Grimes drove to Pennsylvania in early June to visit family and while there, he trekked to New York state and rode a portion of the Erie Canal route. "The canal service road has been transformed to a pedestrian and bicycle trail. I rode about 50 miles of the Canal, unsupported, and visited the towns along the way." Unsupported? That means there was no one to haul his gear, prepare meals, or find campsites.
"Bicycling the Erie Canal trail was a pleasant experience because of its scenery, but I was looking for something more physically challenging, and where I could meet people with whom I could share my love for bicycling," Grimes said. "The Bon Ton Roulet gave me that very opportunity."
The Bon Ton Roulet, a fund raiser for YMCA in the Finger Lakes region, is a seven-day, 400 plus mile bicycle tour through the Finger Lakes region of New York State and is limited to 650 participants. The fully-supported tour takes cyclists from wide open farm fields, past overlooks of the lakes, to cavernous water-carved gorges. There are also numerous National Historic Sites along the route.
Grimes hopes to take what he has learned first-hand about the Finger Lakes region of New York and incorporate it into a portion of the earth science curriculum while sharing his love of bicycling and travel with students. "Most students are aware of RAGBRAI, but are unaware that there are many other bicycle rides all over the world. By making them aware of these opportunities and sharing my love of science with them, I hope that I can inspire them to be life-long learners investigating the natural world, even from the seat of a bicycle."