I’m thinking about doing the Erie Canal ride this year since its before RAGBRAI. It looks like a fun ride and since I would rather ride with other riders, I plan on flying up from Houston area with my wife, renting hotel rooms along the route, and provide for my own support. I only want to be with other riders and don’t plan on using their rest stops, accommodation’s, eating their meals, etc., do I have to pay the fee ($800). It looks like from the images on line that everyone that registers and pays gets a wrist band to denote they are part of the ride. I will bypass anything on the ride they offer such as rest stops, support, meals, etc. I just want a marked trail with other riders on it. Don’t want to be an outlaw or do anything unethical. Its just allot of money when I want be using their services. If you have done this ride before, I would appreciate any advice you may have to offer.