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Old 11-29-09, 12:27 PM   #1
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A Proposal: 2nd Annual 50+ Forum Ride Weekend

It's vacation planning time for many of us who, sadly, are still employed. There's been nothing on this topic for almost three months, so I thought I'd start the conversation.

What are you doing for the weekend of June 11–13, 2010?

Three years ago BikeJournal.com held its annual reunion at the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour, put on by the Southern Tier Bicycle Club. It remains one of the more memorable reunions, and for those of us in the Northeast, it's become an annual get-together.

At BikeJournal, we found that tagging along with an existing event significantly reduced the work, leaving more time for cycling and socializing. So I offer the same to the BFN 50+ Forum. I'm willing to take the lead on this, if others think it sounds like a nice time.

While perhaps not as epic as the Rocky Mountains, the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York offers excellent cycling for riders of all calibers. The region is home to the toughest century in the East, September's Highlander Tour, and yet offers miles and miles of flat, railtrail riding just a short distance away.

The STBC takes advantage of it all by offering three days of riding that will suit any rider. This year, there's one ride on Fridaynight, a choice of 11 rides on Saturday (ranging from 15 to 101 miles) and three on Sunday (ranging from 22 to 58 miles). There's also a hiking option.

In the past three GFLBTs I've attended, the 50+ crowd is the predominant demographic, but the event is family-friendly. Last year an 8-year-old stoker and an 11-year-old solo rider each completed their first centuries.

The event is limited by the dining hall seating of 260. Camping on-site is free, or for an extra $5/night you can get a bunkhouse bunk. Motels and B&Bs are available in nearby Watkins Glen. Shopping, wine tours, hiking and sightseeing along the lakes are popular with non-cycling spouses. The nearest international airport is here in Rochester, a two-hour drive away. There are closer regional airports as well.

Oh, and it's cheap too. $78, or $88 with a bunkhouse bunk. That includes all, and boy can they tie on the feedbag in the dining hall! It's the only cycling event where you'll gain weight on a ride weekend.

Details and registration form are available at http://www.southerntierbicycleclub.o...lakestour.html

Last edited by tsl; 12-30-09 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Updated information for 2010
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Old 11-29-09, 01:20 PM   #2
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I went a few years ago, coincident with the BikeJournal Reunion which which used the GFLBT as a springboard, and I enjoyed it immensely. The Finger Lakes area is one of my favorite to ride in. I did the Saturday Century ride to Cayuga Lake and through Ovid, and was apparently one of the few who rode the hill from Watkins Glen back up to the campground. I decided it wasn't worth 11 hours' driving each way to do it, though. For those of you who live a bit closer, it's an awesome weekend of riding.
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Old 11-29-09, 03:30 PM   #3
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I decided it wasn't worth 11 hours' driving each way to do it, though.
Oh c'mon! You got to meet me!

But there you have it. It's not everyone's cuppa, but I can't think of a ride that would be.
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Old 11-29-09, 04:03 PM   #4
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I would vote for putting it around the Ididaride and out of North Creek. The group could do hiking, rafting, canoeing, dinner boat rides on Lake George or Racquett Lake - lots of great venues. There are several B&Bs, condo rentals are abundent and several very nice motels. But I am partial to the Adirondacks...
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Old 11-29-09, 04:41 PM   #5
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I would vote for putting it around the Ididaride and out of North Creek.
That's fine for those of us who are roadies, and are up to a hilly 70-miler. But that leaves out everyone else. And it's just a one-day thing rather than a whole weekend.

I'm still planning to do that ride. Someday.
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Old 11-29-09, 06:00 PM   #6
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That's fine for those of us who are roadies, and are up to a hilly 70-miler. But that leaves out everyone else. And it's just a one-day thing rather than a whole weekend.

I'm still planning to do that ride. Someday.
I hope to see you there when you can make it.
What you may not realize - they offer a shortened version of the ride where they take the group to Indian lake and let them ride back from there - a screaming downhill and about 20 miles. I hear they may also offer a 40 mile version as well.
Out of North Creek there are several trail rides and over in Newcomb there is the 4 mile trail ride into Great Camp Santanoni - basically along a farm road. Also out of North Creek are great loops ranging anywhere from 15 miles to 100 miles and everything inbetween. Up at Gore Mountain there is ruggid downhill mountain biking and up at Garnett hill - more relaxed trail riding.

Now it was your idea first so I will withdraw my idea in favor of yur suggestion - besides, I don't object to the fingerlakes, besides there is always dinosaur BBQ - yum!
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Old 11-29-09, 06:13 PM   #7
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I really like the idea of meeting at an organized ride. This one appears to be right in length, offers several rides to fit different riding abilities, the price is certainly right and there seems to be several other attractions in the area. I checked and there are several hotels/motels nearby.....I camp but prefer indoors if available
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Old 11-29-09, 07:02 PM   #8
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Sounds like a great ride, just no way we can get to NY. anytime in the near future, still I hope all the BF 50+ folks that can make it have a excellent time! The ride should move to different parts of the country to be fair to all, jmho. have FUN!!
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Old 11-29-09, 07:12 PM   #9
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Sounds/looks good, tsl. We would be interested. A long drive again, but if it's anything like the 2009 50+ event, it will be worth it.
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Old 11-29-09, 07:23 PM   #10
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I would be interested if held where tsl suggested. My wife would want flat or very gentle rolling. I would love to see the finger lakes area - I was looking at a map the other day, and I have never been there. We are planning an Alaska Cruise May 16th, so it may interfere, but not sure. I agree - move it around the country so all have a chance. We would drive.
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Old 11-29-09, 07:58 PM   #11
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No promises, but interested.
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Old 11-29-09, 11:10 PM   #12
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We'd seriously consider it, but our bike group is planning a ride in Glenwood Springs, CO that summer (one of our principle members has a family reunion there almost every year). I doubt we'll be able to swing both events so close together.

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It's vacation planning time for many of us who, sadly, are still employed.
Given the current unemployment rates, this sentence made me laugh out loud. But, I know what you mean....
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Old 11-29-09, 11:34 PM   #13
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Very interested.
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Old 11-30-09, 05:04 AM   #14
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Sounds good altough I do vacation in the Outer Banks of N. Carolina right around that time and if not that I also go to a Streetrod event in York Pa. around that weekend as well. Both are either the week of, before or after that weekend.

I would ditch the Streetrod event though but OBX is locked!
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Old 11-30-09, 08:25 AM   #15
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I'm interested. It's been almost 30 years since I've ridden in that region. As I remember it was quite beauitful. Not sure if my calendar will allow it, but will pursue. Thanks for starting the conversation.
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Old 11-30-09, 10:10 AM   #16
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I checked and there are several hotels/motels nearby.....I camp but prefer indoors if available
Generally, so do I. I make an exception and use a bunkhouse here. It even caused me to buy a sleeping bag.

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Sounds like a great ride, just no way we can get to NY. anytime in the near future,
Statute of limitations hasn't run out yet?

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I would be interested if held where tsl suggested. My wife would want flat or very gentle rolling. I would love to see the finger lakes area - I was looking at a map the other day, and I have never been there. We are planning an Alaska Cruise May 16th, so it may interfere, but not sure. I agree - move it around the country so all have a chance. We would drive.
The Friday night ride is hilly. Just about killed me the first time I rode it. That's what convinced me of the need to for hill training.

The Saturday rides change a little every year, but last year's Windmill Loops were there especially for bike path riders. They don't start at camp. It's a drive-to-the-ride thing. All the Saturday rides, BTW, go past the Windmill Farm and Craft Market, which is a nice stop for a break and lunch. There are several food vendors. And plenty of bathrooms.

The Sunday ride around Keuka Lake is very flat. There's one hill that can't be avoided, and a real monster on a optional, extra portion of the ride. The ride around Keuka Lake is--hands down--my favorite ride in all of Upstate NY. There are plenty of places to stop, so even those riders unused to a 45-mile ride can rest up and make it.

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Given the current unemployment rates, this sentence made me laugh out loud. But, I know what you mean....
I thought about rewording it to "unretired" or "not yet retired", but was going for the laugh. Glad it worked.

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Thanks for starting the conversation.
And that's all it is so far, a conversation. I'm still open to other suggestions. I do this ride every year anyway, so it's no skin off my nose if we end up at another venue.

But if the consensus goes for the GFLBT, there are plenty of extras. For those who can come early or stay late, I can direct you to other rides and sightseeing too. (Although I'm not very good with wineries, being in AA and all, they're sort of off my radar and I'd like to keep it that way.) My club has day rides almost every day in-season. As you might expect, most day riders are retired, so the terrain and pace are appropriate to our group.

You might be able to be talk me into leading a sightseeing ride or two here in Rochester. There's the lake, three waterfalls in the Genesee River gorge right through the city (all on a bike path!), and enough museums to choke a horse. And of course, the legendary Dinosaur BBQ, which is right on a bike path, and is bike friendly.
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Old 11-30-09, 10:47 AM   #17
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I would certainly be interested. Would be great for terrain varied from the Outer Banks!
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Old 11-30-09, 11:41 AM   #18
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Like BluesDawg, "no promises but interested". Unemployed and likely to stay that way for awhile here in MI.

As the last BF 50+ meet was out West AFAIK, one in the East seems fair. And I've been wanting to visit the Finger Lakes too. Might even convince the non-cycling Mrs. to join me as there would be plenty of diversions in the area to keep her busy.
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Old 11-30-09, 03:01 PM   #19
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Sounds intriguing. And the Finger Lakes area is not that far from western Mass. Not a bad place for stocking up the wine cellar, too! I'll be watching for details if this comes to pass!
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Old 11-30-09, 11:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bjjoondo
Sounds like a great ride, just no way we can get to NY. anytime in the near future,
Statute of limitations hasn't run out yet?

LOL, well it's strickly "MONEY", as in ain't got enough!
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Old 12-01-09, 05:12 PM   #21
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No promises, but I am interested. I have been thinking of going to Normandy at about that time, but if not ...
In 1980 I went to a bike rally near there, in Geneseo NY, and this would be the 30th anniversary. It is about a 4-hour drive for me.
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Old 12-01-09, 09:26 PM   #22
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Definitely interested! I'll have to check to see how close I could get on Amtrak. That would be a fun trip up from the sunny south!
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Old 12-01-09, 10:28 PM   #23
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I'll have to check to see how close I could get on Amtrak.
Fellow Amtrak fan here. I think the best you can do is leaving from New York's Penn Station (NYP) aboard either the Empire Service, Lake Shore Limited or Maple Leaf trains to Syracuse (SYR) or Rochester (ROC) . Both cites are Checked Baggage stations, so no trouble with your bike. Would you take the Crescent overnight to NYP?

I'm in ROC not far from the station and only a few hundred yards from the mainline. I commute under it daily.

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Old 12-01-09, 10:40 PM   #24
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Sounds like a good excuse for a vacation. I will have to decide probably in mid May. Daughters planning a 65th birthday weekend and I'm moving into a new home/selling old in same time frame. Could be a very busy May/June.
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Old 12-01-09, 11:32 PM   #25
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Very interested. My wife has a renewed interest in the tandem and it'll be an excellent excuse to see my brother who lives on Canandaigua Lake.
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