650 cyclists headed to Orleans County today

Staff Reports Posted 7 July 2019 at 9:18 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Some of the cyclists on last year’s Cycle the Erie Canal trip approach Albion on July 9, 2018. Another group of 650 cyclists leaves from Buffalo this morning and heads east to Orleans County.

BUFFALO – More than 650 cyclists are leaving Buffalo this morning and will head about 60 miles east to stay overnight at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

This is the 21st annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour organized by Parks & Trails New York. Cyclists from 39 states, Canada, and Australia have turned out for the trip along the Erie Canal towpath.

Usually the group heads from Buffalo to Medina on the first day. But with construction at the school district, the group will stay in tents at the Fairgrounds.

On Monday, they will continue through Orleans County and will head to Fairport.

The 8-day trip covers about 400 miles and concludes in Albany.

“The 21st annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour is a wonderful way to celebrate the Erie Canal Bicentennial. Plus, it’s fun, healthy, and good for the economy,” says Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin. “We have cyclists aged 5 to 86 from 39 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, two Canadian provinces, Australia and they all get to experience what makes the Erie Canal and upstate New York so special.”

The Erie Canalway Trail contributes significantly to the economy of upstate New York. A recent study shows that the Erie Canalway Trail annually receives close to 1.6 million visits and generates an economic impact of $253 million.

The NYS Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority are Premier State Sponsors of Cycle the Erie Canal. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is the event’s Heritage Sponsor and Brookfield is the Supporting Sponsor. Other sponsors include Wegmans, Hodgson Russ, and Capital District Physician’s Health Plan. Eleven regional tourism agencies also sponsor the ride.

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space.

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