Day 6 of Cycling the Erie Canal didn't include too much "canal". Due to the flooding in Herkimer and Mohawk, the route of the cyclists had to be detoured, leaving out just about all the waterfront sections because they are damaged, unsafe or being restored.
The day started in Rome and did get to travel along a segment of the canal near Utica where the canalway has been developed. Many riders took a side trip to visit the F.X. Matt Brewery in Utica before getting back on the route. From this point the trip stuck to surface streets, much of it along route 5. This not only put riders aside traffic much more than anticipated, but also added in some hills to negotiate.
Some of the flood damage could be seen along the ride in Herkimer, including debris and washed out embankments of streams. The same was true in the Village of Mohawk, where yards still showed mud covering driveways and portions of pavement damaged. Nevertheless things were remarkably back to normal in the village, where the operators of Paesano's Pizza say they were out of business for three days with no power. Surrounding businesses suffered damage, but they came through o-k.
HISTORY ALONG THE ROUTE
Cyclists could visit attractions going back three centuries. The Nellis Tavern in St. Johnsville served travelers in 1747. The Fort Klock home was built in 1750, near Little Falls. Its embattlements, holes cut in the stone walls, allowed muskets to be fired out. The region is also dotted with Amish businesses and families.
The almost 63 miles covered Friday proved the longest day cycling. The heat, riding with traffic and hills, took their toll on riders, many of whom took longer to finish the circuit, which ended in Canajoharie.