The Friends of the Mohawk Towpath Byway were on hand to tell the Byway story at the packet pick up for the Mohawk Hudson Marathon. Here Paul Olund answers questions about the Byway and takes registrations for the Duathlon on October 15. Have you registered for the Duathlon, yet?
The 15th Annual Mohawk Towpath Byway Duathlon is coming up on October 15. Entry fees will increase between now and race day so register now. This fun race includes a 2 mile run (or walk), a 17 mile biking leg, and a 2 mile run to the finish all from Riverview Orchards in Rexford. All against a backdrop of beautiful fall foliage on one of our unique America’s Byways®.
If you have already registered you must know about the clinic coming up on Sunday, Sept 24 from 2 to 5 PM at the historic Grooms Tavern. For more information contact “hislop coaching @ gmail(dot)com.”
Volunteer! If you would rather not do the “du” you can enjoy the fun and share the goodies by volunteering. Contact the race director for more details or just show up at the next volunteer meeting on Tuesday, October 10, at 7 PM at historic Grooms Tavern. Your help would be greatly appreciated
The important facet of Duathlon planning at this time is our sponsors. Our sponsors make the Duathlon a worthwhile effort for the Friends of the Byway and for the Byway Coalition as well. Sponsors so far are:
- The Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor – returning Gold sponsor…
- Stewart’s Shops – long time Silver sponsor…
- Price Chopper/Golub Foundation – returning Bronze sponsor and
- Halfmoon Family Dental – long time Bronze sponsor
We hope the following sponsors will join in as they have promised:
- Capital Region Landfils
- The Hamiltons of Acworth, GA and
- his employer G E
- Shenendehowa Rotary
- Hammer Nutrition
Still working on the possibility of:
- Brookfield Renewable Power, a long time sponsor
- and several new possibilities including a local craft brewer, a credit union, a bank, a cycling supplier, a neighborhood general store, and other partners.
If you know of someone who would like to join our prestigious team of sponsors, enjoy the recognition, and share our pride in a job well done please let us know and we will contact them.
The next meeting of the organizing committee is on Tuesday evening, August 15 at the historic Grooms Tavern. It doesn’t seem possible that the Duathlon is just two months away! You are welcome to join us.
Friends of the Mohawk Towpath Byway polished up the three kiosks in Clifton Park in time for the busy summer season. For some reason these three kiosk tend to accumulate a greasy film. We have tried a couple of techniques to minimize the dirt:
- A coating of car wax after cleaning
- An algaecide spray residue on the clean signs
Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.
The three interpretive kiosks take less than an hour to clean including travel between the three sites, with many thanks to those who helped and the mosquitoes that kept us focused on the task at had. It was a fun exercise for those who participated!
Use your cell phone and key in 518-649-9990. These are stops 3, 4 and 5. Visit the Byway today!
For centuries during the first warm days of spring female turtles leave water’s edge and start up the shore to lay their eggs in many places along Riverview Road in Clifton Park to Rexford. Mature turtles of all sizes can be seen crossing the pavement on their way to higher ground with sandy soil, ideal for nurturing turtle eggs until the fry hatch. This can be dangerous for the turtles because drivers don’t always see them even in bright spring sunlight.
On May 25, 2017, Junior Girl Scout Troop 2158, in conjunction with the Town of Clifton Park, ended their very busy year with a Turtle Talk presentation at the Vischer Ferry Historic and Nature Preserve an important part of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway. With the installation of 7 new Turtle Crossing signs in the area of the Vischer Ferry Historic and Nature Preserve, the troop assisted in the unveiling signs along with town officials. The girls presented facts about painted and snapping turtles, both of which inhabit the area and are often seen crossing the roads. The troop helped to alert the public as to the importance of these reptiles and what to do if one is found in a life-threatening location such as the road.
Knowing that the turtles born this year could still be alive in 2047, the girls were enthusiastic about turtle preservation. As part of the initiative to help retain this natural, cultural, and scenic area, Troop 2158 is grateful for the opportunity to be part of it. Besides, the girls loved crossing the Whipple Bridge, walking the towpath, and seeing the turtles in the water!
Look for the new “turtle crossing” signs as you travel the Byway …and watch for the turtles!
-Contributed by Isabel Prescott
While visiting one of the historic sites or other features along the Mohawk Towpath Byway what do you do when you see this sign? Your opinion means a lot to us and to future visitors to the Byway. Please answer the following question by clicking here. We are trying to figure out how to make the Mohawk Towpath Byway’s cell phone tour service more usable and more accessible. The Coalition received a modest, but very helpful grant through the Albany County Convention and Tourism Bureau and the Community Foundation of the Capital Region. How do we use these funds strategically? Your ideas and perspective are appreciated!
The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition has purchased several new “reach sticks” just in time for the spring cleanup along the Byway. These will be in use on the April 22 Canal Clean Sweep events along the Byway.
Ask your municipality highway department if they can let you borrow their similar equipment for the weekend. If they don’t have enough you are welcome to borrow these while supplies last. Contact your representative to the Byway Coalition to make arrangements or leave a message at 518-406-8610 and someone will get back to you especially if you reference “Canal Clean Sweep” in your message.
The public is invited to our Annual Meeting on December 13 at 7 PM in the community room of the historic Grooms Tavern. The meeting will be brief and to the point. Desert will follow with a great raffle of prizes including a weekend get-away at the new Marriott Courtyard at Mohawk Harbor, a Rotary Red gift basket, a tote of local apples, and other prizes.
Don’t miss you chance to win. Renew your membership and increase your chances; bring a friend who joins and you both increase your chances to win!
Come mingle and jingle on the Mohawk Towpath Byway.
I had the privilege of representing the Mohawk Towpath Byway today as we received a grant from the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau of The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region to implement and improve connection to the Byway’s cell phone based self guided tour. Congratulations to all of us who are helping to make this project a success!
We will be seeing more of these signs starting on the eastern end of the Byway. With more signs we are sure to get more use of the self guided tour. With more use we may finally see some meaningful visitor data at least for the demographic that uses personal electronic devises as they tour the Byway.
Curious to hear what is all the fuss? Call 518-649-9990 to hear what this is all about …and you don’t need a cell phone to try it. Stop 10, 11 or stop 12 are the cool ones in Albany County!
As we wrap up the details of this year’s duathlon I can’t help but be grateful to all our volunteers for what they do to make the event a success. It all starts with a term that we don’t use enough, “stewardship,” continues with a mantra of “safety,” under laid by a sense of “fun,” with a lot of “teamwork” thrown in, and wrapped up with “satisfaction”. In many ways the event, meant to be a fund raising event, just reflects what goes on every day on the Byway.
Stewardship is what we all do, day to day, to make our communities in the best shape for our visitors whether from next door or from the other side of the earth. It may be keeping ourselves and our homes in the best of shape, working with friends to improve our communities recreational assets, or a roadside cleanup to make it easier for highway maintenance and safety.
Safety means we had done our homework and field work to make sure we had clean roadways (other than the plethora of “political speak” and one porcupine carrion in an unused travel lane). We had sufficient volunteers to keep normal highway traffic civil, participants on course, and EMTs on standby in case of an incident.
Teamwork was amazing from roadside cleanups, to packet stuffing, communication efforts, policing and marshaling, results posting, post race feed crews, and cleanup crews.
The more analytical of us insist on numbers to help define our success. We had 121 participants registered, 53 of them were “serious athletes”, 18 of them in teams, and an amazing 47.6 % female. A total of 105 people started, one biker was successfully returned to the start after a tire blew, and 104 victorious. We had a record 11 paid event sponsors. One of these sponsors has employees scooping 200 generous victory scoops of ice cream for competitors and volunteers over the next few weeks. When the books are finally closed we will have raised over $5,700 for the Byway Coalition and Friends of the Byway.
No matter how you look at it we all had a good time, can share and celebrate the success, and rest peacefully on our satisfaction.