The southern tier has long been a buzzing hub of cycling. Even as far back, and as famously as our dear old Samuel Clemens, people were exploring the area in the saddle on the bounce. And while there are many fine sights and historic avenues to explore around the county on your bicycle I might start you on an exploration of the Lackawanna Trail in Elmira running from the Water Street Park’n’Ride by Kennedy Valve north on the old rail bed up to Eldridge Park.
Largely closed to motor traffic the Lackawanna trail is perfect for all age groups and experience levels of rider. The southern portion hugs the Newtown Creek near Kennedy Valve and the northerly half sails along the east side of Elmira elevated and commanding several fine views as you approach Eldridge Park.
For a longer and more challenging ride why not explore the Revolutionary War Battlefields of Newtown and Lowman Head east on Water Street until you reach County Route 1/Jerusalem Hill. You will need to cross over the highway and make a little climb up the the new junction with County Route 60 but then it is a rolling trip into the Sullivan Reservation and Historic Newtown Battle Area.
How better to explore this part of local history than in the saddle moving from monument to monument about the countryside. Challenge yourself with a hill climb up to the granite obelisk in the Newtown Reservation or keep to the old military route (CoRt 60) all the way to Lowman and even Chemung returning on the same path or taking the Lowman crossover road and coming back through the South Side on Route 427 and Maple Ave!
As always, check out your bike, be sure your tires are inflated, grab a helmet and maybe a bottle of water and remember you’re a part of traffic, obey all the rules of the road.