I am so excited for my first (and only) bike trip this year. I will follow the Adventure Cycling Association 395 mile Adirondack Park Loop. I will start and end at Lions Park in Niskayuna NY, and go clock-wise around the loop. My plan is to camp and cook if the weather is dry, or stay in motels and eat at restaurants if it rains.
I took two days to drive the 723 miles from my home in Cincinnati to a hotel near the Albany International Airport. I parked my car at the airport long term lot for $6 a day. There are hotels near the airport that offer on-site parking, but I decided to use what I thought was the more secure option.
Day 1 (53 miles)
I was on my bike at 6:30am for the two mile ride from the hotel to Lions Park where I connected with the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway. My trip had officially begun!
I was only six miles into my adventure along the Bikeway when I turned a corner and saw the GE Global Research Center. What a surprise! I worked for GE for almost 32 years, and I have visited the Center a handful of times while working for the GE Aviation business. I did not know I would be passing in front of the Center. A GE engineer on his way to work on a bicycle stopped and told me that I had the much better day ahead of me. I agreed with him 100%. Retirement is nice.
There was quite a bit of traffic on the road after I left the Bikeway, but there was a decent shoulder and the drivers were courteous. I made it all the way to my final destination (Microtel in Johnstown) without getting rained on. I was so lucky. The only rain shower that passed over me was during lunch in Broadalbin when I was under cover.
Day 2 (50 miles)
I was not so lucky with the rain today. I rode in the rain all day long. I had the right gear (rain jacket, rain pants, heavy gloves and shoe covers) so I stayed warm despite the cold, wet environment. Mid-morning I crossed the Blue Line, which is a term sometimes used for the boundary around Adirondack Park. The rain did not care about the boundary; it was generous to me on both sides.
I finished the day in Speculator, where I stayed at the Cedarhurst Motor Lodge, an antiquated but adequate motel.
Day 3 (48 miles)
Another overcast, windy day with showers in the forecast. I was on the road by 7am. Those of you who have followed my previous trips know that I am a connoisseur of yard art. I had never seen “rock art” in my travels, so I had to stop and get a photo of Pig Rock, who must be some distant relative to Kid Rock.
I stopped for mid-morning coffee at the local general store in Sabael. Two young men were behind the counter, so we started a conversation. Turns out they both tour on bicycles, and have experienced trips across the USA, Alaska, and Asia. They pointed out s bicycle hanging high up in front of the building (which I did not notice coming into the store), and told me that it was the bicycle their father (grandfather?) rode while touring Europe many years ago. Great stories (and I apologize to them for the parts that I did not get straight!).
I managed to dodge most of the rain, and avoided a one hour deluge by hanging out at the Blue Mountain Lake gas station while the storm blew through. I arrived at Long Lake by late afternoon and stayed at the Motel Long Lake and Cottages. It was a nicely updated motel right on the lake.