Annual Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour a go with less riders and Covid-19 restrictions

The 21st Annual Cycle the Erie Canal Bike Tour is a go this summer. Registrations opened at the beginning last month and all the spots were taken within six hours..

The event is scheduled from July 11-18. Covering between 40 and 60 miles per day, cyclists will travel along the Erie Canalway Trail, which is now more than 85 percent complete and the east-west axis of the statewide 750-mile Empire State Trail.

The last time the 400-mile journey from Buffalo to Albany was offered in 2019 a total of 650 cyclists participated. It wasn’t held last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Registrations are traditionally taken in January, but due to the uncertainty from the pandemic, online registrations weren’t accepted until April 1. In addition, the number of participants was limited 350, said Jonathan Duda, the assistant tour director.

This year, riders will have to provide proof that they tested negatively for the Covid-19 pandemic three days prior to arriving, he said.

Cost for the 8-day tour is $1,200 and that includes overnight accommodations (camp sites), along with breakfast and dinner.

“The biggest part is our support team that hauls your luggage for you,” Duda said, stressing participants can enjoy the ride and don’t have to worry about being bogged down by tents, extra clothes, sleeping gear and other things.

The decision to limit the number of riders was to “better comply with COVID-19 regulations for capacity in dining, in facilities and on the trail,” according to the tour website. “Four-day registrations will not be accepted nd non-rider drivers will not be allowed on the tour this year.”

See the ride website to read more of the Covid-19 restrictions regarding camping, dining, showering and day-to-day activities during the ride.

However, the website points out that state guidelines are evolving each week and tour officials will be ready to follow the regulations in place on July 10. Participants are encouraged to stay abreast of state restrictions that might impact travel plans and will be updated on any changes.


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