JULY 2015 - BICYCLING
Find the Perfect Summer Ride!
By Dave Kraus
July and August in upstate New York will bring an embarrassment of riches to cyclists looking to fill up every weekend with organized rides. Ride to do your first century, see scenic Lake George, or haul out your tandem – there’s something planned for just about everyone.
The mid-summer schedule kicks off on Sunday, July 12, in Plattsburgh with the Mayor’s Cup Bike Ride, sponsored by the University of Vermont Health Network, and based at the Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital. The ride features routes of 20, 50 and 70 miles that cover the Lake Champlain shoreline, and the scenic countryside around Clinton County – which is safe once again from escaped prison convicts!
The Mayor’s Cup Bike Ride has rest stops, SAG support, a post-ride BBQ, and the first 150 preregistered receive ride T-shirts. Proceeds benefit the Foundation of CVPH Travel Fund. For more info, go to cvph.org.
This year’s Christine Nicole Perry Memorial Bike Ride will again be based out of The Hub in Brant Lake, and take place on Sunday, August 2. The ride raises funds for a variety of Warren County charities, and honors Christine Perry, who was killed at age 18 in an automobile accident in 2003. This year’s ride is also in memory of Chrissy’s dad, Mark Perry, who died unexpectedly in November 2014, while vacationing in Florida.
The ride will feature two different routes. The first is 14 miles and suited to beginner-intermediate riders, with a mostly flat route along the Schroon River and Brant Lake. The ride for more experienced will cover 33 miles, and will include more climbing along the Schroon River, and Loon, Friends and Brant lakes. Registration for either ride is $50 including lunch at The Hub after the ride and a Chrissy’s Ride baseball cap. Registration opens ride day at 8am and the ride begins at 9am, but preregistration is appreciated at chrissyfund.com.
In its ten year history, the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Ididaride! Bike Tour has enjoyed steady growth, and in 2014 almost 500 riders tackled the routes of 20 and 75 miles. This year’s ride on Sunday, August 9, once again starts and finishes in Ski Bowl Park in North Creek, and both routes cover some of the best scenery in the Adirondacks. The more popular and challenging 75-mile route loops through Wells, Speculator, and Indian Lake before heading back to North Creek. You will see forests, lakes, and rivers and enjoy four well-stocked rest stops, mechanical support, and a SAG wagon.
The 20-mile route starts with a bus shuttle to Indian Lake, with riders returning through the hills and along the Hudson River. Riders from both routes enjoy the party in progress when they return to North Creek, with lunch, drinks, and live music to celebrate their achievement. For details and registration, visit adk.org.
As tandem riding becomes increasingly popular, more events cater specifically to riders who enjoy the exercise and camaraderie of traveling together on one bike. Gear-To-Go Tandems in Saranac Lake annually sponsors a variety of events in New York and Canada for tandem cyclists, including the Historic Hudson Valley Tandem Tour from August 15-23.
The tour includes a variety of Hudson Valley historic and other sites, and includes seven days of riding, eight nights lodging, meals, social get-togethers, and baggage transfers to lighten the daily load for riders. Registration is also limited to only 11 tandem couples.
The tour starts in Kingston and includes stops in New Paltz, Hudson, Hyde Park, Rhinebeck and Poughkeepsie, and visits to Olana – home of artist Frederick Church, the Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, Bard College, the Vanderbilt Mansion, and the Walkway Over The Hudson, among others. For more info on the tour and how to register, checkout gtgtandems.com.
Scheduled for Sunday, August 16, this year, the Lake George Bike/Boat Ride was originally known as the Ti Ride, and was a slightly underground affair. Today the ride is sponsored by the Lake George Steamboat Company, but the route and the fun is the same.
Register in advance and buy your ticket at lakegeorgesteamboat.com, then meet at the Steel Pier in Lake George at 7am to put a bag with a change of clothes on the Mohican tour boat. Then get on your bike and pedal north to the municipal dock in Fort Ticonderoga, where you will wheel your bike right onto the Mohican at 11:15am for the 2.5-hour ride back down the lake. Get to the dock early? Take a dip in the cool, fresh water of Lake George while you wait for the Mohican to launch. Once you’re on the boat, there’s a snack bar for lunch, wet bar for beer and wine, and the incomparable scenery of Lake George as you cruise south on the lake.
The route includes a challenging climb over Tongue Mountain. But 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.
On Saturday, August 22, the Pat Stratton Memorial Bicycle Ride puts wheels down in Saranac Lake offering rides of 100, 50 and 25 miles and a kids’ fun ride. The event winds through the region on wide-shouldered highways and quiet back roads. The route sticks to valleys and easier grades to give the mountain views – without the mountain climbs and passes – through Paul Smiths, Meacham Lake, Lake Clear, Gabriels, and St. Regis Falls.
Feed stations and sag support are available, and finishers enjoy barbecue, T-shirts, and music – and don’t forget the homemade pies. Proceeds from the ride 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. For details and registration, go to active.com – and active duty military and law enforcement personnel ride for free.
Dave Kraus (email@example.com) of Schenectady is a longtime area cyclist, photographer and writer. Visit his website at KrausGrafik.com.