Originally Posted by jeneralist
Bumping the thread; this will be my first time there. Are there any experienced BTR riders with suggestions for a newbie?
Definitely waterproof your bag. The year I did it it poured one day. The luggage was left on low ground at the bottom of a ski lift. Some bags were sitting in inches of water. Others were left uncovered thanks to inconsiderate riders moving the tarp while retrieving their bags and not putting it back correctly.
This year I believe there is a rest day in Watkins Glen, which is a bit of a dump, IMO. The hike up the falls is worth doing, and the public pool in the park near the hike is nice, so bring a swim suit. Also, if you get a mote there, check reviews. Some friends of mine got motel rooms and the place was a royal dump.
There will likely be some nasty hills going E-W/W-E. N-S/S-N tends to be easier since that is the way the glaciers moved.
It was rather warm the year I did it. I started early every morning to beat the heat. Getting done early also allows you to find the better spots for camping. And the showers were never crowded.
Prepare for rain. From what people have told me, the event has seen a good amount of rain the last few years.
Drink lots of wine. If you like Riesling, "Doctor Frank" makes a good one. Adult beverages were available at every overnight location we stayed except for the ski area. That night, which was the last, they threw a kegger with a catered BBQ dinner that was very good. However, the dinners in camp left a lot to be desired on several occasions. At least lunch is on your own. I usually did not stop for a full lunch on the road and instead waited until I got to the finishing town each day.
Know how to change your own flat. I don't recall seeing frequent SAG vehicles like you do on something like Cycle Oregon.
There were no sherpas, so you will have to carry your own bag to and from the luggae truck. Pack with that in mind.
Overall, it's not much different than many other supported rides.