Categories
Misc

Sackets Harbor – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

Two things stand out about this part of New York State — one is the endlessly convoluted shoreline of entwining bays and peninsulas; the other is the tremendous role the area played in the history of the country. In riding to the center of that historical importance, Sackets Harbor, you get to explore a lot of that extraordinary shoreline. At its simplest, the ride is about 60 miles out and back. However, for an extra 15 miles, on the way back you can take a loop out to Sherwin Bay. This pushes the whole ride to about 75 miles. Sackets Harbor is a place you can linger for a while. There is a lot of historical stuff in a museum as well as various buildings and grounds, including a battlefield. There are also restaurants, a great coffee shop, art gallery, etc. If you get hungry along the way, there are stopping places in Chaumont and Dexter.

It proved hard to make a cycling map of this ride; the whole route is on three sheets:Tibbetts Point to Mud BayMud Bay to Limerick, and Limerick to Sackets.

Tibbetts Point to Sackets Harbor

AT TURN ROAD FOR
0 Depart Lighthouse toward Cape Vincent 2.1
2.1 R Pleasantville Rd, CR 6 8.8
10.9 R NY 12E 10.4
21.3 R NY 180, through Dexter 4.0
25.3 R Military Rd 3.6
28.9 BR Dodge Ave, CR 75 0.2
29.1 L Broad St 0.2
29.3 Arrive Sackets Harbor

Sackets Harbor to Tibbetts Point, extended

0 Start out Broad St from corner of Main 0.2
0.2 R Dodge Ave 0.2
0.4 L Old Military Rd 3.7
4.1 L NY 180 to Dexter 2.3
6.4 L Lakeview Dr 0.5
6.9 L Doane Rd 1.7
8.6 L Middle Rd 1.0
9.6 L Shore Rd 13.1
22.7 L Moffett Rd 2.8
25.5 L NY 12E 7.5
33.1 L Carying Rd CR 57, becomes CR 6 8.8
41.9 L Tibbetts Point Rd 2.1
44.0 Arrive at Tibbetts Point Lighthouse
Categories
Misc

Bridge Loop – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

This is a ride for those who want to put in some miles. It crosses to Canada via the ferry from Cape Vincent, then returns to the US via the Thousand Islands Bridges. The distance is about 75 miles. There are two ferries to wait for as well as the border crossing interrogation. In addition, the two big suspension bridges must be walked across (riding is forbidden and pretty much impossible because the walkway is so narrow. The roadway is much too narrow and the truck traffic too relentless for sharing the road; don’t even think about it). That’s probably a couple miles of walking, and will really cut into your average speed!

  • The first ferry is at 8:15 am and you should plan to catch it.
  • Ride briskly across Wolfe Island (7 mi) and catch the next ferry to Kingston at 9:00 am.
  • From the ferry terminal, turn right on Hwy 2 and head east 21 miles. This is pretty major highway. After the first mile or so in Kingston, it isn’t too bad for traffic and is a not unpleasant ride.
  • In Gananoque, get on the 1000 Islands Parkway for 9.5 miles and take the ramp toward the bridge. There is no special approach for bicycles, just ride along the main highway. After walking over the bridge, you can ride down through the Canadian border stuff to the US checkpoint, where you’ll have to be checked out.
  • Just past the customs booths, get off the main roadway down onto County Route 191, which runs to the east of I-81 along the shore of the water. It’s a beautiful road all the way across Wellesley Island, about 3.5 miles.
  • Then, time to walk across another bridge. On the mainland, keep right right past the tollbooths, past the information center, and head out to the highway, NY 12. The lighthouse is about 24 miles from the bridge.
Categories
Misc

Long Point State Park – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

This is a ride of about 30 miles out and back. Extending it to ride around the peninsula makes it about 39 miles. The only noticeable hills are along Pleasant Valley Rd just south of Cape Vincent, and those would not count for much in our part of the state. The park is a very plain one, serving mainly as an access point to the water. However, it is a pleasant enough place to carry our lunch and enjoy it in a sheltered bay. The ride around the peninsula is on a very narrow old road and, among all the vacation cottages there are also signs of much older settlement.

AT TURN ROAD FOR
0 Depart Lighthouse toward Cape Vincent 2.1
2.1 R Pleasantville Rd, CR 6 6.2
8.3 R Isthmus Rd 3.5
11.7 L Point Peninsula Rd, Long Point Rd. 3.3
15.0 Long Point State Park
Continue on Long Point Rd, becomes South Shore Rd 6.5
21.5 R TRO South Shore Rd 2.8
24.3 L TRO South Shore Rd 1.1
25.4 L Beach Rd 1.5
26.9 R TRO Beach Rd 0.5
27.4 Str Isthmus Rd 3.5
30.9 L Pleasant Valley Rd 6.2
37.1 L Tibbetts Point Rd 2.1
39.2 Arrive Tibbetts Point Lighthouse
Categories
Misc

Howe Island – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

Howe Island is connected to the mainland only by two ferries, one at each end. The western ferry is a fairly large one, operated by the same agency that operates the Wolfe Island to Kingston ferry. The ferry on the eastern end, though, is operated by the island’s township and is a very small cable ferry that can be summoned at any time during the day except lunchtime. You have to pay to get onto the island; the return-to-mainland ride is free (keep your ticket to show you paid).

Start from the Kingston ferry terminal and turn right on Hwy 2, heading east. The first part of this route is very busy, crossing the causeway and climbing a bit of hill away from town.

 

  • Follow Hwy 2 for 8.7 miles — then right on Howe Island Ferry Rd to the ferry.
  • On the island, go 1.9 miles straight across (south) on Howe Island Drive.
  • Bear left as it becomes South Shore Rd. Following this road about 7.4 miles along the shore will take you to the smaller ferry.
  • You might want to backtrack from here — crossing to the mainland means you have to return via more of Hwy 2.
  • If you cross, go straight out Howe Island Ferry Rd (yes, the same name as the road on the other end) to Hwy 2 and return to Kingston

 

This ride is a hair over 16 miles from the Kingston ferry terminal. For riders coming from Cape Vincent, you’d have to add another 20 miles to the round trip.

Categories
Misc

Kingston Tourism Office to Bath – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

This ride goes out of the city and along the lake shore for a bit to the town of Bath. Once clear of the city, this is the Loyalist Parkway, a historical corridor dedicated to various remembrances of the colonists who left the rebels and moved to Canada in the Revolutionary War. This is the other side of the historical coin from what we visit in Sackets Harbor. Within Kingston, we get a look at the city, with parks and elegant old mansions. Once out of town, the road closely follows the lake shore. Just off shore is Amherst Island, a quiet agricultural place with few roads, accessible only by ferry.

Start at the tourism office by the park in downtown Kingston. This is an out and back ride; turn around whenever you feel you’ve had half-enough. I don’t know of any special attractions in Bath.

AT TURN ROAD FOR
0 West From the tourism office, turn left, west along Ontario St. 0.5
0.5 R West St 0.1
0.6 L King St; becomes Front Rd, Hwy 1 5.1
5.7 R Bayridge Dr 1.5
7.1 R Go right and around to get to Hwy 33 0.2
7.3 L Hwy 33 11.0
18.3 Arrive Bath
Categories
Misc

Kingston Mills Loop – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

This is a ride suggested by the Kingston cycling club. The ride away from the ferry is on major roads with fairly heavy traffic. You will need to remember that in Ontario bicycles ride in such conditions and think nothing of it; traffic is accepting and will cooperate if you ride predictably. The first point of interest is Kingston Mills, where there are several picturesque locks in the canal. Following that historical stop, the route cuts across the countryside north of the city and returns to the lake for a return right along the shore.

AT TURN ROAD FOR
0 R At the ferry terminal, head east on Hwy 2, cross causeway and climb the hill. 1.2
1.2 L Hwy 15. This is a major intersection. 4.9
6.0 L Kingston Mills Rd, CR 21 2.6
8.6 R Battersea Rd, CR 11 2.4
11.0 L Unity Rd, CR 19, Mud Lake Rd 10.1
21.1 BL Curves left, becomes Mud Lake Rd 3.4
24.5 R At 401 ramps, Right to find CR 6 0.1
24.6 L Wilton Rd, CR 6 5.7
30.2 L Bath Rd 4.9
35.1 R Follow ramps to get on Bayridge, south 1.6
36.7 L Front Rd, CR 1 5.5
42.2 Arrive downtown Kingston
Categories
Misc

Cape Vincent Rides – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

RIDES

We’re assuming that nobody on this trip will be bent on maximizing their milage — the point of the event is to get away from the routines of winter and stretch the cycling legs in some not-too-strenuous rides. So, we haven’t concentrated on providing long rides. Rather, the loops are short excursions that can be lingered over with friends.

Being based at the hostel at Tibbetts Point Lighthouse, any ride involves the two miles to Cape Vincent. Rides from Kingston also included the seven miles each way across Wolfe Island, as we had to get from one ferry to the other.

  • Wolfe Island Rides — the Wolfe Island website has a map showing three routes around the island, ranging from 18 to 58 km. Those who took these loops found them very pleasant — and entirely free of hills. Map — Cue sheet
  • Kingston Mills — this is a ride of the Kingston bike club that they suggested for us. It leaves the ferry terminal on some heavily trafficed roads, but soon takes us to quiet roads north of Kingston. An early highlight was the locks in the canal at Kingston Mills. 42 miles plus getting to Kingston.
  • Loyalist Parkway — this is a ride west out of Kingston that shows off a bit of the elegant old homes in the city as well as the beautiful shore of the lake. 36 miles, plus getting to Kingston
  • Howe Island — it takes some riding to get to it, but this is another quiet island route with very lovely views of farms and the St. Lawrence. The island is accessible only via the two ferries. About 32 miles plus getting to Kingston
  • Long Point State Park — this is an excursion to the nearly-island south of Cape Vincent. The state park (with the same name as one near us) provides a beautiful place for a lunch stop and the rest of the peninsula is a gorgeous tour of this inland seaside. About 40 miles roundtrip from Tibbetts Point
  • LONG: Loop through Canada to bridge and back — about 75 miles. This is for those who want to put in miles, not necessarily the prettiest or most interesting touring.
  • LONG: Sackets Harbor –This is a fairly long ride but Sackets Harbor is a great place to rest, enjoy some of the historical sights, and have some lunch or refreshments.The ride follows quiet roads for the first miles out of Tibbetts Point and the last few miles into Sackets. In between, though, it follows the main highways. The villages of Chaumont and Dexter are very pleasant, however. 60 or 75 miles.
Categories
Misc

Memorial Day 2008 – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

Cape Vincent Weekend Getaway

May 23-26: Cape Vincent Weekend Getaway — we spent Memorial Day weekend at Cape Vincent, where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence. We occupied the whole of Tibbetts Point Lighthouse Hostel and got the Hosteling International members’ rate of $15/person. We shared the cost and preparation of meals, which came to about $25/person for the weekend. Great food, great cycling, great company.

There are a few obvious riding options in the region: ride along the St. Lawrence to Clayton and, possibly, Alexandria Bay. This takes in all the attractions of a great tourist destination — a boat museum, boat tours of the river, the spectacular Thousand Islands Bridge, and endless tourist attractions along the way. This option would be great for those who want to wander through the area and see what it has to offer, rather than just bike all day. Another obvious option is to take the ferry from Cape Vincent to Wolfe Island, ride across the island (and have some outlandishly delicious baked goods in the bakery on the north shore), and take the ferry to Kingston. Kingston can be the destination or you can ride either west or east along the river for more milage. Yet another possibility is to ride back south to Sacketts Harbor — a tremendously important military town in Revolutionary times that has a lot of historic preservation and interpretive attractions.

  • Ride Details — these are the maps and cue sheets that we had available for the weekend.
  • Photos — lots of people took pictures, of course. Rather than send them around individually, we’ve posted many of them on the club site.
Categories
Misc

Weekend 1, 2008 – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

Weekend Tour One, 2008

  • Cue sheets: Detailed turn-by-turn directions with distances
  • Map, day 1: Cayuga Mall to Fillmore Glen State Park
  • Map, day 2: Fillmore Glen State Park to Sampson State Park
  • Map, day 3: Sampson State Park to Ithaca
  • Photos: snapshots from various sources, in no special order

June 13-15: Weekend Tour — Ithaca – Fillmore Glen – Sampson State Park – Ithaca

The Start

At around 4:30 pm last Friday a group of 9 cyclists and 3 support people gathered in the parking lot of the Cayuga Mall in Ithaca. This would be the first FLCC overnight tour of this season where we would be fully embracing self-contained touring (a fancy way of saying we were going to carry all, or nearly all, of our camping gear and weekend supplies on our bikes). Andrejs Ozolins arrived with wonderfully detailed cue sheets and colorful maps for all 3 days of touring. We gathered in the small covered gazebo in the hotel parking lot and started looking at the details: 18 miles to Moravia where we would camp later that evening at Fillmore Glen State Park, 52 miles for the Saturday riding to Seneca Lake and Sampson State Park, and 34 miles for the last leg of the journey on Sunday back to Ithaca.

9 Riders and 8 Bikes

Captain Paul Monkman and stoker Oliver on a red Bike Friday tandem, with Holly Monkman nearby on her own bike fully laden with rear panniers. Scott Smith from Newfield with a beautiful mid-1980’s black Miyata touring bike that he bought recently on Ebay for $200 (I believe he told me) and the seller said had less than 500 miles on it. If anyone has anything to sell or buy on Ebay they should contact Scott because he has story after story of great Ebay deals. Mary Bouchard with her seatpost-mounted rear pack and bright red handlebar bag. Jim Landis with his vintage blue and white beautifully lugged touring bike, and brand new low-rider front rack and panniers. Mark Cordano also had a nicely lugged touring bike with new rear panniers and a matching handlebar bag. Andrejs Ozolins chose his black Bike Friday for this ride, and used the matching suitcase/2-wheeled trailer to very elegantly pull all of his weekend gear. I rode my reliable Trek 520 touring bike with what everyone agreed were the worlds largest panniers (Arkel GT-54s). My bike topped out at nearly 70 lbs — try riding that on the Cacadilla Hill Climb!

Great Support

Hobit Lafaye and Jacob enthusiastically provided transport for a few stray items that wouldn’t fit on our bikes and was on standby for SAG rider scoop-up (fortunately, not needed). Throughout the weekend Hobit drove ahead to the next campground, handled the check-in process, and was there to greet us as we arrived on our bikes. David Williams joined us for camping Friday night in Moravia, drove back to Ithaca for a wedding on Saturday, and then drove up to the north end of Seneca Lake to help with dinner (thanks for the watermelon) and camping that evening. Diana Ozolins also drove up to Sampson State Park for dinner and camping on Saturday, and had a large tarp on standby in case of the rain that never came on Saturday night. A big thanks to all of these support people.

The Riding

With the assist of a nice southerly tailwind we covered the 18 miles from the Cayuga Mall to Fillmore Glen State Park in just under 1-1/2 hours. Not bad considering the loads we were carrying, and the fact that several in our group were touring with a loaded bike for the very first time. We followed the published cue sheet route that is used on many of the FLCC Sunday rides to/from Moravia (Warren Rd to Asbury to Benson, etc…., to NY 90 to NY 38). We road in one large group most of the time, with quite a bit of space between us, since we were still getting used to the feel of the loaded bikes. For those interested: In general, a fully-loaded touring bike rides very smoothly, with wider tires (and lower air pressure) than racing-oriented road bikes, and typically a steel frame that soaks up much of the imperfections in the roadway. But it does take some time for your brain to get accustomed to the different steering sensitivity of a loaded bike. We passed the little diner on the right hand side of NY 38 just before we turned into the state park (Andrejs noted that the diner was open until 8 pm and later went back for a meal). We unloaded our packs from our bikes, set up our tents and spread out over the 3 campsites. Fortunately, the 20% chance of rain never materialized, at least in Moravia, so we were able to get the camp setup at a leisurely pace. Hobit setup the big 3-burner camp stove and she and Jacob prepared their dinner (the ever-popular baked beans plus something else I didn’t see). Mark and I rode to the nearby supermarket in Moravia for some freshly canned foods.

Saturday

Some of us got up as early as 5:30 am. The rumor was that a weather front with showers and thunderstorms would move through the area mid-day, so there was some motivation to get as much cycling done early in the day. Jim was all packed up by 7:15 am and decided to head out on his own and forge the trail for all of us. Most of the rest of us left an hour later, and headed up the west side of Owasco Lake towards Auburn. The typical FLCC ride around Owasco Lake goes counter-clockwise around the lake, so I enjoyed heading north on the west side of the lake for the first time. Nice views of the lake and the hills as one approaches Auburn at the northwest end of the lake. We picked up a few sprinkles of rain in Auburn and we stopped at the convenience store at the traffic circle for a mid-morning snack. Andrejs plotted a very interesting course through Auburn and westward toward Cayuga Lake, mostly on Genesee St, avoiding the main highway (US 20). At the village of Cayuga we turned onto the very quiet River Rd which took us past lock #1, which connects Cayuga Lake to the Erie Canal system. There is also a spillway system there which is used (I think) to control the lake level. With temperatures in the 80s we enjoyed the occasional light showers. Just enough to cool off a bit, but not enough to get soaked. 5 of us grabbed a take-out sandwich at another convenience store at the north end of the lake, and planned to have a picnic at the nearby Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. As we turned into the entrance road to the refuge, the light showers changed to a more sustained rain. We took shelter under a huge, and I mean huge, red and white canopy — the type used at a large graduation ceremony or even a circus. We later learned that it had been setup for a wine festival for the following day. Very convenient lunch location. The rain stopped just about the time we finished lunch, and then did a quick look around the refuge visitors center. I am not a big bird person, so I didn’t get a lot out of the displays, but Scott, Holly, Paul, and Oliver seemed to enjoy them. All I remember is that the water at the visitors center is not safe to drink, and there is a warning sign only in the women’s restroom (thanks Holly for saving the rest of us).

I see this write-up is getting much too long. So I’ll try to be quick with the rest.

We zipped from Montezuma to Seneca Falls on the evil NY 20 highway (too much traffic, but at least a big shoulder). Picked up some supplies at a large farmstand/local market, and all rendezvoused at Sampson State Park around 3 pm or so. Actually, Mary, Mark, and myself arrived last since we decided to take an extended break at a winery overlooking Seneca Lake. Some wine tasting and refilling of water bottles. I was really impressed how both Mary and Mark were able to fit full-sized wine bottles into their bike packs that just moments earlier appeared to be full. Just before arriving at the state park, we came across Andrejs and Steve Grossman resting at the side of the road. Steve Grossman had hoped to do the entire weekend trip, but due to some needed home repairs had instead opted to ride with us for part of Saturday (he coordinated with Andrejs via cellphone and met up with him in Seneca Falls).

At Sampson State Park we had 3 sites overlooking Seneca Lake. Mark set about preparing an amazing pasta dinner for the entire group that had grown to 13 people. Thanks Mark for coordinating the food purchase with Hobit and cooking all of the food.

Sunday

At 5:15 am I woke up to the smell of fresh french toast being cooked on the camp stove by master chef Mark. What a treat compared to the usual abbreviated camping food. Jim once again was the first packed up and ready to roll by 7:15 am. The rest of us dribbled out of the campground between 8:00 and 9:00 am. The climb up from Seneca Lake near Willard slowed us, but had the advantage of bunching a group of us back together. We headed east across the ridge between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes on a nice low-traffic road masterfully selected by Andrejs (CR 139). Right turn on NY 89, and south along the shore of Cayuga Lake and back into very familiar territory.

But one last great experience awaited us before returning to Ithaca. We had planned to stop at the Cayuga Creamery along NY 89, south of Interlaken, for lunch. But because we had made such good time cycling, we arrived at 10:00 am, a full 2 hours before it’s usual opening time. We propped our bikes against the front of the building and peered into the darkened ice cream shop. Our fortune quickly changed when the proprietor opened the door, and offered to open the shop early just for our cycling group. We helped setup the chairs in the dining area and even carried some of the supplies from the proprietor’s vehicle into the store. The proprietor and assistant could not have been nicer as they took our sandwich and ice cream orders. They asked some questions about our touring route and we showed them our progress on the laminated Finger Lakes map on the wall of the shop.

Back on the bikes, south on NY 89, Andrejs, Mark, and Mary split off toward Trumansburg, while Scott and I continued to downtown Ithaca, and up the hills to our homes, arriving in the early afternoon. The Monkman trio arrived at their home a little later as they continued to savor the Cayuga Creamery experience. A great weekend.

Until July 25-27, when we will do something similar…..

–Steve

Categories
Misc

Old Touring Seasons – Finger Lakes Cycling Club

The Touring Group is a new part of the Finger Lakes Cycling Club that is organizing overnight bike tours for spring and summer 2008. Typically, taking part in one of these tours would involve gathering your belongings in bags, attaching the bags to the bicycle, and riding from campground to campground. In practice, some people tour completely self-supported — they carry their tent, sleeping bag, cooking supplies, and everything else they might need — but other people might carry much less, relying on their credit cards for lodging and food. The FLCC Touring Group will do some fully self-supported touring but various degrees of support will also be available on most trips. For example, someone may want to accompany the cyclists in a van and offer to transport some of the tourists’ belongings in the vehicle.

One of our main interests is to give people who have never done this kind of thing an opportunity to learn about it and try it. There will be some open meetings not only to plan rides but also to answer questions. Anyone who wants to give touring a try but doesn’t have a kit of touring equipment, please come and discuss it with us. We can probably help you adapt what you have to do touring — and we can probably scrounge up some loaner equipment, too.

For this touring season, we have planned a series of short weekend tours and two week-long tours that feature mostly camping, but some hostel, hotel, or B&B accommodations. All tours will be low cost, with shared group expenses. This is an all volunteer, non-profit activity. Participation in these events is open to everyone, FLCC members and non-members, although membership in the FLCC is strongly encouraged since the FLCC may be subsidizing some of the group camping expenses.

2008 Touring Group Events

May 2, 7:00 pm: General Interest / Organizational Meeting
733 Cliff Street, Ithaca, NY (Ozolins residence)
For further information please contact
Steve Powell <sp35@cornell.edu>
Andrejs Ozolins <aozolins@ithaca.edu>

May 23-26: Cape Vincent Weekend Getaway — spend Memorial Day weekend at Cape Vincent, where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence

  • Stay at hostel for 3 nights (indoors)
  • Day loop rides, choice of 35-75 miles/day
  • Road bike or touring bike is fine
  • No packs/panniers required
  • June 13-15 and July 25-27: Ithaca Finger Lakes Weekends
  • Great introduction to overnight touring
  • Depart Ithaca Friday afternoon/evening
  • Approximately 40-60 miles/day
  • Camp at State Parks
  • Road bike or touring bike with packs/panniers best
  • Options: Saturday morning start, possible gear transport
  • July 12-21: C&O Canal, Washington, DC to Pittsburgh — a 350-mile tour, mostly camping, some hotels or B&B
    • Some crushed stone or packed dirt surfaces
    • Touring bike with wide tires or mountain bike recommended
    • Bike with packs/panniers required, 40-70 miles/day
    • Carpool to Washington, DC
    • AMTRAK train Pittsburgh to Washington, DC
    • Options: Possible gear transport

    August 16-24: Lake Champlain Loop, NY & Vermont — a 250+mile tour, a mix of camping, hotels, B&Bs

    • All paved roads, 40-70 miles/day, 1 rest day
    • Touring bike with packs/panniers best
    • Options: Possible gear transport
    • Non-cycling volunteers with cars needed for all tours
    • Transport gear for cyclists who can not carry all