Day 6 (69 miles)
After calling the State Police (they control all of the traffic during the triathlon), I found out that I would be able to leave Lake Placid at 11am on Sunday. Thank goodness the race was only a half Ironman. If it had been a full Ironman, the road south would have been closed all day. Lucky me! As for the triathletes, they are not so lucky. They get to get up at 4am, jump in a 65F lake for a swim, and then ride their bikes in 40F fog before starting the run. Now that’s crazy!
I think Lake Placid wins the award for the most convenient city in the state of New York. I needed to do three things with the limited time I had in Lake Placid: replace my right brake housing and cable, do my laundry, and go grocery shopping. As luck would have it, all three businesses were within two blocks of the motel. Placid Planet Bicycles fixed my bike in two hours on Saturday afternoon, despite a huge influx of triathletes requiring last minute adjusts or repairs. The laundromat and grocery store were right next to each other, so I finished these tasks at the same time early Sunday morning. I was packed and ready to go by 11am, and took the back roads out of town.
Look what I found while leaving Lake Placid! No, not the US Olympic 90m and 120m ski jumps, but blue sky and …… SUNSHINE! My first day of clear skies and dry roads since I started my tour. What a boost to my mood.
The road from Lake Placid to my next stop, Ticongeroga, was jam packed with beautiful vistas, lots of climbing, and some pretty intense downhills. The real scary part turned out not to be the 40mph decents, but the motorcycle drivers on County Road 6 between I-87 and Witherbee. These guys would take the winding corners which were posted at 30-35mph at twice the posted speed, and then accelerate on the straights. I could hear then coming from a mile away. I prayed that their tires would hold to the road as they screamed past me and that a car was not passing me at the same time. I safely made it to Ticonderoga and breathed a sigh of relief.
Day 7 (43 miles)
Another day of blue skies and sunshine! It is so nice to be able to see the tops of the mountains.
Today’s route included the longest continuous climb of my trip. From the town of Hague on Lake George, State Route 8 (Graphite Mountain Road) rises 1,400 feet in 5 miles. It took me 90 minutes to reach the top. And what (or should I say who) did I find near the top? Elephant Rock! I love these little surprises.
I stopped for lunch along the Schroon River just below Brant Lake. It was a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the river’s reflections. Did I already mention it was sunny and nice?!?!