July 2016 - Bicycling
Late Summer Rides Are The Best Rides
By Dave Kraus
Late summer rides – the weather is warm, fitness is high, and organized weekend events offer on-the-road support, post ride celebrations, and the chance for fellowship and competition with your friends.
The late summer season kicks off on Sunday, July 31 with the Adirondack Mountain Club’s 11th annual Ididaride! Adirondack Bike Tour. Last year over 450 riders completed the 75-mile loop ride that starts at the historic North Creek Ski Bowl town park. It winds through the hills and valleys of the central Adirondacks, passing through Wells, Speculator, and Indian Lake before circling back to North Creek. The paved route offers great scenery, with wide paved shoulders most of the way.
As you ride, you will see spectacular forests, lakes, and rivers and enjoy four well-stocked rest stops, mechanical support, and a SAG wagon. There’s also a 20-mile route that starts with a bus shuttle to Indian Lake, then a return through the hills and along the Hudson River. Finishers on both routes enjoy a party at the finish line with lunch, drinks, and live music to celebrate their achievement. For details and to register by the July 22 deadline, go to adk.org.
If you’re looking for a personal challenge, then look no farther than Gear Up for Lyme: Mt. Equinox Uphill Bike Climb on Saturday, August 6. This fundraiser for the Lyme Disease Association and other local charities climbs the Mt. Equinox Skyline Drive in Manchester, VT.
It’s only 5.4 miles to the top, but with a 12 percent average grade, this road is a challenge even for the fittest cyclist as it climbs over 3,200 feet. The all-time records are 35:51 for men and 41:48 for women. Can you beat that?
Registration after July 1 is $75 and the race is limited to 100 riders. If any spots remain open, day of race registration is $100. Extras include T-shirts for all riders who register before July 30, and a post ride barbecue. The Manchester Rotary Club presents this race as a fundraiser to benefit the Lyme Disease Association, which supports research and treatment of Lyme disease that effects thousands throughout the US every year. Go to gearupforlyme.com or bikereg.com for more information and registration.
This year’s 14th annual Christine Nicole Perry Memorial Bike Ride will once again start at The Hub in Brant Lake and take place on Sunday, August 7. The ride raises funds for a variety of North Country charities and honors Christine Perry, who was killed at age 18 in an automobile crash in 2003. The ride is also in memory of her dad, Mark Perry, who died unexpectedly in November 2014.
Two different routes offer something for most riders in the varied terrain around Brant Lake and Chestertown. The first is 10-12 miles and suited to beginning riders, with a mostly flat route along the Schroon River. The advanced ride will cover 30-35 miles and will include more climbing for intermediate riders. Registration for either ride is $50 and includes lunch at The Hub after the ride and other extras. Registration opens at 8am and the ride begins at 9am. Cyclists can register the day of the ride or inquire through chrissysfund.com for more info as the date approaches.
The Lake George Bike/Boat Ride on Sunday, August 21 was originally known as the “Ti Ride” and has built a loyal following over the years as an “under the radar” affair. Riders would meet at the Lake George Steamboat Company pier in Lake George at 7am and put a bag with a change of clothes on board the lake steamer Mohican. Then they would ride north for 41 miles on NY Route 9N, over the challenging Tongue Mountain climb, and meet the steamboat at Howes Landing on Baldwin Road in Fort Ticonderoga. Get there early? Tired of waiting for the boat? Go jump in the lake – literally!
The Mohican would then provide a 2.5 hour scenic cruise back to Lake George, with a snack bar for lunch, wet bar for beer and wine, and the incomparable scenery of Lake George during the cruise south on the lake.
Today, the ride is sponsored by the Lake George Steamboat Company, but the route and the fun are the same! With over four hours to do the 41-mile route, there’s some extra time to stop for a snack, and enjoy the view of one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Just don’t dally too long, or else this ride turns into an 82 mile round trip! Register in advance and buy your ticket at lakegeorgesteamboat.com (see Specialty Cruises, then Mohican Specialty Cruises).
On Saturday, August 27, the 16th annual Pat Stratton Memorial Century Ride offers 100, 50, and 25-mile rides and a kids fun ride on the scenic, quiet roads north of Saranac Lake, starting at the Mt. Pisgah Ski Area.
The event winds through the region on wide-shouldered highways and quiet backroads, sticking to to valleys and easier grades, to give the mountain views without the mountain climbs. The ride offers feed stations, sag support, T-shirts, and a post-ride barbecue after passing through Paul Smiths, Meacham Lake, Lake Clear, Gabriels and St. Regis Falls.
Proceeds support Kiwanis community programs in Saranac Lake, including the annual Bike Rodeo and helmet distribution that has given away over 1,000 bike helmets to area youth. Registration fees vary from $35-45, but active duty military and law enforcement personnel ride for free. For details and to register, go to active.com.
Dave Kraus (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Schenectady is a longtime area cyclist, photographer, writer, and a veteran of many Ti Rides. Visit his website at KrausGrafik.com.