Author Topic: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails  (Read 639 times)

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Offline Ben the Slow

Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« on: February 13, 2014, 05:26:59 pm »
I want to use the Erie Canal Bike trail from Albany to Buffalo (to pick up the NT).  Parts of the trail are surfaced with 'stone dust'.  Does anyone know what stone dust is and will it support a loaded tourer running 700x32c tires (Jamis Aurora Elite).

v/r, ben

Offline Tandem Tom

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 06:19:11 pm »
My wife and I rode it last October from Albany back to NE Ohio. It was a shake down ride on the Long Haul Trucker's I had built up. The surface was mostly packed gravel, though in a few areas the gravel/stone dust was quite fresh and was not yet packed down. We have 26"x 2" tires and even they were abit squirrely at times. We have ridden the GAP & C&O with our hybrids with 32mm tires and that was fine. So I guess it depends on the condition of the trail in different areas. We did jump off and ride the road quite often just to mix it up and to see something different.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 06:20:18 pm »
I rode a hundred miles of it in the summer of 2012. It rode almost exactly like pavement, other than the fact that you bike gets dusty. Don't give it a second thought. It will be no problem at all. And you'll never need to shift gears as it is dead level.

Offline Ben the Slow

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 06:26:01 am »
Gents, thanks for the response.  I'm do'in the Erie!!  Saves me a few miles and reads like an interesting ride.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 09:55:59 am »
I should have mentioned that my 100 miles were from Lockport to Palmyra. I don't know anything about the condition of the canal in other places.

Offline briwasson

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 07:22:03 am »
Stone dust trails can be anywhere from hard packed like Tarmac to quasi-quicksand if fresh, unpacked, and water saturated. Usually it's fine, unless you have a lot of prolonged rain that doesn't have time to drain.

Offline Ben the Slow

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 11:20:56 am »
thanks for the amplifying  information.  If the trails are bad, looks like there are road options to get around quagmires.

Offline capejohn

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 05:50:04 pm »
I have ridden the Erie Canal twice.  It is an easy fun ride with lots of places to stay and things to see if you want to take some extra time.  Bike route 5 which is also NY Rt 31 parallels the canal and gives another option if the crushed stone surface becomes difficult.   I wrote about my experiences on the crazyguyonabike site and you may get some insight into the route and places to stay.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/directory/?o=1&user=capejohn&v=I 
Keeping me young as I grow old.

Offline Ben the Slow

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 06:31:00 pm »
Great write up...I wish I wrote so well.  Good info, I am really looking forward to this trip

Offline windrath

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2014, 02:46:40 am »
Hi Ben -

The description of quasi quick-sand is applicable when saturated.  Otherwise, it will ride fine.  Vs pavement, you will go 2-3 mph slower because the tires won't roll quite so nicely.

The only part of the trail that I dislike is around Rochester.  There are sections where the tree roots have pushed up the pavement and it a jarring/bumpy ride.  There are also some section where you integrate with roads and there was broken glass to deal with.  Only around Rochester though from my experience.

The "best" part is flat.  And, if you can arrange it, you can camp at many of the locks - for sure at the Marcy Lock.  Makes it a little easier than finding campgrounds or stealth.

Paul

Offline dkoloko

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 05:43:36 pm »
Hi Ben -

The only part of the trail that I dislike is around Rochester.  There are sections where the tree roots have pushed up the pavement and it a jarring/bumpy ride.  There are also some section where you integrate with roads and there was broken glass to deal with.  Only around Rochester though from my experience.

Paul

I rode the trail in 2003. Tree roots still a problem? Understandable that the park service had to deal with path deterioration, but the "solution" of asphalt paving was a disaster, both esthetically and in durability. 

I got separated from the trail several times, onto weedy, narrow single track; maybe my error.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 07:32:10 pm by dkoloko »

Offline Ben the Slow

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2014, 07:33:15 pm »
Thanks everyone for sharing your experience and expertise.  Given I can move onto local roads in the event of poor trail conditions, sounds like it'll be a great r
ide.

Offline geegee

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2014, 03:00:20 am »
I got separated from the trail several times, onto weedy, narrow single track; maybe my error.

I don't think it was your error. East of Canastota, it looked like this in 2010:



There should be no problem doing it with 700x32c tires, though. I rode it on a folding bike with 20 inch wheels towing a kayak  :)

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Erie Canal Bike Trail - Stone Dust trails
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2014, 10:02:45 am »
I rode from Buffalo to Rome in 2012.  Here is a link to my writeup of my trip.
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1&doc_id=10458&v=82
I have done one other trip on crushed stone, Pine Creek Gorge in Pennsylvania.

Crushed stone has more rolling resistance than crushed limestone.  Generally it pack hard, but be on the look out for soft spots.  I hit a patch on my Erie Canal trip and thought for sure I was going for a swim.  I had wider tires (35MM), but that would not have made a difference.  I think I just got unlucky that day. 

I think you will be OK with 32MM tires, especially if you are traveling light.

I found the large number of geese to be a bigger problem than the crushed stone.  Just get a bell and use it loudly to get the geese to move out of the way.
Danno