Date: May 29th, 2019
Miles Traveled: 32
Weather: Overcast with patches of sun, rain drops here and there.
Physical Status: Eyelids are heavy, but legs feel solid. Butt is… tender.
TL;DR: Albany was great, Schenectady is great… Everything in between? Not so great.
After packing up camp and munching on some oatmeal cream pies for breakfast (don’t judge me), we left Schodack Island State Park at 8:00am this morning and rode 12 miles along the Hudson River to Rensselaer, New York, where we enjoyed some decent views of Albany just across the river.
Soon after arriving in Albany just 3 miles later, we were greeted with downright impressive architecture, some really cute neighborhoods, and a few small parks.
The Capitol Building (More impressive than Philly’s City Hall? You decide.):
New York State Museum:
Agency Buildings (feat. gravity-defying overhangs)
“The Egg” (under construction):
Cute lil’ side streets:
SUNY Plaza (formerly the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Company Building)
Church of the Immaculate Conception (pictured right):
We toured Washington Park, Albany’s mini Central Park, for a short while and took a break at a farmer’s market in Empire State Plaza for a few of hours.
Before heading Northwest to Schenectady, we also stopped at a bike shop called “The Downtube” with a coffee shop and adorable little patio in the back.
…and then we set off to follow the U.S. State Bicycle Route #5 to Schenectady…
“Sounds like a great route”, you say. “What could possibly be so bad about a U.S. State Bicycle Route?”
“Well, my young grasshopper…” I reply with a shitty accent resembling Uncle Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender. “The answer to that question is everything.”
The first few miles of this route were actually quiet pleasant: streets with designated bicycle paths and slow-ish traffic.
Hey look! Blue sky!
The next 10 miles, however, were a cyclist’s nightmare: miles upon miles of two-lane highways designed as if the city planner was putting the final touches on their “Drive-A-Car-Or-GTFO” infrastructure plan (TM) and said, “oh shit! We need a bicycle route on this here highway. Let’s extend the road by four feet, slap on some paint for a bike path, add those sweet USSBR #5 signs, and call it a day, shall we?”
You know, I tend to be a pretty optimistic dude. But that? That route straight up sucked.
After finally making it to Schenectady, things took a turn for the better. After taking a brief tour through the downtowm area, we rested at beautiful park right alongside the Mohawk River featuring an enormous maple tree.
After chilling for a solid hour or so, we then met our host, Joan, at her home in the Stockade Historic District, New York’s 1st designated historic district with houses as old as the 1750s.
Earlier this afternoon, we explored downtown Schenectady and filled up our stomachs at a local pub. It’s an absolute lovely area and Joan is a fantastic host.
Proctor’s (pictured right) is a Broadway theatre, regularly putting on mainstream Broadway shows:
Jay Street, a pedestrian only pathway:
Jay Street alley:
One of the only gothic themed cottages in the historic district:
Tomorrow, we ride 80 miles to Utica, New York, along the Erie Canalway. Looking forward to a long but flat and carless ride.
Until next time!