and Cyclist Comments, Recommendations & Suggestions
You can add your comments, recommendations & suggestions
or ask a question about bicycle touring by sending us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments about various Articles &
Cycling in North America
"Thanks for your article about cycling in
'nth' america, helpful and inspiring at the same time.
You are right, I have been one of those
onlookers thinking I'd love to be doing such a thing when I see passing cyclists who are
My partner and I are in Phoenix visiting
friends and we need to make our way to Vancouver.
We've had the crazy idea of cycling!!! Is it
We are both fit and willing to put in the hard
work, but we're not experienced in cross country riding.
We'll need to purchase bikes and minimal light
weight camping gear, but I thought I'd make contact with someone from the cycling world
first to run the idea past."
M. B., Phoenix AZ on the way to Vancouver BC, May, 2007.
'Round Lake Ontario... &
Erie Canal Bicyclist...
"My wife Karen and our two friends Amanda and Rodger returned
Friday night from an Eastern [in contrast to mid-western] New York bike ride. You may
recall you gave us some hints on where and how [to ride.]
I'm reporting that we had an extraordinary ride.
We began on the Lake Ontario Parkway at Lakeside Beach State Park, rode
west to Olcott, then down to Lockport where we stayed the night. The next day we rode the
Erie Canal trail to Western Rochester.
The last day we rode north, through Rochester to the Parkway and back
to our van at Lakeside Beach. The weather was perfect, the trail easy, and the scenery
By the way, some guy in a Rochester bike shop that I talked with by
phone before we left advised us strongly NOT to use the Lake Ontario Parkway. Rough roads
and much traffic he said. He was nuts! I can't believe the State of New York spent tax
payer dollars on the Parkway. We had it to ourselves! Very enjoyable ride.
Thanks a lot for your advise. It tipped the scale in favor of Western
New York. It was much appreciated."
L. M., Holland, MI, September, 2007.
Lake Erie: A Bicyclist's Tour Guide
"Just completed a trip around Lake Erie utilizing your book. It
was excellent in many aspect but I found a few concern or errors.
1) In Cleveland there is no 4th St but it's rather 3rd St.
2) The Bridge across Sandusky Bay to Port Clinton on OH 269 / OH 2 is
not accessible to pedestrian or bicycles. We lucked out and a guy in a pick up truck
picked us up even though he was against the law in letting us sit in the back of the
truck. You probably need to include a warning to anyone purchasing your book in the
future. Hwy 6 towards Freemont from Sandusky them some back roads is probably a good
alternative. [See Cyclotour's comment, below.]
3) The Detroit-Windsor ferry mentioned as an alternative on your website does not accept
bicycle. We contacted them prior to our trip and they told us Transport Canada will not
allow them to carry passengers or bicycles. Here is the string of e-mail...." [See
the note on the Detroit River Crossings at the end
of this 'Round Lake Erie...comment section.]
G. R. E., Brantford, ON, August, 2006.
The State Route 2 Bridge across Sandusky Bay is not open to bicycle
travel. The land route between Port Clinton and Sandusky is via Fremont, is a 35 mile
Ohio Department of Transportation, Bicycling Pages, Ferry2004.pdf
Cyclotour's comment: Bicyclist's in Ohio must rally
together and lobby by writing (and emailing) letters to their elected representatives and
the Ohio DOT to open the State Route 2/269 Bridge (from Marine Point Rd. to CR
135A/Danbury Rd.) for bicycle travel. The bridge does have a shoulder and it is safe. I've
bicycled on the bridge! It is an arbitrary and capricious regulation/rule to prohibit
bicyclist's from using the State Route 2 Bridge across Sandusky Bay. It inhibits bicycle
tourism for no valid reason.
"My wife and I made the tour of Lake Erie this summer using your
book as a guide. The trip took us 13 days (with a 1 day hiatus in Niagara Falls) and was a
wonderful experience;.we met great people, ate incessantly (mostly Lake Erie fish), and
generally had a blast. We kept in touch with friends and family using a Velo palmtop
and stayed in hotels and B&B's all the way around except for two nights with
However, much to my surprise and delight, near the end of the tour my
wife suggested that next year we attempt Lake Ontario! So I would like to order your
'Round Lake Ontario book as a start for our planning."
M. B., Beechwood, OH. 1999.
have set a new record for trip planning, 4 days! Destinations planned, route
lodging booked, and attractions noted. All due, of course, to your book!
Glad I used 'Round Lake Ontario last year, now on to Lake Erie!"
S. B. & Family, Newton, MA, 1998.
[S. B. has used five of our Tour Guides.]
Detroit River Crossing: 'Round Lake Erie &
'Round Lake Huron
Crossing the Detroit River is a problem for both residents of Detroit
& Windsor; and touring bicyclists. There are no bike racks or baggage holds on the
buses which go through the Tunnel (only folding bikes can be brought inside the buses);
the Ambassador Bridge absolutely forbids bicyclists on either the roadway or the walkway;
and there sometimes is and sometimes is not a Bridge/Michigan DOT pick up truck to take
cyclists across the River.
Our most recent communiqué with the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry
has made us very sad. The Canada Border Services Agency and the US Customs and Border
Protection Agency have prohibited the Truck Ferry from transporting bicyclists
& their bicycles.
Now, crossing the Detroit River involves making a
sign and using your thumb to hitch a ride. Grab a bit of a discarded box and write in 3
in./7.3 cm to 5 in./12 cm. high letters: To Windsor or To Detroit. Wait at the
entrance/on ramp to either the Bridge or the Tunnel with your thumb extended and the sign
on your chest. A friendly motorist will stop and help you out.
Thumbing your way across the Detroit River can not be considered an
adequate way for bicyclists to continue their journey.
Cyclotour Guide Books encourages all bicyclists (tourists and locals)
to continually write to the: Michigan Department of Transportation; Ontario Ministry
of Transportation; County Executive, Wayne County, Michigan; and the
The Detroit River International Crossing
Project is evaluating the efficacy of the various Detroit River transportation
crossings. In bicycles are not mention in any of the reports of this Project. Cyclotour
Guide strongly urges all bicyclists to write to the following transportation project
leaders requesting that bicycling facilities be included in any new or reconstructed
international transportation crossings of the Detroit River.
Our experiences with this type of handwritten and emailed
advocacy at the start and during the reconstruction phases of the Peace Bridge (Fort Erie,
ON/Buffalo, NY) resulted in significant changes in design of this Bridge to better
accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. Simply state the point that bicyclists need to be
able to cross the Detroit River by their own power on a walkway or via bike racks on the
trans-River buses. Don't forget to sign and legibly print your name; include your full
address in your letter/post card. Here are the important addresses:
Mr. Dave Wake
Windsor Projects Coordinator
Ministry of Transportation
659 Exeter Road
London, Ontario, Canada, N6E 1L3
Fax (519) 873-4789
Mr. Mohammed Alghurabi
Senior Project Manager
Michigan Department of Transportation
Murray Van Wagoner Transportation Building
425 West Ottawa Street
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, Michigan, U.S. 48909
Phone: (517) 373-7674
Canal Bicyclist & Hiker Tour Guide
"New York State's varied terrain offers a tremendous variety of bicycling
experiences. There are mountains, hills, plains, lakes, rivers, coasts, forests, farmland,
cities and villages. There's also terrific history wherever you go in New York, and most
historic sites are easily accessed by bicycle. The Erie Canal corridor offers much of this
physical and historic landscape.
The Erie Canal corridor is the state's longest and upstate's most
popular bicycle route. This scenic route, almost 400-miles stretching from Albany to
Buffalo, offers something for every type bicyclist. An off-road multi-use trail, now more
than half complete, parallels the rivers and canal that define the corridor. Roads with
good shoulders connect the trail's built sections. The route is mostly level with great
vistas, but many side excursions offer challenging terrain.
...Two publications focusing on this wonderful bicycling asset have
recently issued 2nd editions: Cycling Along the Canals of New York State
and Erie Canal Bicyclist & Hiker Tour Guide. The authors are Louis Rossi and
Harvey Botzman, respectively, each an avid bicyclist with remarkable knowledge of the
Both books have lots of maps and photos, and describe the canal route
in detail. But they go beyond that to give information on the things to be seen along the
way. Historic sites, famous buildings, significant landmarks and items of interest are
pointed out so the bicyclist, if inclined, may explore them. They make an already scenic
tour fascinating. There is overlap in the books, naturally, but in large part they
complement each other.
...Botzman's book provides practical advice and useful tips on touring
the region by bicycle.
It's very well organized for this purpose, and helps ensure any trip
goes as smoothly as possible. His directions are meticulous, clear and concise, and he
plainly wants bicyclists to thoroughly enjoy their rides. This book also covers bicycling
from NYC to Albany and ... cycling along several other state canal routes.
NYBC recommends bicyclists of any level of ability explore the Erie
Canal Trail. We think you'll love the scenery, discover interesting things, and learn much
about New York. If you live near the trail, you probably already regularly enjoy it. If
you don't live nearby, consider planning a bicycling vacation around it."
R. Brustman, 'Book Review,' "NY Bikes! Newsletter of the New
York Bicycling Coalition," Albany, NY: Spring, 2006, p. 3.
"Well, I'm back from my Buffalo to Albany canal ride. I did a 400 miles run in 5 ½
days. I would have liked to spend more time in some places (e.g. in Green Lakes Park), but
after four days, drizzling rain started, so I kept moving on.
I travelled to Buffalo from Albany with my bicycle in a box. [On the
return, after cycling the Erie Canal] when I reached the bus station in Albany, they
offered me a used bicycle box they were about to trash. Violá, two hours later, I boarded
the Montreal bus. You can call that luck!
Everywhere I went, even in large cities, people were kind to me. On my
personal travel scale, I would give a high mark to Upstaters for being cool and easy
going. Albeit hard to understand at times, some people speak so fast -- just like the
Downstaters. I'd like to thank you for sending me your [Erie Canal Bicyclist &
Hiker Tour Guide, 2nd Ed., 2006 Rev.] book last May. It proved to be immensely
useful, especially when crossing large cities like Syracuse and Schenectady.
I'll pass the word...
Some of your advices were well heeded, too. I camped all the way near
the Canal, most of the time for free.
M. L., Montréal, QC, August, 2006.
Last summer I biked the Erie Canal. I used your "Erie Canal
Bicyclist & Hiker Tour Guide" heavily and preferred it overall to Rossi's
"Cycling the Canals of New York." I am preparing a PowerPoint presentation on my
trip, likely to be presented to my biking club as well as to my friends and relatives, and
distributed to acquaintances on CD. I would like to include a slide of your book to
recommend it, including a shot of its cover to help people identify it better. Thank you
for your consideration.
M. F., Washington, DC, August, 2005.
"Your books are great and I just came back from the Erie Canal
trip from NYC to Buffalo. Your books made
the trip wonderful."
G. H., Buffalo, NY, August, 2004.
Syracuse & Onondaga Lake
"I wanted to tell you to, regarding the route from Rt 48 down the
west shore of Onondaga Lake. The West Shore Trail is now paved. I read it in the paper, so
I rode down there to check it out a couple weeks ago. When they said it was just paved
they meant it! I could still smell asphalt & there were crews out there grooming the
trail edges! It doesn't go all the way around the Lake & you would still have to take
the pedestrian bridge into Lakeland. The East Shore Trail has been paved for many years
& doesn't appear in your book at all but if you continued across the Rt 48 bridge
& turn right into Onondaga Lake Park it takes you to Liverpool right by the Salt
Museum. Then if you turn right onto Onondaga Lake Parkway, just before the I-81 on ramp
there's a little brick building on the left side & if you cross the Parkway & push
your bike up the driveway on the right across the grassy area there's a bike path (paved)
that takes you to Park St. right by the Transportation Center & Regional Market. I
ride this route often. the East Shore Trail is heavily used (esp. on weekends, a couple
years ago they built a parallel trail for walkers) & the Parkway has a lot of car
traffic but no trucks because of the low bridge & the shoulders are wide & smooth
(except under the bridge). The Parkway is closed to motorized traffic on Sunday mornings,
9-12 AM, in the summer.
"All Centro buses now have bike racks except the big intercity
buses that go to Oswego & Auburn & those have a baggage compartment where you can
put your bike."
C. W., Syracuse, NY, June, 2002.
"You perhaps remember that my 12 year old and I recently purchased
the Erie Canal Bicyclist & Hiker Tour Guide preparatory to
riding the trail. Our ride was a great success!
Thank you for the guidebook -- it was most helpful.
Aside from a minor spill in Amherst and a blown tire just outside of
Pittsford, the trip was without untoward incident. As far as the spill goes, suffice it to
say we've grown in our appreciation for bike helmets. Sam would have surely suffered a
concussion had he not been wearing a helmet when he pitched over his handlebars and landed
headfirst on the asphalt.
Here are a few quick thoughts:
1. The Tonawandas have done a magnificent job with their part of the
trail -- from Niawanda Park to Ellicott Creek Park, the ride is a pure pleasure.
2. Amherst, too, has a wonderful trail -- lots to see, very safe
3. The Lockport locks were undergoing some sort of renovation, so we
were detoured through the city. For a small town, Lockport sure has a lot of traffic....
4. Brockport has a wonderful old downtown -- I can't believe I'd never
been there before! [N. B., Cort originally hails from Palmyra.]
5. The approach to Rochester was disappointing -- weeds, cars, and lots
of people sleeping under bridges. No one bothered us, but it was a little scary,
especially at 6:30 in the morning. We also got lost at the Genesee River/Erie Canal
confluence; the trail isn't very clearly marked. [Improved signs, 2001.] We
ended up in the parking lot of a municipal golf course. It took some time to find the
6. We saw chipmunks, beaver, rabbits, wild turkeys, and other critters
too numerous to mention. It was amazing!
Our 3 day trip took us from Tonawanda to Palmyra.
We're actually talking about doing it again next year!"
Cort & Sam McM., Houston, TX. July, 2000
"I want to thank you again for putting together the Erie
Canal Bicyclist and Hiker Tour Guide. My wife and I did the tour from Buffalo to
Utica on our recumbent bicycles (Ryan Vanguards-long wheel base, under-seat steering) last
I put a trip report, with some photos up on a web page:
Again, thanks for making it possible. We had a great time and I've
recommended your book to any number of people."
R. L., 1997.
"We have good memories of our trip. Most of the
people were friendly and interesting. We met a 1741 Russian sailing vessel in Lyons and
talked to Pat Gorthy, a Librarian, who sent us a copy of the newspaper article she wrote
about the "Niagara Princess", the Russian boat, and about us. The
lockmasters were all very nice letting us camp by the locks. Jim's back wheel gave
out and we had to get a new wheel and durailleur in Scotia, which cost us $89.00. Our
train tickets cost $125.00 [+ the auto expenses from Mississippi to Tonawanda].
We figure we spent about $1,000.00 [family of 3] & 6½ days on our
The trip was well worth our time, giving us time together as a family
doing something we all enjoy."
J. S., M. S. & A. S., Starkville, MS. September, 1998.
Lake Ontario: A Bicyclist's Tour Guide
"I have enclosed your surveys from 'Round Lake Ontario.
Your book, from what I can tell, is the only one of its kind. I went to
bookstores looking for something like it, but only found it on the internet. Thank
you for making this trip possible! [Circumnavigation of Lake Ontario, August, 2001.]
Recommendations: Adolphustown, ON Loyalist Park Campground; Oswego, NY
Best Western Captain's Quarters Hotel; Picton, ON bakery and restaurants near the
Adolphustown Ferry; Wellington, ON was my favorite town.
Canada is not nearly as good as the US [NYS] in marking its
roads. ... Rt. 64 was very difficult to find & follow from Presqu'ile Provincial
The wind seems to always blow to the East and on some days, can be
demoralizing....This was the reason I came inland.
I'm not convinced that Rt. 104 isn't the straightest, flattest and
smoothest road in NY. I was forced to take it at the end of Ridge Rd. & it was
fine. I took it to Rt. 21."
Jim R., Buffalo, NY. August, 2001.
"Just to let you know that I did my cycle tour, your book
was excellent. I found it excellent, informative without being 'stuffy'. I
think I may do Lake Erie next year so expect to hear from me again!
Here are some memorable places I stayed on trip: They are all bike
friendly and are quite happy to put bikes in barns etc.
Keaton Manor B&B, 1590 Regional Road 81, St. Catherines, ON L2R
6P7, 905 688-3625, http:www.keatonmanor.on.ca About 5mi. West of St. Catherines,
towards Jordan. It's run by Angela Manjos & Mark Walpole, he is a chef, they are
a lovely couple and made me more than welcome, insisting on me joining them for supper
when they heard how far I had cycled. It's not the cheapest but one of the nicest I stayed
Another extremely nice B&B, Century House, owned by Ken and Sandie,
it is almost opposite the Bloomfield Bicycle Co on Main St, Bloomfield. (Is Katy
Misener some character in that shop!!!!!)
Another nice place was the Millhaven Hotel, again on the main route
after we crossed over from Prince Edward County on the Glenora ferry, it is just past
Bath, not luxurious but clean and comfortable and the owner was kind enough to give us
supper as it was late and there was nowhere open to eat.
The Pass 'n Wind Motel cannot go without a mention as it was so
incredibly cheap! There is no one actually on site but we found the owner (?), Larry
Fortensen, a real estate agent by calling in at 'The Duck Inn' on the main route through
You already have Captain Throop House in your book but I will give it a
mention as the owners are so nice and it is such a lovely place to stay, I want to retire
to Pultneyville and open an English style tea shop, it really needs one!"
C. A., Gosport, Herts., United Kingdom. July, 2000.
"'It's an absolutely lovely place to cycle," says
Augie Mueller, 63, of Binghamton, Broome County, NY. "It's a very pretty, easy
ride in that it's flat. People of all riding abilities will find it
"Two local teenagers did the trip their own way. Penfield
youngsters Adam Begley, 16, and Jared Terrore, 16, never considered themselves bike
enthusiasts, but that didn't stop them from hitting the Lake Ontario road bike routes.
...It took them 10 days to go around the Lake and they spent two nights
at a hotel."
"'We didn't know where we were going to stay any night. We
just kept riding,'" Begley says.
From "Cyclists happy on trails around Lake."
by Regina Medina, Staff Writer, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
"This year  the "over 40" group is going
to try and complete another piece of Lake Ontario. ...We are going from Sodus Point
to Fisher's Landing (just east of Clayton [on the St. Lawrence River just North of Cape
NB: The over 40 group is three retired women
who have completed the route around Lake Ontario in three segments on three succeeding
M. B., Niagara Falls, NY
"Check for Lake Erie ['Round Lake Erie A
Bicyclist's Tour Guide] is enclosed.
Favorite parts of Lake Ontario trip: 1. Hamilton to Toronto; 2. Oshawa
to Sackett's Harbor; Sodus Point to home.
Story: Derailleur cable broke ~60 miles East of Toronto, in farm
country. We were completely unprepared. Within 5 minutes a German cyclist
(going from Atlanta to Montréal after setting up for the Olympics) appeared.
"No Problem! I fix!"
"And he did!"
"I would like to thank you again for your excellent book 'Round
Lake Ontario. My friend and I rode around the Lake at the end of last summer , had a
great time and even saved someone's life. I am considering taking on another great Lake
and Lake Erie is the next closest to my home in Hamilton, Ontario.
D. D., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Lake Huron: A Bicyclist's Tour Guide
[Advice provided prior to the publication of 'Round Lake
"We have to thank you for your great advice on cycling through
Canada. You're right that Route 17 turned out to be horrible.
We were so relieved to see the turn off towards Manitoulin Island! We
wouldn't have gone that way without you suggesting it.
Ontario [Province & route 'Round Lake Ontario] was great and
the people couldn't be friendlier. We had a great trip.
D. & T. B., Friendship, ME [Transcontinental Cyclotourists]
Lake Michigan: A Bicyclist's Tour Guide
I just completed a bicycle tour around Lake Michigan. Your book was a
valuable guide and offered all the help I needed to find the right routes and answered all
questions about the areas and towns I passed through.
Thanks for the great help.
R. V., Prospect Heights IL, July, 2007.
Good Evening Harvey,
Well, I just returned from a most beautiful bike ride around the
northern tier of Lake Michigan. I referenced and used your 2006-07 2nd Edition 'Round Lake
Michigan as my guide.
Everyday I was breathtaken at how beautiful the lake and its
surroundings were. I was born and raised in Northeast Wisconsin and am always excited to
come back and visit, as I currently now live in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State.
Below you will find edits and insights to the routes you have posted in
the book. You may already be aware about the listed items and some you may not.
Whatever the case may be, I feel drawn to contribute in making this
book as good as it can be, and let me tell you, the book rocks!
Thank you so much for the dedication in creating a wonderful bike tour
around Lake Michigan!
page 37: Two Rivers to Green Bay = 75 miles,
Unless I missed something, my calculation came to 41 miles or so
page 61: Second word, first paragraph: largess
page 74: Rtes. 29/141 had little to NO shoulder
and the road condition was below par with high speed vehicles, cyclists not prepared for
this biking environment might have troubles reaching Green Bay
page 102: line 10: Espanada = Escanaba
page 118: it was a tad confusing to exit
Mackinaw City from the directions on the map. I may have overlooked a road or two, but I
did not see McGulpin Pt. Rd. and I did take Central Ave to the end where I turned south
onto Wilderness Park Dr. and Trails End Rd. was not to be seen from the route I took,
unless it shared a road with Wilderness Park Dr. hmmm...
page 123: under the heading and related to:
Clockwise Traveler Note: I spent the night at Petoskey State Park. In the morning I exited
through the main entrance and rode on a bike path all the way to Charlevoix, the path
actually started a half mile or so before the State Park Entrance on Rt. 119, I was also
given insight by a camp caretaker about the bike path and she gave me a map titled: Little
Traverse Wheelway created by Top of Michigan Trails Council. I also recalled passing Sheir
Ave. after getting on the bikepath at Petoskey State Park.
page 138: the arrow pointing from Empire to
Traverse City could contain Rte. 72 to avoid confusion
page 148: Niles Rd. = Stiles Rd.
page 185: under section Clockwise Traveler
Note: third line: you = your
I wish for these suggestions and edits to help with your next edition.
If you have any questions let me know. I enjoyed the trip throughout! Maybe if I am ever
up in your neck of the woods we could grab a cup of coffee.
Have a great summer!
D. B., Tillson NY, June, 2007.
Dear D. B.,
Thanks for the updates on various routes and finding those pesky typos.
Your reward is free shipping on your next
Éditions du Briel Bicycling & Cruising Guides for the French Canal
Here's a testamonial from a
long time user of ÉDB Waterways Guides:
"Thanks for the prompt delivery of the guide
books; we received them yesterday. We mailed your check also.
Over the past 14 years we have been cruising the French canals
every year; now that I am retired, we have spent longer periods over there
Next summer we are planning to cruise the Canal du Marne area,
near Strasbourg. We rent boats from Locaboat; they have great boats and
excellent service. We have covered almost all of the French canals.
If you ever need info re cruising there, feel free to contact
The chart books from duBriel are excellent and very easy to
I grew up in Great Barrington, Mass, so I am familiar with the
New York area also; one summer we may try the Erie Canal.
M. & G. S., Rio Piedras, PR, September, 2007.
From the Survey & Comment Forms in our books:
Route: "We stuck close to the
"Great Job!" "...took the counterclockwise route,
started in Manistee, MI; took Ferry from Manitowoc WI to Ludington MI; spent a day on
Homestead Cabins, Northport, MI
Magnus (?) City Cpgd., Petosky, MI
Fishdam Cpgd., ~ 15 mi. West of Manistique MI,
on Rt. 2
Shady Acres Cpgd., ~ 15 mi. Southwest of Green
Bay, WI, on CR. R.
Legg's Inn, Cross Village, MI (restaurant),
"It's listed already in your book but this place is really something!"
Maybe a little more about surrounding areas, e. g.,
alternate routes, bike shops, cities within 5-10 miles of the route (but this can be
handled w/county maps and phone books on the way,) so not really necessary.
Warner Rd., is now named Milakokla Rd. (p. 118)
Mackinaw Bridge Auth. now charges $2.00 per
bike for transport over the bridge.
Bike shop in Gladstone, MI (p. 110)"
Ave. per diem costs: $10.01-15.00.
Total distance: 600+ mi.; Ave. dist. per diem: 50 mi.; No. of days: 14.
C. G., Muskegon, MI & 4 friends, Ages: 19-23, 1997.