Cyclists get a warm welcome in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Volunteers with the Albion Merchants Association handed out free bottles of water and also had some local merchandise for sale this morning when 600 cyclists passed through Albion on the 17th annual “Cycling the Erie Canal” bike tour.

Merchants President Carolyn Ricker, left, is pictured with Amanda Wolford and Lisa Stratton at the welcome table. The Merchants and Pawlak’s Save-A-Lot paid for the free water for the cyclists.

Cyclists have name tags on their bikes as well as where they are from. There are participants from 36 states on the 400-mile ride that started Sunday in Buffalo and ends this Sunday in Albany.

The Village of Holley also had water and baked goods available for free for the cyclists at the Holley rest station along the canal. Mayor John Kenney secured donations for the items.

He has been part of Holley’s welcoming committee for the cyclists since 2003. He said he welcomes the chance to give the cyclists a favorable impression of Holley.

“We always stop to say ‘Hello’ to the people,” Kenney said. “We receive many, many compliments.”

Volunteers also gave cyclists rides on golf carts to the Holley Waterfalls and the Holley-Murray Historical Society Museum.

These cyclists stopped in Albion and were happy to see the lift bridge in action with a boat passing along the Erie Canal.

Sherri Swift takes a photo of the lift bridge in Albion. She is joined by her daughter, Cadence, who is only 2 and the youngest person on the tour. (She sits in a cart on one of the bikes.) The Swifts, along with Sherri’s husband Sean, came up from Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the bike journey.

“This is what we enjoy doing, getting out and experiencing cool stuff,” Mrs. Swift said.

One of the cyclists waves to a boater in Albion.