Day 3: All Roads Aren’t Created Equal

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.

/rant

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!

25 thoughts on “Day 3: All Roads Aren’t Created Equal

  1. Wow! Thanks for the awesome tale and pictures! Hopefully a good night sleep will help the aching body parts. Sending love and strength ! And good bike routes.

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  2. Love 💕 all the details and the wonderful
    Pics of the area. Feels like we are “riding along with you”. Be safe and hope the sun stays out today!

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    1. Thank you! 🙂 Although I never thought Schenectady would be a highlight of the trip, it turned out to be one of my favorite towns to visit thus far:

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  3. This is fantastic! Absolutely love the writing and the photos. What a trip! Man that road sounded gawd awful! Cheers to better roads and weather! Yes i do think that is prettier than Philly Statehouse.

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    1. Hey Johannah, thank you so much for the offer. Where in Wisconsin? I already have a host in Madison, but if it’s not too far off my route, I’d love the opportunity to stay with you guys.

      Feel free to text me at (201) 788-8386.

      Like

  4. This is great! Nice photos and copy. The Erie Canal ride sounds nice… 80 miles in one day is also impressive. Would love to join you on my bike in Port Angeles or Anacortes – or nearby – for the trip around the Olympic Penninsula and back to Seattle in September.. lmk Meanwhile Go Quinn! Stay safe.

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    1. Ooo! That’d be great. If you have a phone number I can reach you at, I can text you when we get close to Port Angeles. Feel free to text me at (201) 788-8386.

      Still probably about 2.5 months away, but we’ll be there eventually!

      Like

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