Adirondack Bicycle Tour 2014 Final Thoughts

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In the end I had mixed feelings about my decision to end the ride. The amount of untouched wilderness in the Adirondacks is impressive. There is a lot of beauty to behold and potential excursions to experience. The downside is the traffic and the miles of hills in between the features where you would want to stop. It also rains a lot: Lake Placid averages nearly 4 inches of rain each month during June, July, and August.

One of the things that I learned about bicycle touring in the region is that holding to a schedule can be difficult. This is primarily because of the weather, but the hills are also a factor. I was able to make good progress with a gear load of about 50 pounds. However, at least when I tour I find that some days are more difficult than others because of personal conditions. I try to eat well and keep up my energy levels, but I sometimes crash and need more time to recover before pushing forward at my normal speed. I was touring early in the season and maybe the reservations in Lake Placid were not necessary. I could have been more flexible and avoided calling my wife for the shuttle to Lake Clear. If I had waited out the rain in Indian Lake, I would have arrived two days later in Lake Placid.

Another lesson is that if you plan excursions off the bicycle, be sure that you have the right equipment. I was not dressed appropriately for the hike in Lake Placid. The cotton shirt and pants got soaked with sweat and made me uncomfortable. I selected my shoes for bicycle riding, not hiking. They are not bicycle shoes, but they have stiff soles that make them suitable to pedaling. They were not suitable for hiking downhill. Although I tried to tighten the laces, it was hopeless. The feet slipped forward in them with each step downhill, jamming my big toe into the toe of the shoe.

The New York State campgrounds are excellent. They complement the scenery and the experience in many ways. They host people who are there for many of the same reasons that I have for being there. They are well maintained and safe.

To me, the adventure was worth the time I spent in planning and the time on the road. I don’t think I would do this particular tour again unless it was a supported tour. Without all of the gear that I carried, the hills would be easier and the rain more bearable. The only remaining negative would be the traffic, but the additional ability to maneuver without the load would make it less dangerous.

During my Adirondack Park bicycle tour I had a good time. There were some problems that happened, but they were all a part of the experience of bicycle touring. I saw some great scenery and met some good people. I love bicycle touring as well as the unknowns and adventures that always accompany a big trip. I hope that I can continue to do this for a long time.

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