I wake up and my body is talking to me. Telling me something. I’ve got twenty minutes to figure it out. I’ve never been more glad that there’s a toilet nearby because I really don’t wanna crap under this tree in the Medina canal park. We pack up and get out earlier than ever — nothing like the final miles to motivate.
Back on the trail. I’ve gone fully native. Shirtless from the start. Stinky and half naked at 10am. Home town hero banners of wherever dot my optics as we pass another port, Middleport. Geese have made their home on the trail for days. It’s their world and I’m just in it. There. Their. They’re the only creature enjoying the Erie canalway trail more than I am. There is literally no room, the little fuckers take up the entire right of way. Wild. Animals. First I ring my bell and herd them to one side or the other. Usually it’s more fun to send them toward the canal and watch some off them jump right into the water. After about a dozen of those situations, I now just ride straight through. Like right now. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I part flocks of geese on the Erie Canal like Moses parts the red fucking sea. Some waddle away. Some hiss. Some are sitting in the sunshine, so caught up in their own zen that they don’t see me till the last second. That goose scurries quickly, I had no clue they could move that quickly.
With a “short” 40-45 mile day, we cruise along briskly, knocking out 18 of them through Gasport and into Lockport. The giant hill kicks are out asses one last time as the crushed stone finally gives way to pavement once again. At the top of the climb we stop into a bomb ass coffee shop. I crush and oat milk latte and a massive cinnamon roll. Shit is calorically dense and I immediately go into food coma.
Our roll out toward Tonawanda is delayed and a group so speedy bike nerd friends show up. Like carbon fiber 20mph average speedy. They are continuing on though two have had enough and decide the take the slow ride back to Buffalo with us! Yes, Christina and Lasse join us and we are now a fivesome, rolling like a minivan on the canal trail out of Lockport and into Tonawanda. Then down the rail trail into Buffalo! Aw yeah!
Just a few miles to home and Main Street Buffalo reminds me what a fucked up city I live in. The local government can’t even paint lines in the street anymore. Main Street is a 7 lane wide highway without so much as a bike lane and cars fly past me at at least 50mph with no regard for the sanctity of my life. Kara, Christina and Lasse split off and we say our goodbyes. Damon and I continue downtown, finally rolling in at a final 602 miles. Showers and a reacclimatization ensue, we kick it with friends and damn does my bed feel good at the end of the night.