AMHERST, N.Y. -- Cyclists from 36 states and several countries are kicking off the Erie Canal's Bicentennial celebration by taking a scenic route journey.

Pedaling along the Erie Canal Way Trail, the group of more than 700 came for a peek at how far the project has come since construction began 200 years ago.

They'll be riding about 40 to 50 miles a day from Buffalo all the way to Albany — and they're expected to make it there by next Sunday.

This is the 19th annual ride that Parks & Trails New York has organized, and they say it's their most attended ride due to the view.

"It's a little slower-paced and you get a chance to look around a little bit and it's kind of nice to see the river, drive along the river," said Ohio resident Michael Speare.

Organizers say a portion of the money raised will go toward making the trail even safer for future riders.