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Old 04-14-14, 04:00 PM   #1
chojn1
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Tandem Touring New York?

Over diner last Friday, I was discussing with my wife about our summer vacation plans. We are sending our son off to camp and should have a free three week block to ourselves. I just happen to mention that we have biked a lot places in the U.S. but never in the Northeast.

This morning, my darling wife surprised me with 2 tickets to Albany. That was nice of her, but the problem now is I have no idea where to go after that. Most of our trips have been pre-planned and fully supported. I am not quite sure how to do this CC, unsupported touring thing.

So, does anyone familiar with New York have any recommendations on nice places to stay, good scenic, and less traveled routes we should try.

Thanks,
CJ
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Old 04-14-14, 04:24 PM   #2
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Wow... that's a tall order, friend. I take it you aren't talking about the City. Hmmmm. When you take NYC out of the equation you really make it hard on folks. I was born and raised in the City and didn't get out much. What I know about upstate is limited to Ulster County. TBH I really don't think there would be huge amounts of difference between... say... Albany and Troy or Schenectady and Buffallo or Rochester.... what exactly are you looking for? I think you may want a guidebook. 50 Great Rides in Upper New York State or something like that. Good Luck. Why Albany? Do you have family there?

H
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Old 04-14-14, 05:08 PM   #3
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Albany was my wife's idea of being spontaneous and random. Easy for her because I usually take care of the rest.

I much prefer quiet rural roads over city traffic. Looking at the maps, I am thinking maybe the Finger lakes, Adirondack, or Lake Champlain. Maybe a series of 4-5 nice places to bike between.

Thanks,
CJ
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Old 04-14-14, 08:06 PM   #4
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You should drop gtgtandems.com a line and see what they may have to say. We've got a team on the forum from upstate NY too. I'm forgetting their name.
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Old 04-14-14, 08:31 PM   #5
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You are going to be in one of the nicest parts of NY.

I would recommend goings north to Saratoga or Lake George then into the heart of the Adirondacks. State Rt 28 takes you right into the heart of the ADKs. There are places to stay in every town.

Another option is the Erie Canal bike path. Parks & Trails New York - Visit Canalway Trail

Here is a link to the largest cycling club in the area Mohawk-Hudson Cycling Club Sponsoring Road and Mountain Bike Rides throughout the Albany-Troy-Schenectady Area Since 1969


There is a tandam maker in Saranac lake. I don't know his name, but he may be a good resource. Im having a hard time posting the link. Gear-To-Go Tandem Bicycles

Last edited by lenny866; 04-14-14 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 04-14-14, 08:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chojn1 View Post
Albany was my wife's idea of being spontaneous and random. Easy for her because I usually take care of the rest.

I much prefer quiet rural roads over city traffic. Looking at the maps, I am thinking maybe the Finger lakes, Adirondack, or Lake Champlain. Maybe a series of 4-5 nice places to bike between.

Thanks,
CJ
All beautiful parts of the state, and all different, no matter what the guy from NYC thinks. (I grew up in Upstate NY)

If I was starting from Albany, I think I would head up to Lake Champlain region. I haven't done it by bike, but think about going up the west side, taking the ferry to Burlington, VT (if you haven't been there then you need to go!), then returning down through Vermont on the east side.
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Old 04-14-14, 09:40 PM   #7
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What I know about upstate is limited to Ulster County.
That is downstate!

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TBH I really don't think there would be huge amounts of difference between... say... Albany and Troy or Schenectady and Buffallo or Rochester...
Based on that logic, there wouldn't be huge amounts of difference between... say...Queens and Manhattan and the Bronx.

NY is a lot more than "the city"
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Old 04-15-14, 04:31 AM   #8
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We are not to familiar with the Albany area, but like lenny866 said, check with Rich at Gear-to-Go Tandems (Saranac Lake, NY) if he has any ideas. Gear-To-Go Tandem Bicycles. I've seen Rich post on here, so maybe he will just reply to the thread.

What are the dates for your tickets, that also might make a difference to what might be happening in the area. If you are do decide on the Finger Lakes Area, let me know, I may be able to assist you.

mike
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Old 04-15-14, 04:49 AM   #9
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You could spend several weeks in the Adirondacks alone, it's a huge park. The park never gets even remotely as crowded as, say, Yellowstone. And the shoulders are generally huge. Lake Placid and Saranac are fun towns. There are a lot of beautiful campgrounds right on the lakes if you like to camp. I would also recommend a little time up into the Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence river. Possibly Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Cape Vincent. There is a ferry to Wolfe Island (Canada) from Cape Vincent that makes a great day trip. Again, if you like to camp, there are great campgrounds all along the river. If you don't camp there are many B&Bs everywhere in northern NY. Obviously, there are a lot of hills in the mountains, and be prepared for a lot of hills in the finger lakes region if you get over there. Lots of wineries in the finger lakes region if you're into that. Someone mentioned the ferry from Burlington VT. to NY across the lake, and I recommend that as well. The Erie Canal path is popular. I could go on and on, but I'm from Upstate NY so I'm biased.
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Old 04-15-14, 09:41 AM   #10
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Like other posters have said, you have lot's of choices. Riding from Albany up into the Adirondacks can be quite challenging. Some pretty rugged hills and long distances between accommodations.

If I were in your situation, I'd be more inclined to ride up Lake Champlain, but on the Vermont side. It's fairly flat, great scenery with lot's of B&B accommodations. The New York side of the lake is just not that interesting. If your flying, I'd see if I could fly out of Burlington, VT to simplify things.

If you look up Vermont bike tours on Google, there's a reason there are a lot of Vermont, Lake Champlain tours.

Erie canal is another option, but be aware that it's a bike "Path", not always paved with the unpaved sections being dusty crushed stone.
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Old 04-15-14, 12:57 PM   #11
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Too bad it's not Syracuse. Finger Lakes area is wonderful riding.
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Old 04-15-14, 04:41 PM   #12
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Wow! What a great site!
Thanks for all the replies. That is a lot of information to digest.
Had my wife picked Syracuse, the decision would have been simple - the Finger Lakes.
Now I think I am going to have to do some research on Lake Champlain or Lake Placid/Saranac Lake.
I am also still debating whether we should do CC touring or set up a base to bike out and back routes.
Thanks all,
CJ
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Old 04-15-14, 06:53 PM   #13
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What month are you going to be in the area?
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Old 04-16-14, 06:56 AM   #14
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With 3 weeks to work with I wouldn't rule out a jaunt to NYC. I'm pretty sure you can take the train from Albany to the city. Even if its a just a couple of days there are many bike lanes to ride in the city and seeing the city from a saddle is unique, also riding the greenways around Manhattan are pretty neat.
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Old 04-16-14, 08:02 PM   #15
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I have ridden the Bon Ton Roulet The Bon Ton Roulet twice in the Finger Lakes area. Great scenery and views. I recommend the Finger Lakes.
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Old 04-16-14, 08:21 PM   #16
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From Albany you can head south to New York City, north to Montreal or West along the Erie Canal to Buffalo. With Three weeks I'd suggest the Erie canal and depending on your pace side trips to the finger lakes or Niagara Falls.
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Old 04-17-14, 06:13 AM   #17
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It is certainly beautiful, and has lots of possibilities, all of which will be nice. It does depend on WHEN you're going to be there tho.
- west to Mohawk River valley
- SW to Catskills
- Hudson valley- north from Albany is more rustic/rural, south is a bit more populated, but still hardly crowded.
- NNW into the Adirondacks- adventurecycling has a loop mapped-
Adirondack Park Loop
- NE into Vermont- Green Mountains Loop

From personal experience- in May/June there are often hordes of blackflies in the Adirondacks - very small swarming biting lil buggers. It made a camping trip very tough. Get a tent with VERY small mesh, etc etc etc.
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Old 04-17-14, 06:46 AM   #18
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The trip is set for the beginning of June.

I think we're going to find a cabin on Lake Placid for the first part of the trip. Seems like there are plenty of out and back routes from there. If we need a break from biking, there are always hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing. This seems like a more relaxing way to enjoy a vacation. Any advise on the flies? Are they a big problem on the bike, or closer to the lake? Any repellent works?

The second part, I think we're going to do a loop tour of Lake Champlain. So far in the planning, we would like to see the Saratoga battlefield and Fort Ticonderoga for the history on the NY side; Middlebury, Burlington, and the Hero Islands on the Vermont side. Any other not to be missed destination?

The Finger Lakes, NYC, and the rest of New York will have to wait for another trip. I will enjoy them more with more time.

CJ
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Old 04-17-14, 07:12 AM   #19
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The trip is set for the beginning of June.

I think we're going to find a cabin on Lake Placid for the first part of the trip. Seems like there are plenty of out and back routes from there. If we need a break from biking, there are always hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing. This seems like a more relaxing way to enjoy a vacation. Any advise on the flies? Are they a big problem on the bike, or closer to the lake? Any repellent works?
CJ
Gear To Go Tandems in Saranac Lake is having their Saranac Lake Tandem Rally June 13 - 15th. There is a group of us going, you should look into it.

Gear-To-Go Tandem Bicycles

Mike
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Old 04-17-14, 07:29 AM   #20
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The trip is set for the beginning of June.

I think we're going to find a cabin on Lake Placid for the first part of the trip. Seems like there are plenty of out and back routes from there. If we need a break from biking, there are always hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing. This seems like a more relaxing way to enjoy a vacation. Any advise on the flies? Are they a big problem on the bike, or closer to the lake? Any repellent works?

The second part, I think we're going to do a loop tour of Lake Champlain. So far in the planning, we would like to see the Saratoga battlefield and Fort Ticonderoga for the history on the NY side; Middlebury, Burlington, and the Hero Islands on the Vermont side. Any other not to be missed destination?

The Finger Lakes, NYC, and the rest of New York will have to wait for another trip. I will enjoy them more with more time.

CJ
The insects won't bother you on the bike. If you're not camping I wouldn't think they should even be a concern. You might have to deal with some while hiking but any decent repellent will keep them at bay.

Sounds like you have a good plan. Lots of incredible riding for many miles around Placid. Have fun!
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