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Saranac Lake board enthusiastic about Cycle Adirondacks

May 18, 2015
By CHRIS KNIGHT ( , Lake Placid News

SARANAC LAKE - The village of Saranac Lake is throwing its support behind a week-long summer bike tour of the Adirondack Park that will begin and end here.

Cycle Adirondacks is organized by the Saranac Lake-based Adirondack Chapter of the Wildlife Conservation Society. It's meant to showcase the scenery and towns of the Adirondacks, and give a deeper appreciation of the Park to people who've never been here before.

The village board approved a site agreement Monday, May 11 with the event's organizers that allows them to use Riverside Park for opening and closing concerts and a beer garden.

Article Photos

Cyclists pedal across the state Route 30 bridge over Fish Creek in the town of Santa Clara, part of the route for Cycle Adirondacks, a bike tour that will take place in August.
(Photo — L.E. Baskow, Cycle Adirondacks)

The tour will begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 23 with a ceremonial start at Main Street and LaPan Highway. It includes overnight stops in Star Lake, Boonville, Camden, Old Forge and Long Lake. The tour will end in Saranac Lake on Saturday, Aug. 29.

When it was first announced, organizers said they hoped to draw in as many as 600 riders. Doug Haney of Saranac Lake, Cycle Adirondacks' event manager, told trustees May 11 that about 150 people have registered so far.

"That's quite a bit shorter than our initial goal, but we know our initial goal was a little bit aggressive," Haney said. "We know that this is going to be a successful event for the long term, and it's one of those things where you have to have a product to start with in order to bring in the numbers."

The riders currently registered are from 26 different states in the U.S., plus Canada, "and the majority of them are saying that this is their first visit ever to the Adirondacks," Haney said.

"I think this is going to be really big for us," said Mayor Clyde Rabideau.

"I love the fact that it starts and ends here," added Trustee Allie Pelletieri.

In addition to the full tour, which averages 50 to 78 miles per day, Haney said organizers recently added shorter and less expensive three- and four-day options because many people said they couldn't commit to a full week. The week-long route costs $1,495, while the four-day ride is $850 and the three-day tour costs $650.

Riders will stay in local lodging or will camp in tents along the way. Organizers will provide them with three catered meals each day, hot showers, portable toilets, a beer and wine garden, live entertainment each night (which will also be open to the public), bike mechanics and medical support.

It's not a race, Haney stressed. Participants have from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to complete each day's leg, giving them time to stop and explore the villages and towns along the way.

Rabideau asked how many people will use the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear to get to the event. Haney said he doesn't know now, but he said organizers plan to survey their riders after the event to learn how they're getting here.

"We also want to know where they're staying," he said. "Our main model is camping, but some people just don't want to camp and we are totally open to that. We want them to stay in local accommodations, so we provide an internal shuttle service for them. The short answer is we'll query our guests with a lot of different things so we'll know how they're coming, how they're leaving, if they're staying a few days longer, what hotels they're staying in. All that sort of thing."

Rabideau asked what the village could do to "put our best foot forward" and welcome the tour's participants, like putting up banners.

"We want to help," Rabideau said. "This will be a big calling card."

Haney said banners would be a great idea. He said Cycle Adirondacks has two community liaisons who will work on similar welcome initiatives with the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and the village as the event gets closer.

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