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  1. #1
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    Niagara Falls to New York cycle ride- info needed please !

    Hi
    I have just registered in this forum and would highly appreciate some help. We are a group of 30 amateur cyclists from the United Kingdom and having had some experience in european rides in the last 3 years, we have finally mustered the courage to have a go at theNiagara Falls to New York route)
    Just wondered if anyone can tell me about any bike rentals in new york city or in Toronto so that we can rent our bikes for this journey ( flight tickets proving too expensive with the 200$ at least surcharge for carrying bikes ).
    Please help ....
    Regards
    Smita

  2. #2
    nun
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    Here is the handbook for the Erie Canal ride. On page 10 there is some info about bike rental.

    http://www.ptny.org/pdfs/canaltour/handbook.pdf

    FYI last time I flew on Virgin across the Atlantic I wasn't charged for my bike, but I don't use a box, just a soft sided case so they didn't ralize it ws a bike....also $200 seems better than paying to ride an unfamiliar bike
    Last edited by nun; 11-10-14 at 08:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    What kind of bike are you looking for?

    Carbon road bikes will cost more than $60 per day to rent.

    3 years ago my son did the ride, Niagara to Montalk on a Cyclocross bike. He took Rt 20 east to Albany, Rt9 south to NYC and Rt 27a to Montalk. It took 6 days.

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    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Check out Spinlister where people make their personal bikes available. I have a couple of bikes I could rent out, though they are not listed there. They have 55cm seat tubes, and I am 5'9" tall.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

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  5. #5
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdesh View Post
    Hi
    I have just registered in this forum and would highly appreciate some help. We are a group of 30 amateur cyclists from the United Kingdom and having had some experience in european rides in the last 3 years, we have finally mustered the courage to have a go at theNiagara Falls to New York route)
    Just wondered if anyone can tell me about any bike rentals in new york city or in Toronto so that we can rent our bikes for this journey ( flight tickets proving too expensive with the 200$ at least surcharge for carrying bikes ).
    Please help ....
    Regards
    Smita

    I live very close to the Erie Canal path in Rochester; the canal is the typical way for bike tourists to ride from Buffalo/Niagara Falls to Albany.

    Are you planning on riding the canal route? If so, being about three-quarters stone dust, either touring bikes or hybrids are highly recommended. People ride it with 28mm or smaller tires, but in my experience they generally don't enjoy it as much. :-)

    The usual riding time for Buffalo to Albany is five days or so, and then presuming that you go from there to NY City figure in another three. There's really no possible way you can rent bikes for less than the airline fees for that length of time, plus you would need to deal with getting the bikes back to the starting point somehow.

    As was mentioned above, Spinlister is a possibility, but not for 30 cyclists leaving from the same place. :-)
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  6. #6
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    Check out the FANY (Fivehundred miles Across New York) ride. I have wanted to do this one but haven't managed it yet.

    The Great Big FANY Ride | Bicycle ride across New York | Niagara Falls to Saratoga by Bike

  7. #7
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    I live very close to the Erie Canal path in Rochester; the canal is the typical way for bike tourists to ride from Buffalo/Niagara Falls to Albany.

    Are you planning on riding the canal route? If so, being about three-quarters stone dust, either touring bikes or hybrids are highly recommended. People ride it with 28mm or smaller tires, but in my experience they generally don't enjoy it as much. :-)

    The usual riding time for Buffalo to Albany is five days or so, and then presuming that you go from there to NY City figure in another three. There's really no possible way you can rent bikes for less than the airline fees for that length of time, plus you would need to deal with getting the bikes back to the starting point somehow.

    As was mentioned above, Spinlister is a possibility, but not for 30 cyclists leaving from the same place. :-)
    I rode the Erie Canal on a carbon bike with 25mm tires. I've only done it that one time so I don't know what it would be like on wider tires, but it was a lot of fun on 25mm and if the tow path gets boring you can always get onto NY state bike route 5 which is mostly on Rt 31 and follows the canal path. Also you can camp for free at many of the locks on the canal.

  8. #8
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    There's really no possible way you can rent bikes for less than the airline fees for that length of time, plus you would need to deal with getting the bikes back to the starting point somehow.
    Come to think of it, this is probably true. But it did inspire me to update my listings. I have a Bianchi Volpe in NYC, for whatever that's worth. I'm very negotiable in the rate, depending on how well I trust you.

    I have another bike or two I could list, too. I'm a bit of a collector.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

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    The OP needs to clarify whether this is a self supported / camping type tour, or will be be van supported of some type.

    That'll determine the type of bike(s) needed.

    Which in any case may be problematic to find as rentals, mostly as the start and destinations are not considered to be top cycling destinations, thus not as many rental shops that'll have the equipment. I can't really think of anybody in the NYC are that rents touring bikes, as example.

    Solve that problem before worrying about the route.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 11-11-14 at 03:49 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    Are you planning on riding the canal route? If so, being about three-quarters stone dust, either touring bikes or hybrids are highly recommended. People ride it with 28mm or smaller tires, but in my experience they generally don't enjoy it as much. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    I rode the Erie Canal on a carbon bike with 25mm tires. I've only done it that one time so I don't know what it would be like on wider tires, but it was a lot of fun on 25mm and if the tow path gets boring you can always get onto NY state bike route 5 which is mostly on Rt 31 and follows the canal path. Also you can camp for free at many of the locks on the canal.

    I've done both. First time on my road bike with 23 mm tires. It was bone dry conditions, so it was fine. The second time was on a hybrid and there were muddy patches from summer downpours that would have made the road bike a tough time on the canal trail. A cyclecross type bike would be perfect for this trip.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
    Check out the FANY (Fivehundred miles Across New York) ride. I have wanted to do this one but haven't managed it yet.

    The Great Big FANY Ride | Bicycle ride across New York | Niagara Falls to Saratoga by Bike
    If you can bring your bikes, then I second the FANY ride suggestion. It's my favorite ride. Here's a link to my photo album of the most recent ride (which has links to the earlier rides):

    FANY, 2014

    - Ed

  12. #12
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleansheet View Post
    I've done both. First time on my road bike with 23 mm tires. It was bone dry conditions, so it was fine. The second time was on a hybrid and there were muddy patches from summer downpours that would have made the road bike a tough time on the canal trail. A cyclecross type bike would be perfect for this trip.
    Trail maintenance has to be factored in as well; when my son and I went on 2011 the section between Herkimer and Little Falls, for example, was terrible. The state had apparently just dumped a new load of stone dust and in several places it was literally 4 to 5 inches deep. Even with our 35mm tires it was impossible for several miles, so we had to go off route.

    Generally though, it's a very well maintained trail, just so OP doesn't get the wrong idea. :-) And as noted elsewhere, there's no lack of parallel roads to use when needed.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

  13. #13
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    Trail maintenance has to be factored in as well; when my son and I went on 2011 the section between Herkimer and Little Falls, for example, was terrible. The state had apparently just dumped a new load of stone dust and in several places it was literally 4 to 5 inches deep. Even with our 35mm tires it was impossible for several miles, so we had to go off route.

    Generally though, it's a very well maintained trail, just so OP doesn't get the wrong idea. :-) And as noted elsewhere, there's no lack of parallel roads to use when needed.
    In 2013 there were a few muddy and stoney bits, but nothing I couldn't handle with 25mm tires by carefully picking my path and maybe going onto the side of the path. I was actually glad of a lightweight bike as I had to lift it over some fallen trees a couple of times.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by groth View Post
    If you can bring your bikes, then I second the FANY ride suggestion. It's my favorite ride. Here's a link to my photo album of the most recent ride (which has links to the earlier rides):

    FANY, 2014

    - Ed
    Thanks for sharing your pics. I have done RAGBRAI. I really want to do FANY and my wife's brother and SIL live one town over from Brockport and they ride bikes. I am hoping to engineer some sort of excuse to get out there.

    I highly recommend that you folks from the UK do this ride. I think it would be more interesting than riding on the Canal path. I rode between Rochester and Brockport and it was OK but was kind of boring.

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    But does anybody have any useful info. on where they can rent bikes ?.'

    Which as BTW, is all that was asked.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    But does anybody have any useful info. on where they can rent bikes ?.'

    Which as BTW, is all that was asked.
    Spinlister has already been mentioned, but I think it's more relevant to the OP's proposed journey that they're not going to be able to simultaneously rent 30 appropriate bikes in a town as small as Niagara Falls, and even if some of the tourists could find one, it's going to be more expensive than airline shipping fees anyhow.
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
    I highly recommend that you folks from the UK do this ride. I think it would be more interesting than riding on the Canal path. I rode between Rochester and Brockport and it was OK but was kind of boring.
    That's the interesting part (Lockport- east of Rochester). Little Falls to Schenectady is a boredom death march.

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    It isn't going to be a great ride, not much to see really. If I were going to travel to do a ride I'd pick a more interesting place, like maybe the Pacific coast. Even Ragbrai would be more interesting if only because of the large number of people doing it. There is only one exception: Riding through that last part, either through NY or New Jersey, and seeing the city would be a thrill.

  19. #19
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    Look around at other airlines. Virgin Atlantic will take sports equipment free in addition to your standard baggage allowance but they don't fly to Toronto. Maybe fly into New York City and take an Amtrak train to Buffalo NY (this is the closest you can get with checked baggage). There are also busses to Niagara Falls but you'd have to also rent a truck for the bikes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    It isn't going to be a great ride, not much to see really. If I were going to travel to do a ride I'd pick a more interesting place, like maybe the Pacific coast. Even Ragbrai would be more interesting if only because of the large number of people doing it. There is only one exception: Riding through that last part, either through NY or New Jersey, and seeing the city would be a thrill.
    Different strokes for different folks. Where you think "Not so much to see, really", I see nice little canal towns every ten miles, lots of museums, gorgeous scenery, and peaceful riding. The last time I rode from Albany to Brooklyn the last few miles were never-ending traffic, the stink of exhaust, impatient drivers, and constant noise.
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  21. #21
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Yeah, @zacster's comment surprises me. I'm getting familiar with New York once again now. I haven't been west of the Catskills much at all, though I've visited Ithaca twice. There is spectacular scenery almost everywhere I've been. And I have never seen a view of the Hudson River that isn't breathtaking, whether in the central valley or in NYC.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by modelmartin View Post
    I rode between Rochester and Brockport and it was OK but was kind of boring.
    +1. During a cross country trip I rode the canal between Lockport and somewhere east of Rochester before heading north through Webster to the lake. Brockport was o.k., but the rest of the path was not much to write home about.

  23. #23
    fixed for the long haul 40 Cent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    Different strokes for different folks. Where you think "Not so much to see, really", I see nice little canal towns every ten miles, lots of museums, gorgeous scenery, and peaceful riding. The last time I rode from Albany to Brooklyn the last few miles were never-ending traffic, the stink of exhaust, impatient drivers, and constant noise.
    +1

    My wife and I rode from Brooklyn to Niagara Falls two summers ago and loved it. Some may not call the scenery breathtaking compared to the Pacific coast or the Rockies - and it's a bit curious how the OP and his group decided on this route - but there's a lot of history and beautiful countryside packed into a relatively small area.

    Mulveyr has already mentioned the pros and cons of the Erie Canal tow path. We ended up taking roads (Bike Route 9 to Albany and Bike Route 5 across to Niagara Falls). We tried the tow path for a while but we ended up wanting to make better time - we did it in 6 days total, i.e., between 80 and 120 miles/day - so we needed the pavement.

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    Hi All! Newbie from New York City

    Hi All! I just joined the forum a few minutes ago . I am interested in doing the New York City to Niagara Falls ride. Can anyone give any advice to a solo rider?

    I'm currently using an Giant Escape 3 2016 all stock parts. Thanks.

  25. #25
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeaniousrides View Post
    Hi All! I just joined the forum a few minutes ago . I am interested in doing the New York City to Niagara Falls ride. Can anyone give any advice to a solo rider?

    I'm currently using an Giant Escape 3 2016 all stock parts. Thanks.
    Well, the Parks and Trails site/book has already been mentioned. Presuming you're intending to use the canal route for the east/west portion, I'd begin out by recommending that you start in Niagara Falls; the prevailing winds are westerly along the canal, and while headwinds are not ( generally ) too bad, you may as well have the wind work for you.

    You haven't provided any details--what time of year? How are you planning on returning? Camping, motels, or a mix?
    Knows the weight of my bike to the nearest 10 pounds.

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