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Cycle Adirondacks to stop in Schroon Lake, Keene Valley, Saranac Lake

January 24, 2017
By KELLY CARROLL - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

TUPPER LAKE - This summer's Cycle Adirondacks will begin and end in Schroon Lake, making stops in Keene Valley and Saranac Lake with riders spending two consecutive nights in each location.

The route for the week-long bike tour, which is in its third year, is part of a new model to increase economic impact and rider options, Cycle Adirondacks co-director Doug Haney said, at a press conference Tuesday at the Wild Center nature museum in Tupper Lake. Previously the event featured six overnight locations in the course of the week, but after rider feedback, organizers decided to change up the format.

"Not only does it allow the cyclists to have more experiences, but it allows us to have greater impact on the communities," he said.

Article Photos

Bike riders take part in the first Cycle Adirondacks in August 2015.
(Photo provided by Cycle Adirondacks)

"The other thing that this does is it allows us to grow the bicycle demographic," he added. "Spandex optional. People who are used to bicycle touring are fine and dandy with riding 60 to 70 miles a day over the course of a week, and you can still do that on Cycle Adirondacks, but with this model where we have a hub, it allows a greater group of people to participate in bicycle touring, maybe for the first time."

Matt VanSlyke, co-director and route planner for the tour, said organizers chose the three hub communities to highlight the High Peaks Wilderness, for which Keene Valley is a gateway.

Riders will check in at Schroon Lake Aug. 19, ride to Keene Valley Aug. 21, ride from Keene Valley to Saranac Lake Aug. 23 and finish the tour back in Schroon Lake on Aug. 25.

"(Schroon Lake is) a perfect place for us to start and finish this year's ride because not only is it a really welcoming, inviting, beautiful Adirondack village, but it's also directly accessible from I-87, the Adirondack Northway, and is in short reach of the Albany International Airport, where we'll provide shuttle service to and from, like we have every year in the past," VanSlyke said.

He added that riders will be able to walk to the trailhead from the Keene Valley campsite and hike the High Peaks if they choose.

They'll also be able to bike up 4,865-foot Whiteface Mountain, which VanSlyke said has been a popular side trip in the past.

"We'll have that option again to go up and ride the toll road up to the top of Whiteface Mountain," VanSlyke said. "It is a truly unique bicycling experience that you really can't get anywhere else in the country. The road is very well maintained. It's absolutely spectacular."

Saranac Lake, the headquarters of Cycle Adirondacks, will serve as the last of the three hub communities for the bike tour.

The tour will include a Wild Center visit as a featured activity while riders stay in Saranac Lake.

On days when the tour doesn't move between hub communities, guests will be able to choose between taking short or long rides or taking the day off for other activities, Haney said. Riders throughout the tour can bike anywhere from 180 miles to 350 miles.

The Wildlife Conservation Society created the event in 2015.

"WCS, as a conservation organization brings a science perspective, so not only our are riders exposed to this great place, great ride and great communities but also our riders can see and experience the natural world through the eyes of a scientist, who are in camp and on the route," WCS Adirondacks director Zoe Smith said.

The cost of the event is $1,195 until Feb. 15, $1,295 from Feb. 16 through May 15, $1,395 from May 16 through Aug. 20 and $795 for non-cycling companions and riders under 18. The price includes three catered meals a day, rest stops, camping areas, and luggage transport.

Smith said in the event's first year, 160 riders attended, which nearly doubled to 310 in the second year. Organizers hope to get at least 350 this year.

"I think for the participants, from our perspective, it helps to bring exposure here and hopefully some tourism dollars but also support for conservation," she said. "We have people coming from 35 to 40 different states around the country and Canadian provinces, so it's a way to really expose what this place is and help build support for it. In terms of the communities, it's not only a way to bring some economic activity to their town for the time when the riders are here, but also hopefully to bring riders back with their families for more economic activity."



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