The Crooked Canes Journal


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Colonie Bike ~ Jun 29, 2017

Journal entry by Wanderer



I am surprised that the Colonie Bike is not scheduled more often.  There is good parking, the path is wide, paved and only has a couple of short sections that are shared with vehicles. It is mostly flat with a few manageable hills and has lots of nice views of the Mohawk, some history and of course a working lock and Cohoes Falls.  I guess it doesn’t matter because the 16 bikers who attended certainly had fun.  The weather was perfect for the majority of the ride with a cloudy sky keeping the temperature down but it did get a little muggy towards the end when the sun peeked through the clouds.  Everyone was anxious to get underway in the morning so a group pic was skipped.  With the first stop scheduled for the Niskayuna Lions Park, site of a restored turn-of-the-century train depot and restrooms, everyone was able to ride at their desired speed.  After regrouping at Lions Park and a lengthy stop we were off again – this time for Blatnick Park, a large recreation facility with ball fields, picnic pavilion and restrooms.  This would be our turn-around point on our westward journey and also another chance for a restroom break and a time for visiting.  The final approach to the Park requires a long but gradual climb along a diagonal route up the slopes of the old town landfill – I don’t know what the official name of the hill is but “Trash Heap Hill” seems appropriate.

With noontime fast approaching it was time to depart and take advantage of the descent of Trash Heap Hill on our way to Lock 7.  We made quick time of it and soon found us at the expanse of the Lock 7 area to search for a good lunch spot.  The sole picnic table was occupied but that turned into a blessing as we spread out along the sides of the lock with hopes of seeing some boat traffic that would require the lock to be used.  A few lucky people were able to enjoy rather comfortable seats by sitting on the large bollards (iron dock cleats) while the rest sat along the edge of the lock.  Unfortunately, after about 40 minutes it was time to think about leaving without seeing the lock operate.  However, just as we began gathering our belongings a tug boat was seen in the distance, approaching the lock from upstream.  Talk about timing – it headed straight for the lock’s entrance and we were treated with seeing the lock operate for the next 20 minutes – sort of the cherry on the sundae to an already nice ride.  I would like to take credit for arranging this timely visit but you all know that I never tell mistruths or exaggerate so I will just say it was luck.

The return to the parking lot is rather straight forward and there was no need to keep everyone together – some had commitments and would not be continuing to Cohoes Falls Overlook Park and others thought that the 17 miles would be enough, so we said our goodbyes and were on our way.  Soon everyone was out of sight but one person developed tire pressure issues so there was a delay for a couple of us in reaching the parking lot.  Despite the delay 5 decided to continue to Cohoes Falls – perhaps an additional 1.5 miles one way with the majority of it on a flat section of the bikeway with one hill along Manor Ave which we used to access the park.  The park’s path provided a number of different views of the falls and although the flow wasn’t close to the springtime volume the contrast between the darkness of the rocks and the white, cascading water was very pretty.  Not wanting to tackle the return up Manor Ave without replenishing our energy we made a stop at LePage’s Market for some delicious ice cream.  I don’t know the total distance biked but it was perhaps slightly over 20 miles for those that completed the whole ride.

Till our next adventure together - Peter

7/6/17 - Wanderer . added 6 photos.

21 photos



Assembling at Colonie Town Park - added by Wanderer



Canada geese with goslings along the path - added by Wanderer



View of wetlands along the bike path - looking upstream - added by Wanderer



Regrouping at Niskayuna Lions Park - added by Wanderer



Point of reference from Niskayuna Lions Park - added by Wanderer



Feeding blue heron from Lions Park - added by Wanderer



Margie leading the group on the descent of "Trash Heap Hill" - added by Wanderer



... Charlie gaining speed ... - added by Wanderer



... Lenore's turn - I wonder if she is having fun? ... - added by Wanderer



... and here is newcomer Noreen ... - added by Wanderer



... followed by Barbara - added by Wanderer



Don enjoying lunch and some sun on one of those iron cleats - added by Wanderer



Waterford tug entering Lock 7 - added by Wanderer



Tug being lowered to the next river level - a 27' drop at Lock 7 - added by Wanderer



Tug being released from the lock and on its way downstream - added by Wanderer



More fun - Don followed by Kathy - added by Wanderer



Daylillies along the bike path - added by Wanderer



Twin Bridges - a different perspective - added by Wanderer



Message found under the Twin Bridges - "Not all those who wander are lost" - added by Wanderer



Cohoes Falls from Overlook Park - added by Wanderer



Just a small obstacle to get to the river - 85 steps! - added by Wanderer




Attendees: Lenore & Jack, Jack (grandson of Lenore & Jack for those that don’t know), Margie, Jim I, Mike, Kathy & Don, Barbara, Bob, Charlie, Denis, Noreen, Mark F, Claire, Peter

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