The Pedalshift Project 297: Empire State Trail Preview

Previewing the epic 9-day, 520-plus mile bicycle touring journey from Buffalo to New York City, including all the pre-ride statistics, how this tour tracks my early years, details on how I’m traveling from the beginning and end of the tour , gear I’m bringing, my camping options and much, much more.

Pedalshift 297: Empire State Trail Preview

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Empire State Trail Preview


527.4 miles
9 days riding
1 zero day
1 low mileage day
Average 58.6 mi/day
Roofed lodging – 3 nights (4 with the zero)
Paid camping – 1
Free camping – 2
Wild camping – 2

Tracks my first 25 years of life (ish)

Buffalo – what could have been (plus sports)
Rochester – Hometown
Syracuse – Go Orange!
Albany – Where Friends Went
Hudson Valley – Law School
NYC – Internship/End of my days in NY (for now)

To and From

Originally was going to fly in and train back
Flying has been such a horror show I reconsidered
One way car rental and gas is more expensive but more predictable
Downside is a mediocre sleep going into day 1 (not sure where that sleep will be just yet)
Drop off is Buffalo Niagara Airport
Ride will not commence at the end of the trail, but I’ll join the canal due north, east of Lockport so I get some new to me canal towpath riding pretty much all the way to the western outksirts of Rochester on Day 2.


The Safari rides again!
Fully loaded
Stealth tent and hammock (just in case)
Original stock rack is back on
Will keep riding clothing to two sets
One set “camp clothes”


Low 70s as highs, Upper 50s as lows
Tracking rain, but can handle it if it comes


Riding shoes
Camp sandles
Inserts in both
Ibuprofin and Electrolytes
A lot of stretching
Icing and elevating foot each night

Roofed lodging?

Yes, family visit plus other reasons that shall be revealed (#priorities)
Also, balances the ride out a bit

Wild camping?

Trail has limited established camping south of Albany
So we need to make some!
Did some Google Maps scouting

Presumed Highlights

Riding new Erie Canal towpath portions
Riding from where my parents live now to my old hometown
Integrating a Syracuse University portion to the ride
If I’m up for it, a casino night in CNY
Revisiting my favorite campsite on the canal (Fort Plain Lock 15)
New to me riding along the Mohawk River around Albany
New to me route all the way south to NYC

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You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Jason has a new track available NOW, and a new album dropping very soon AND Jason’s first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen! 

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