We decided to keep our mileage today on the shorter side (“short” meaning 69 miles) for two reasons: we had a long day yesterday and we had to pass through Niagara Falls and over the border back into the US today.
Dawn, our wonderful warm showers host from last night rode the first 5 miles with us into Port Colborne. She got us headed in the right direction towards Fort Erie, where the Niagara River meets Lake Erie. From there, we turned North and followed a beautiful road that paralleled the river. I tried to savor the views, but there was a headwind coming in from over the water and I was more than a little tired from yesterday’s big miles. As Evan put it, we were both feeling pretty “bonky.”
bonky (adj): fatigued and low on energy after depleting one’s glycogen stores, prone to bonking
In between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, on the border of the United States and Canada, a powerful torrent, 85,000 cubic feet per second, shoots down into the water below. The source is just upstream: an over-hydrated biker who just found a bathroom after getting stuck in the customs line on the Rainbow Bridge for twenty minutes. Nearby, of course, is Niagara Falls.
I had never been before, so I was glad to have a chance to finally see the Falls, but the riding in that area was some of the most stressful we’ve faced all summer. The bike path was teeming with aimlessly wandering pedestrians, all holding melting ice cream cones in one hand and trying to take pictures with the other. At the center of all the commotion was the main viewing area. There was a crowd here that looked like something from World War Z. People were clambering over each other to try and get the best view. Evan and I pushed our way to the railing to admire the Falls for all of 20 seconds, then fought our way back out and headed for the Rainbow Bridge.
The bridge took us out of Ontario and into New York. Shortly after crossing over, we received a classic New York welcome: a slew of expletives shouted from a passing driver that roughly translated to “Please get off the road.”
Tonight, we’re camped out behind the Wide Waters Drive-in Restaurant in Lockport, NY. It feels good to be back in the States and we’re looking forward to some nice biking along the Erie Canal over the next few days.