Posted by: Debra Alexander / wordmavenmusic | July 9, 2012

Refuelling The Songwriting Machine: Rainbow Bridge To Pine Hill

When summer rolls around, songwriters and students scatter, and I find it’s a good time to give myself a change of scenery and open up to new ideas.

I’ve been following Kate Sulis, as she rides her bike across Canada, via her wonderful Blog. She inspired me to try a ride the long way home to my family’s farm, crossing the Rainbow Bridge, going north with the Niagara River, and then along Lake Ontario and over western New York backroads between Buffalo and Rochester.

Here’s A View From Devil’s Hole State Park on the New York Side, and a look ahead to the Power Dam.

It’s hard to take good photos with an iPhone, since you can’t see a darn thing in bright sunlight!

The best part of my trip was a visit to Olcott Beach State Park, where my Aunt used to take me, my brother, my sister, and my cousin to ride the carousel. I hadn’t been there in YEARS, and I found out they’ve undertaken a project of restoring it completely. Although it was closed when I rolled up, they let me in to snap a few photos.

It was extremely hot, and the lake looked great from the boardwalk. I had a hot dog and an iced tea from one of the food stands.

I was tempted to call my sisters and have them drive 35 miles to pick me up! But I kept going. I knew I was close to Pine Hill when I reached the Culvert Road.

All in all I rode 123 km / 76 miles–a record for me! I can’t say I had any great ideas for a song, but once home, I did enjoy playing my childhood piano again.

Next post–the ride back, along the Erie Canal.



  1. Debra, You are AWESOME!!! What a great trip….

  2. What a beautiful adventure & great way to replenish the creative juices. You’ve definitely passed along the inspiration — although I may stick to 30k, not 123!!! You will be cycling through France next…!

    • Aynsley, that would be amazing, especially as a bike/musician touring adventure! Playing people’s pianos…not hauling my guitar tho.

  3. Awesome! Looks like a great ride and adventure, it’s can be fun to revisit your roots. Kudos Debra!! xo Suz

  4. You had me at hotdog and iced tea! What an adventure! I love the shot of your bike! 🙂

  5. Looks like a wonderful trip! Loved all the pictures – even on your iPhone!

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