Adirondack Park Loop 2017

Days 1-3

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.

map

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!

lions park

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.

GE Global Research

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.

blue line

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.

pig

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!).

old bicycle

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.

4 thoughts on “Adirondack Park Loop 2017

  1. You are making me homesick. I grew up in Scotia and hiked, ran, biked, camped and swam in the areas you are describing. Oh, and I guess I studied, graduating BSME from Union and MSME from Rensselaer. And I started my GE career at Gas Turbine.

    Most importantly, I am glad to see you are back on your bike and feeding your soul. You will have some climbing out of Keene Valley, but Chapel Pond is a beautiful site. That “pond” is rumored to be 200 feet deep. The other thing you will have are awesome car lane width shoulders. You will learn to love the sign “lane ends 100 ft ahead” as it will signal the end of a climb.

    Keep the rubber side down. I wish I were with you.

    1. Thanks for the reply and support, Hugh! And you are so right about the shoulders of the road. It’s like having a bike lane as wide as a car on some sections.

  2. How exciting! My father in law has a camp at Long Lake and we stay there when skiing. If you haven’t left yet, the Adirondeck hotel has a great fish fry, and the diner is good for breakfast…. and if you rush to Lake Palcid you’ll catch the half ironman on Sunday! Be safe and have fun!

    1. I hit both places while in Long Lake. I had dinner at the hotel (veggie burger since I am vegan), and breakfast at the diner (oatmeal). Both meals were delicious! There was a three day 90 mile canoe race near Long Lake as well as the half Ironman in Lake Placid (which I did not know about until Saturday morning as I was having second breakfast in Wilmington). Lots going on up here!

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