June 09, 2015
An In-depth Adirondacks Cycling Experience
Guest Blogger: Jim Moore, Event Director • Cycle Adirondacks
This August, Saranac Lake will host a new and unique event – Cycle Adirondacks, the first fully supported road-cycling tour of the Adirondack Park. The event will kick off with a celebration (which is open to the public) on Saturday, August 22, and finish a week later with a public “Finish Line Party” on Saturday, August 29.
In between, several hundred cyclists will pedal up to 450 miles, covering 50 to 75 miles a day and stopping overnight in towns along the way. The event is being created by Wildlife Conservation Society, a global nonprofit with an office in Saranac Lake that oversees a bevy of community-based conservation programs in the Adirondack Park.
All the Scenery You Can Pedal
Anyone familiar with this area knows it’s a natural wonderland – now, imagine spending a week seeing the park at the “speed of bike.” Over seven days (three-day and four-day options are available as well), riders will pedal at their own pace through lush forests, alongside burbling streams, past tranquil lakes… and up and down quite a few rolling hills.
The daily routes will be a mix of highways and back roads, with excursions away from the major throughways whenever possible. A great example is the ride out of Saranac Lake on the first day: The riders will pedal through downtown and then connect with Forest Home Road for the first 9 miles of the day – a peaceful winding road that will put them in the mood for what’s to come.
The route includes overnight stops in Star Lake, Boonville, Camden, Old Forge (two nights) and Long Lake before returning to Saranac Lake.
An All-inclusive Resort… that Moves
The tour is designed to provide every amenity. A mobile catering company will provide three gourmet meals a day, plus there will be well-stocked rest stops along each day’s stop. The event organizers are working with a local “food coordinator” to feature as much locally produced food in the daily menus as possible.
A mobile shower trailer and dozens of portable toilets will follow the event, as well as a portable stage featuring live entertainment every night. There will be a beer-and-wine garden adjacent to the performance area, with wood-fired pizza and local brews and vintages served daily. A mobile wellness spa will feature massage and yoga in each camp. Local vendors will set up in each community to sell their wares. Support and medical vehicles will roam the course each day.
And local wildlife experts will be on hand in camps and along the route, offering education and insight into the flora and fauna of the region, adding a touch that will connect people even more to the natural beauty they’re seeing.
Connecting Visitors and Residents
To date, riders have registered from nearly 30 different states and Canadian provinces. And the event organizers want to make sure these visitors get an authentic Adirondacks experience, not a walled-off, insulated trip. So each community along the route is being challenged to create the most welcoming atmosphere possible. Local residents will cheer the riders as they come into town each day, and there will be a local hospitality booth in each Cycle Adirondacks camp. Local residents and other visitors are encouraged to join the riders for the beer and wine garden and nightly entertainment; the performances are being billed as a summer concert series – in a different town every night.
In addition, local nonprofit groups will provide volunteer workers in each community, and those groups will receive generous stipends for their participation.
Join the Adventure
There are many ways you can be part of this unique Saranac Lake event. If you’re a rider, consider signing up for the 3-day, 4-day or 7-day tours. There’s even a program for non-cyclists accompany riders, called Travel Companions, that offers daily transportation and adventures like paddling, hiking, fly fishing, and museum and winery tours along the way to the next camp. The event also requires a cadre of week-long volunteers, for a variety of jobs – organizers promise the best working vacation ever! Visit the cycle adirondacks page to find out more!
Or, mark your calendar and make plans to join the festivities at the start and finish – both evening events will be held at Riverside Park, complete with live music and the beer and wine garden.
While you're visiting...
Enhance your Adirondack vacation with all the cool amenities Saranac Lake has to offer. From arts to eateries, hiking to paddling, and of course - a ton of great cycling options, you're sure to have a memorable experience!