Thanks for the Memories: Rider Stories

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For more than two decades, Cycle the Erie Canal has hosted thousands of riders
from across the country and around the world.

Here are some of their stories and what the tour looks like through their eyes.


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My mom and I were lucky enough to Cycle the Erie Canal on the 2017 supported ride.

We had so much fun, my mother told me she wanted to do it again in 2018.....but I went back to school to pursue a degree in nursing, which took all of my time and energy (and money!) from January 2018 through May of 2020, including summer classes!

I had hoped we could do the 2020 ride before I begin work as an RN, but COVID spoiled our plans (and obviously the plans of many others!)

Fingers crossed for next year! ♡ Catherine Brown


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My wife Karen, my youngest son Devin, and I had a great time! We had perfect weather the entire trip, and the support was unbelievable! My wife and I thought we were going to lose weight riding 400 miles, but because of all the great food that was always available, we actually gained a little weight.


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In addition to the constants of the tour, there are the unexpected moments of joy. I came around a curve in the path, and there was a throng of cyclists just standing there. I was confused until I saw these men: barbershop singers. They had come out to serenade the cyclists in full regalia: black pants, white shirts, red striped vests, and straw hats. And they were very good. I also just stood there for several minutes, enjoying both the singing and the fact these men (including one who needed a walker) had come out for us.

-Jennifer


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My daughter and I rode the Erie Canal last year and it was truly life changing for both of us. We loved the tour and everyone who helped to put it together. The ride was beautiful despite a couple of mornings riding in rain, and not a week goes by that we don't often reflect on the experience and how it changed our lives. I'm so saddened to hear this year's event was cancelled. We both hope to ride the Erie Canal again in the future. I'm sending along a couple of photos from our ride. Thanks so much for the effort and time you put into creating a beautiful experience for us!"


VCTEC-Memories-Kurt-5.jpgI’ve been a regular cyclist for over 50 years. I was thinking of riding along the Erie Canal and I read about Parks & Trails New York’s organized ride and I signed up. I was concerned about the number of riders, but I was overwhelmed by how well run the ride was. It ranks among my life changers. I met a younger couple from Ohio, Tammie Gauvey and Jeff Dalrymple, and at the end of the Erie Canal ride I told them I planned on coming back to Albany next summer and ridinge to Portland ME- finishing my cross country.

The whole Erie Canal experience was wonderful. The camping, meals, showers, talks in the evening, food stops, and support were without compare. Thank you so much for a job well done. Sincerely, Kurt.


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Julane and I want to contribute to your Virtual Erie Canal Celebration. While we may be just one couple among many who went on this ride there are some things about our participation that made the ride extra special. First of all, I grew up in New York City; my wife Julane grew up in Western NY, Pendleton and Lockport to be specific. We had been married for 48 years when we joined the July 2017 Erie Canal Ride. Some of the early days of this ride became a nostalgic trip for us as we passed places of Julane's youth.



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VCTEC-Memories-Julie--Stev.jpgWe had the most wonderful experience on the 2018 ride. We brought my sister from Colorado, a cycling newbie. And we convinced our buddies, a couple from Virginia, to join us. Such a fun way to spend time together. Beautiful weather, good food, a sense of accomplishment, summer in upstate New York, the feeling of being well-taken-care of, cool towns, amazing engineering feats from nearly 200 years ago, great art in Canajoharie --was there anything not to like?

We're just trying to figure out when we can do it again, and who else will be ready to join us.

Thanks for an unforgettable week!

~ Julie and Steve


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