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Canal Bike Shuttle pedals through upstate

by Jaymi Gooden - CAMPUS TALK EDITOR
Tue, Apr 11th 2017 10:00 pm
Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR
BROCKPORT BIKES - Bike rentals coming to Brockport may herald in business and tourism for local shops.
Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR BROCKPORT BIKES - Bike rentals coming to Brockport may herald in business and tourism for local shops.

 The Erie Canal Bike Shuttle announced Wednesday, March 29, via a press release that its services will officially launch in May 2017. The tour will allow cyclists to visit all of the small towns and villages along the Erie Canal which spans from Buffalo to Albany.

"There is something for everyone here," Owner of Erie Canal Bike Shuttle Diane Kolifrath stated in the press release. "We've been designing trips for cyclists of all abilities as well as putting together an incredible pocket guide with detailed maps and merchant listings that connect visitors with accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and events."

The Erie Canalway Trail stretches across the full expanse of upstate New York  and cuts  through more than 200 historic towns and villages. There are a variety of options and prices and shuttle tour packages starting at $125.00. 

The canalway will be divided between two tours: the east corridor tour and the west corridor tour. The east tour will include towns such as Syracuse, Dewitt, Rome, Little Falls, Rome, Amsterdam, Schenectady and Albany while the west tour will take cyclists through Buffalo, Lockport, Brockport, Rochester, Palmyra and end with Syracuse and Dewitt.

"We decided to go ahead and launch this when we realized that there was nothing along the bike path that offered this service," Marketing Director of Erie Canal Bike Shuttle Lauren Kolifrath said.

According to Lauren, plans to develop this program have been ongoing since last summer.

 Kolifrath not only hopes this new service will revamp the Village of Brockport but will hopefully bring life and commerce to all the communities that can sometimes be forgotten in an expansive state like New York.

"They're so picturesque and such great slices of americana," Kolifrath said. "But they're a little off the beaten path so they're not that great when it comes to modern marketing. That's where we come in."

The aim of this service isn't just to bring cyclists to all the fun and adventure of the canal but to also create more of a sense of community amongst those already here. The Erie Canal Bike Shuttle service has already gained the support of the New York Canal Corps and the National Park Service. Lauren insists that the business would not get very far without the full support of the communities that the cyclist tourists will be traveling through.

"It is of the utmost importance to us to maintain the integrity and the character and the local color and flavor of all these places," Kolifrath said. "We have to do things in such a way that the community not only enjoys but appreciates."

The shuttle service has been reaching out to numerous merchants in preparation for their launch. Cyclists will receive what the service calls the "Cyclist Pocket Guide" which maps out local restaurants and attraction sites throughout their chosen tour.

Lauren goes onto state that although the Erie Canal Bike Shuttle is a single service right now, they are more than willing to create stronger partnerships with communities by taking suggestions and ideas on how to improve the cyclist tours.

"I want people to feel free to reach out to us " Kolifrath said. "We're here to help people enjoy this adventure."

The Erie Canal Bike Shuttle is now preparing for their grand opening which will take place June 1.

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