to Albany (28 miles)