SARANAC LAKE - Preparations are under way for Cycle Adirondacks, a new, week-long Adirondack bike tour that will take place next summer.
Adirondack Mountain Productions of Old Forge was in the area in late June, doing shoots of cyclists in Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake and Vermontville. The footage will be used to promote the area and the event.
Cycle Adirondacks is a project of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Adirondack Program and will be the first fully supported annual road cycling tour of the Adirondacks. The tour received its base funding from a $211,750 state grant that was part of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The grant was announced last December and was one of many received in this region.
Adirondack Mountain Productions of Old Forge shoots some video footage on Norman Ridge in Vermontville on June 27 for Cycle Adirondacks.
(Photo — Doug Haney)
The Cycle Adirondacks organizers recently announced that the tour will take place Aug. 23 to 29, 2015. It will start and finish in Saranac Lake, where WCS's Adirondack office is based. The cyclists will pass through Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis, Hamilton, Oneida and Herkimer counties.
Zoe Smith, who directs the local WCS program, played a key role in bringing the cycling tour to the Adirondacks and has participated in a similar tour in the Greater Yellowstone area. She said starting and finishing in Saranac Lake made sense.
"This is obviously one of the best towns, (and) we thought it had a lot to offer in terms of the kinds of amenities that visitors would want," Smith said. "We wanted to look beyond Lake Placid and get people into Saranac Lake but still be close enough to a place like Lake Placid where there is that draw for people. There's a lot of options in terms of where the route could go based from Saranac Lake."
Cycle Adirondacks is based on a biking event in the greater Yellowstone Park area that Smith participated in last summer and also one in Oregon that has been taking place for years.
"This model is popular around the country, where people ride from community to community and they're offered different levels of support, in terms of food and camping and that sort of thing," Smith said. "Cycle Oregon has been going on for 20-some years, and it brings a lot of economic activity to the region, to the state and to the local communities. So that's the idea, is to showcase the region and to bring some economic stimulus to our communities."
The Cycle Adirondacks website says that it will be a "fully supported tour for 600 riders that includes catered gourmet food, live entertainment, a beer and wine garden, and much more. Yes, you'll have to pedal the miles each day - but your life is going to be pretty cushy the rest of the time."
Smith said that more detailed information about Cycle Adirondacks will be available next month when a full website for the tour is launched. Right now there is just one page. In the meantime, organizers are promoting the event at places like the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon, which takes place later this month. More than 3,000 triathletes are expected, along with their family and friends and numerous volunteers.