Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour, June 9-11, 2017

Candace and I participated in the 37th annual Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour put on by the Southern Tier Bicycle Club of Binghamton, NY.

We left Friday morning and drove to the Watkins Glen State Park Hidden Valley Group Camp. We set up our camp, got the bicycles ready and then did the Sugar Hill Fire Tower Ride. It’s almost all uphill and then almost all downhill! After the ride there was dinner in the dining hall, followed by a raffle, description of the rides, and a talk on how to keep cycling as you get older. My take away from the talk: Eat meat, ride hills!

Saturday started with breakfast in the dining hall, then we put our bikes in the van and drove down the hill to Watkins Glen High School where we parked for the remote start of the 65 mile Watkins Glen - Ithaca Loop. Highlights of this loop were the Taughannock Falls and Ithaca. At Ithaca, we skipped the short segment to the Farmers Market and substituted our own segment to the Ithaca Commons and the Moosewood Restaurant, a famous vegetarian restaurant that Candace wanted to try (she was not disappointed). It was a tough ride with over 3000 feet of climb. With missed turns and our improvised tour of Ithaca, we wound up with 69 miles instead of 65. We got back to camp just as dinner was ending, but there was still food left, so we were OK! There was another raffle, an announcement about a washout on the Keuka Lake Loop route, and a slide show on a cross country bicycle tour. Then there was a bonfire, but Candace and I were too tired - we showered and went to sleep.

Sunday started with breakfast in the dining hall. We had intended to do the Keuka Lake Loop, but  the detour around the washout  added lots of climb (and time). So instead, Tracey and I rode the trike and Candace her bike, and we did the short loop up to the Watkins Glen Racetrack. Besides seeing the track, a highlight of this loop was hitting 43.8 mph with the trike on the downhill just after leaving the track.

After the ride, Tracey packed up for home. Candace and I hiked into the Watkins Glen Gorge as far as Rainbow Falls. When we got back, we had a nice lunch in camp (food that we brought), then packed, showered and left for New Jersey. links for the rides (tracks recorded with my GPS carried on the bike or trike): Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

It was a great weekend: Challenging rides, beautiful scenery, good food, great friends.

Clicking on a photo below brings up a larger version.