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Thread: Finger Lakes

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    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Finger Lakes

    Biking buddy and I are planning a 5 day trip there this summer, probably in the first half of July, and seeking thoughts on where to go. Tthe aim is to find hotels or B&Bs in a couple of places and ride loop routes from there (or drive to a start point for that matter). So three nights in one town and two in another? We have road bikes and will be looking to ride 40 or 50 miles a day, perhaps stopping to do tourist stuff (museums, hikes) along the way. Good food is a bonus, good bike shops a double bonus.

    Any ideas welcome.
    Zero gallons to the mile

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    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Canandaigua or Ithaca are good bases. Lots of lovely rides from either location. Bring the climbing legs.

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    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    Not sure about B&B's but there is a Holiday Inn Express at the top of Canandagiua Lake which is kind of centrally located in the Finger Lakes. (Not sure if I spelled that right) Last June my boss and I spent a few days in the area working and we brought our bikes. We were back to the hotel 5ish each day after work then rode till dark. The only restaurant in town still open on a weekday after 9:00 was an Irish pub on the main strip so we ate there 2 days in a row. Luckily the food was good. A really nice ride is around Keuka lake, about 45 miles. The larger Finger lakes are ambitious rides if you want to go all the way around; big lakes. I pulled a lot of local ride maps out of Strava, or Map My Ride, cant remember which. First afternoon out we rode part of the way down the east side of Canandagiua and back. Second day we did the ride around Keuka. Third day we were rained out.
    Last edited by koolerb; 05-07-14 at 07:13 PM.

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    Senior Member bktourer1's Avatar
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    You could look at the ride Bon Ton Roulet, 5 day organized ride in a loop

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    Senior Member long john's Avatar
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    Wine country tours sounds great the area is wonderful my parents live there. You will have a great time.

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    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    I looked at Bon Ton, but the dates are wrong, and biking buddy wants to combine biking with other stuff. I'm guessing Ithaca May have theatre and such things, so we need one more place.

    Any bike shops/maps to recommend? I found online routes from various bike clubs, but it's nice to look at maps of the region for context.
    Zero gallons to the mile

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    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Talk to Jim at Geneva Bikes.
    GBC : Geneva Bicycle Center : Home

    Thats another good start / stop town.
    Rochester / Syracuse aren't too far off if you are looking for urban stuff to do.
    Ithaca is a college town. Lots of fun.

    I used to live on Canandaigua Lake. Here's a route I did alot:

    canandiaugalake - A bike ride in Canandaigua, NY

    (actually, I only rode Bopple Hill once, I would detour around that steep monster on my 'normal' laps of the lake)

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    Senior Member danmc's Avatar
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    Ithaca has a lot more intersting stuff to do and is much more exciting than Canandaigua. Trust me, I'm from Canandaigua. Of course Ithaca is much more of a bustling downtown with busy traffic too, which you hit when you go around Cayuga Lake. Canandaigua Lake is my favorite to ride around, though. I still go down every Sunday to see my mom and bring my bike when weather permits (i.e., the 4 months that it's not snowing and cold.) The lakes all west of Canandaigua are quite small and not much of a challenge, although the area south of Hemlock is quite hilly.

    My garminconnect name is danmc15. I have a profile of each Finger Lake with the exceptions of Seneca and Conesus.

    My favorite route is the one I did on 5/19/13 which is Untitled. It almost meets the criteria of a hilly ride here on BF, i.e. 100 feet gained for every mile. It's got 3,727 feet of elevation in 41 miles.
    Last edited by danmc; 05-12-14 at 11:53 AM.

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    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    We've almost booked four nights in Geneva, because it's relatively close to home. Will either ride from there, or drive somewhere and start riding, or a bit of both. Biking buddy has done less riding that I have this year, so I suspect we'll take it pretty gently, and I may take the heavier bike to give her a fighting chance on the hills. Will take any and all recommendations for route, food and coffee stops.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  10. #10
    Senior Member danmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
    We've almost booked four nights in Geneva, because it's relatively close to home. Will either ride from there, or drive somewhere and start riding, or a bit of both. Biking buddy has done less riding that I have this year, so I suspect we'll take it pretty gently, and I may take the heavier bike to give her a fighting chance on the hills. Will take any and all recommendations for route, food and coffee stops.
    I just drove down to Geneva yesterday and rode down the west side of Seneca Lake, then west towards Penn Yan and back. Seneca Lake is gorgeous. If you're into wine there are wineries all over the place. I don't drink, so can't give any recomendations. The roads coming out of Geneva are fairly busy but they have wide shoulders so aren't too bad to ride.

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    I grew up in Rochester and have great memories of touring those areas as kid. But that was 40 years ago, so I can't add anything here but to say have a great trip. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danmc View Post
    Of course Ithaca is much more of a bustling downtown with busy traffic too, which you hit when you go around Cayuga Lake.
    I went to Cornell, but now live in NYC. I find it amusing to hear Ithaca's downtown described as "bustling," and traffic as "busy." Hills on the other hand, oy Gott, we don't got them kind of hills in the city. How I remember hiking up Buffalo St.

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    An un-oiled squeaky wheel kaisersling's Avatar
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    I just back from riding there not too long ago. Its some great riding. I prefer Seneca and Cayuga. One suggestion I would make if riding on the west side of seneca would be to stay off of 14 when possible. My reasoning for this is that the scenery is great on some of the smaller roads west of there like Pre-emption and Himrod roads. They are mostly in great shape and have much less traffic. If you are looking to hit up wineries you will have to come back down to 14 as most are on/near 14. IMO, the best wineries on Seneca are: Billsboro, Shalestone (the gold standard for reds in this area), Damiani and Ventosa. I drive right by most of the rest. If you are interested in Spirits (Whisky, gin, vodka) go to myers farm distillery in Ovid. Much better than Finger Lakes Distilling (though this is right next to Damiani and worth checking out). Cayuga has some beautiful scenery too, and seems to have less traffic, though i could be wrong about that. Regarding places to stay, I almost always use homeaway.com. You can get a lake front cottage for about the same amount as a decent hotel.
    "Gravity is a harsh mistress."

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    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
    We've almost booked four nights in Geneva, because it's relatively close to home. Will either ride from there, or drive somewhere and start riding, or a bit of both. Biking buddy has done less riding that I have this year, so I suspect we'll take it pretty gently, and I may take the heavier bike to give her a fighting chance on the hills. Will take any and all recommendations for route, food and coffee stops.
    If you are planning HQ out of Geneva, it may be worthwhile to do one night in Geneseo, and see Letchworth state park. If you rode from Geneva, 100 miles will get you through the park and back to Quality Inn in Geneseo, which is a very bicycle friendly place (good breakfast and noon checkout if you want to explore in the morning, great restaurant 2 doors away, coffee shop across the street). I have traveled all over NY, and there is no place like Letchworth. The lakes are gorgeous but the views largely become the same after several days. The Letchworth Gorge is one of a kind. And I grew up in Ithaca, so I know those gorges well, and they pale to Letchworth.

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    Senior Member danmc's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Senior Member danmc's Avatar
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    Just to tempt you to ride around Canandaigua Lake, those pics are from a ride in October last year down Route 21 and Route 12 on the west side of the lake.

    The one with the cemetary is at the top of Bopple Hill Road. Those are all the poor souls who tried to make it to the top with a compact crankset.
    Last edited by danmc; 05-30-14 at 06:24 AM.

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    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    I have done Bopple once, on a 1x9 46T with 12-25 cassette. It was far less than pleasant.

  18. #18
    Senior Member danmc's Avatar
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    Almost forgot to mention an excellent book called "Backroad Bicycling in the Finger Lakes Region" by Mark Roth and Sally Walters. This book has rides of all different lengths, has interesting historical facts about the region, and has maps and routes around all of the Finger Lakes.

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    i ride east side of canandaigua lake all the time. i have a place on the lake. seneca lake to canandaigua then loop south for the return is really nice on lake to lake road. can be hilly. from geneva you can get to rochester in 30 minutes that has a jazz fest and many other things to do. canandaigua has the performance center that gets big concerts all summer. CMAC ? caution - i have been knocked down by dogs twice in the last three years. lots of places with no leash laws out in the backroads where riding is the best. last one yesterday has my bike in the shop getting new SRAM red shifters. :-(
    keuka lake is the easiest ride around and 45 miles or so. lots to do at the north end for food and drink. canandaigua has steep hills on the ride around. 45 miles.

  20. #20
    Senior Member danmc's Avatar
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    I went through Letchworth Park on Saturday. Here are my pics:
    IMG_20140531_151929.jpgIMG_20140531_152047.jpgIMG_20140531_152103(1).jpgIMG_20140531_153319.jpgIMG_20140531_154020.jpgIMG_20140531_154053.jpgIMG_20140531_160958.jpg

    Then I rode around Canandaigua Lake today. 45.38 miles from the Wegman's parking lot. Today for the first time I went down the east side first, and back up the west side. Don't do that. The east side is really easy and the west side has some killer hills. Get the hills out of the way first. And you can stop at Bob and Ruth's in Naples for lunch.

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