cyclingbbvaWe always found great places to stay on our bike trip. Not far from Hunter Mountain we found the beautiful DePuy Canal House in High Falls, N.Y. The restaurant is in a restored stone tavern built in 1797 to accommodate travelers along the Delaware and Hudson Canal.

Food, Lodging and Friends

The Canal House Inn is comfy and cozy in the building next door. Proprietor and Chef John Novi made us feel right at home, and he cooked one of the best meals we have ever had – the chocolate soufflé was to die for. A few days later we found the North Country Manor B&B just outside of Boonville, N.Y. This 1880 Victorian Italianate gem has been beautifully restored and decorated by owners Craig and Lisa Trainor, who went out of their way to make us comfortable after a long day of riding.

This country is full of interesting people in unexpected places. On a slow-paced journey you will have the time to hear their stories. In Cobleskill, N.Y., we met Fairuz, an Egyptian restaurant owner (and excellent chef). His niece Niveen, had just arrived from Cairo to do graduate work in Albany, and she was helping in the restaurant for the summer. She had a lot of questions for us – traveling by bike is a real oddity after all – and we enjoyed our conversation.

Outside of Watertown, N.Y. we met Randall at his restaurant, Corby’s Corner. Randall was the 1st Place Winner of the Syracuse University Home-Cooking Cook-Off with his championship beef chili. Randall gets his secret ingredient flown in from New Orleans, and he’s named his winning dish “Churnin’ Urn of Burnin’ Funk.” Devotees travel from miles around to get some.


Highs and Lows

Our funniest moment happened early in the trip. After dinner we retired to our balcony for a quiet evening admiring the sunset over the Hudson River – and locked ourselves out of our room. When shouts for help failed to solve the problem, we ended up climbing in through the window – unlocked because we were drying socks on the latch – much to the amusement of the many hotel guests sitting around us on their balconies.

Of course, no journey would be complete without a low point. Ours (mine) was the day we discovered at 2 p.m. that we had another 50 miles to go before we got to our B & B (colossal bad planning on our part). After some roadside primal scream therapy, I calmed down and started pedaling. We actually made it (despite a detour through protected swampland). We didn’t have to call a taxi, although it was close.

Eleven days after we left our driveway in Greenwich, we arrived in Ladysmith, Quebec, where my sister has the cottage and where I had left my van two weeks earlier when I dropped off the girls and flew home. We rolled down the familiar gravel drive to the cottage on Barnes Lake. We had arrived. Eleven days, 530.8 miles, 51 hours and 27 minutes of actual pedaling, total ascent of 21,370 feet, total descent of 21,090 feet, and a grand total of 35,000 calories burned each. We made it. And it was fabulous. But I was glad we would be driving home.

Packing light is a must when heading out on a long bike trip.

Check Louise Parker’s helpful advice on how to get into shape for a long distance bike trip.

Click here for inspirational travel tunes — all by female artists.