Given my upcoming ride to Ithaca and back, I wanted to get out on my bike and keep up my riding fitness. I decided a 4hour/100km afternoon ride would be good — and the weather obliged: i ended up doing 120km in 4hrs 45 minutes.
I rode up the Niagara escarpment via the short Cheridoke rail trail from Dundurn (Hamilton). From there I made it onto Highcrest Rd and followed it to it to its end. I then ended up on Mud Road/Fly road, which I followed all the way to Mountain road. Nearing 50km I decided to head down the mountain and turn back. I had made it to Lincoln.
The riding, especially the last half, was mice, being on low-traffic roads. The only off-putting aspects (understatement) was the smell of death trucks and the occasional 'broiler' hen farm.
I had thought to ride back via the waterfront trail and eventually made my way to it. When it was not on the service road (and having to worry about ridiculously fast vehicles passing way too close, it often wound its way through back streets — not really a waterfront trail at all. As I closed in on Stoney Creek I thought to ride up the escarpment via Albion Road and pass through the Red Hill Valley to descend along the escarpment rail trail. The horrific destruction of the Red Hill Valley for another ridiculous expressway — not to mention to associated desecration of Six Nations land — and the complete disregard for anyone other than drivers that has resulted forced me onto the Lincoln Alexander Parkway and a back-track to get to the head of the rail trail.
The rail trail itself — all paved — was a consistent and long descent, with some pretty nice surrounds as it moved along and down the escarpment. There were a number of picturesque locations to stop, and I will return with my camera. It also seemed to have a lot of use — different usage to the Hamilton-Brantford rail trail.
I used this ride for an indication of suitable routes for my ride to Ithaca. I am pretty certain that it will be up the mountain and not along the apparent waterfront trail!