Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Northeastern Bike Tour

During the summer of 2011, four friends and I completed a self-contained bicycle tour through the northeastern states of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The four of us from California flew into the Buffalo International Airport and cycled to Niagara Falls, Ontario to meet up with Tom who cycled from his home in Watertown, NY. It was a good to have a local in our midst since this was my first trip to this region. Our pace was reasonably comfortable for a bike tour, the group had good camaraderie, and the touring conditions were better than expected. I feel comfortable in saying that the countrysides of upstate NY offered some of the best cycling roads I‘ve encountered to date. Weather wise, there were brief periods of high heat and humidity as well as rain, including a record setting day of 102 deg., but nothing sustained and unmanageable. Our accommodations, whether camping or in motels, were nice enough for the likes of us. The northeastern states proved outstanding for touring with lots of history, great local sights and eateries along with wonderful scenery. Our travels included places like Niagara Falls, Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands, Adirondacks, Kancamagus Highway and Acadia National Park to name a few. To conclusion, it was another great tour!

Although I had created an itinerary, we followed it loosely at best. The itinerary did prove helpful, however, in keeping us on track as we progressed eastward ensuring we would complete our tour within the allotted time frame since we had prearranged flights out of Portland, Maine. My Smart-phone and Bob’s GPS proved themselves as invaluable tools for bicycle touring. Besides making calls, the devices enabled us to easily get information on accommodations, eateries, schedules, etc., and to find bike friendly routes in uncharted regions. The devices gave us the freedom to head off the plan route and still meet our needs for food, comfort and shelter quickly. They are now a permanent part of my travel kit. It took time and effort to determine the route and to find accommodations for the five of us during this trip, but I love bicycle touring and I was glad to be able to share this tour with friends. Total distance was 1,360 miles with 60,100 feet of total climbing, 260 miles more than our itinerary. For a pictorial of our tour, go to my photos on Picasa by clicking on the picture below. Once there, start a slideshow or view manually. I welcome any comments.

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