Rochester is such an interconnected, vibrant city because of the Erie Canal. I am very lucky to have several easy access points to the trails along the canal, and my bike serves as my donkey to enjoy the scenery. Whether I want to just go out for a ride or actually go somewhere, the canal path can take me to many small towns outside of the city.
A few weeks ago I went to Pittsford and explored the canal life there. I can sum up that experience in one word: ducks. So many mallards, all quacking amongst themselves, not really even paying attention to me as I snapped some photos of ducklings. It was a great day, not only because of finally enjoying a day with no rain, but just the fact that I can go places without a car.
While riding along the River Trail behind the University of Rochester, geese made their way across the trail with their fledglings. Upon seeing me they were a little disgruntled, but they honked and squawked and went on their merry way. This trail took me from just outside the city to the inner city, where I made a special trip to visit my mom at work, which is at least 10 miles from our house.
Another great location for biking and walking along the canal is Spencerport, a quaint village with a New England vibe to it. While cyclists coast along the paths and over draw bridges, kayakers and canoers enjoy the canal ride from one town to the other. What I really love about Spencerport is its commitment to keeping its water resources clean. It's a common occurrence for people to walk their dogs along the bike path, so the town provides biodegradable doggie bags so people are more inclined to say adios to plastic bags.
The way I see it, it’s not about just getting from point A to point B; rather, it's about enjoying the ride to your destination. And riding a bike is just one of the ways to take in the scenery and really appreciate the Genesee River or the oak trees lining the bike path. Modern society is in such a hurry; maybe it's time to slow down and take the back roads.
Photos: Katherine Bailey