We are closing in on the Black Diamond Trail celebration, which is happening this Sunday from 12:30-4:30 pm, and anticipate at least one hundred participants. While we were working based on the reassurances from the Finger Lakes regional Parks people that the final surface of the trail would be completed before the event date, I just received word from Fred Bonn (Regional Parks Director) that there is still a fair amount of work to be done regarding the trail surface on the stretch between Cass Park and Glenwood Heights Rd. I have been checking out the trail several times a week to monitor the progress, and currently that stretch has the penultimate crushed stone base layer, which isn’t too fun to ride without a mountain bike or a bike with wider tires.
It is too late to change venues or reschedule, so here are the alternatives for the riding portion of the event from 12:30 to 2:30:
- bring a mountain bike, cyclocross bike, or other bike with suitably wide tires;
- park at one of the intersections (Glenwood Heights, Perry City, Garrett, Houghton, Agard, or Kraft roads) or at the terminus (Jacksonville Rd. parking lot) and ride a loop at the finished surface, then drive down and enjoy the party;
- just come to the party, enjoy the wonderful food and interesting speakers, and defer your ride on the trail until it is completed in a week or two.
I’m very sorry about this wrinkle, however the event’s emphasis has always been to thank everyone involved in bringing the trail to completion. I feel strongly that this event should still take place now rather than the spring, since the finished portions are such a pleasure to ride or run, and there is enough of the trail completed to merit celebration.
The Finger Lakes Cycling Club is hosting a Black Diamond Trail celebration picnic on Sunday October 2! This surfaced trail has been in the making for decades. Join us in thanking the advocates, planners, and construction crew.
WHAT: Ride on the BDT followed by a picnic (grilled protein including vegetarian options and beverages provided; sign up to bring a dish to pass) with door prizes from local merchants
WHEN: Sunday, October 2, 12:30-4:30 p.m. (ride from 12:30 to 2:30; food starting at 2:30; short speeches at 3:00.)
WHERE: Cass Park Pavillion (park in the Childrens’ Garden lot)
TO R.S.V.P., sign up to bring a dish, volunteer: http://tinyurl.com/BDT-invite
CO-SPONSORS: The Cayuga Waterfront Trail, Cycle CNY, Red Newt Racing, Cayuga Ski & Cyclery, The Bike Rack, Swan Cycles, Finger Lakes Running & Triathlon Company, Ithaca Bike Rental, Rasa Spa, Gil’s Honeybees and the Ithaca Childrens’ Garden.
According to Armin Heurich, President of the Finger Lakes Cycling club, who has recently cycled the Trail: “The final surface is very fine and smooth hard-packed cinder. It can be easily ridden on a road bike with high pressure tires.” Those overseeing the work say it looks like the trail will likely be completely surfaced by the time of this 10/2 event. So come ready to do some cycling! Expect an approximately 16.5 mile round trip to the Taughannock gorge overlook, with a maximum grade of about 2%. The Cass park entrance to the BDT is opposite the center of the Children’s Garden and under the power lines. To find it, with your back to the Children’s Garden, walk toward the hill. Surfacing efforts are currently proceeding down from the northern end of the trail.
The Black Diamond Trail is actually a trail network that, when completed, will connect Taughannock State Park, Allan H. Treman State Marine Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park and Robert Treman State Park, providing several miles of pathway for non-motorized travel, according to the Black Diamond Trail Enthusiasts Network (BDTEN). Once a stretch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the rail bed’s conversion to a surfaced trail between Allen Treman Marina State Park and Taughannock Falls is on schedule for completion this October.
The concept for the Black Diamond Trail was established back in the ’70s. Thanks to the tireless efforts of many advocates and champions, including the 10-year old Black Diamond Trail Enthusiasts Network, the dream of a surfaced trail linking Cass and Taughannock is about to become a reality. Fred Bonn, the Regional Director for the New York State Office of Parks for the Finger Lakes, who has supervised all of the massive culvert, earth moving and surfacing efforts, will be joining us for the picnic.
In June of this year an Ithaca.com article quoted BDTEN member Jan Zeserson as saying the group had rallied people to public hearings on the trail’s master plan, with mostly supporters coming out to those events, “to say how much importance the trail has…as a ‘linchpin’ in connecting other trails”, key to “the dream of navigating through Ithaca and as much of Tompkins County as we can off-road.”
The new signs are installed and they look great! The FLCC has adopted two stretches of road: Ringwood Rd. between Ellis Hollow Creek Rd. and 553 Ringwood Rd. and Midline between Ringwood and Irish Settlement roads. Please consider participating in cleanup activities in the fall and in the spring, and we’ll turn those sessions into fun events. Look for updates in September about the first cleanup date, which will likely happen in October. (click on the image to see it larger)
Last Saturday’s Tour de Keuka from Hammondsport, NY started hot and got hotter, but the 13-person team of Ithacans and Ithacans-at-heart who rode were blessed by a cooling wind along the way. Four of us took the climb-filled loop south of Keuka before circling the lake (complete with 13% grade in the bluff climb) for a challenging century, enjoying breathtaking views for their pains. Five of us rode the 58-mile lake route with trip down into the “V” of Keuka’s slingshot shape, passing Garrett Chapel to brave the monster hill to a triumphant 360-degree view atop the west bluff. Four of us took the 45-mile lake route and danced over the tips of the left and right branches to enjoy beautiful lakeside views on the eastern return. Returning to the start/finish, several of us Continue reading →
It has been a while since we have reached out to the general membership looking for YOU to join the FLCC Advocacy Committee. The Advocacy Committee is your opportunity to improve the roads and trails you ride on, your chance to increase participation of FLCC’s impact on the local community, in short, make a lasting difference in your riding community and experience.
Participation does not entail a large time commitment, just a desire to help out when possible. Last week, Ithaca City hosted Steve Clark in a bid to become designated a “Bike Friendly Community.” Armin and I, who were among those present, were encouraged by the continuing desire of Ithaca City’s leaders to attain the first level – Bronze. The FLCC Advocacy Committee is are working with Bike Walk Tompkins. The Dryden Rail Trail is proceeding afoot, promising a friendly manner to travel east.
But all is not as it should be in the area outside of “Ten square miles.” Some in charge of Tompkins County Roads Department, do not let their own children ride on the roads, “because it is not safe.” The response to provide a hard shoulder on Warren Road to encourage commuter bike ridership into Cornell, have been met with promises to “push the paving door slightly wider” when the next repaving is scheduled. When a cyclist was killed outside Borg Warner, the Tompkins County Roads Department ignored identical, separately given advice from Cornell’s expert and our ad hoc FLCC committee, going ahead, approving the present dangerous design without modification as presented by Borg Warner’s consultant.
Continue reading →
The FLCC 2016 Young People’s Bike Tour is now history, with a safe and successful weekend event completed June 4-5, 2016. We rode from Newark, NY to Fairport on Saturday, had a great group dinner, camped out, then returned on Sunday, for a total of 42 biking miles. For many kids and adults on the tour, this was longest they had ever traveled by bike. We had a huge group of approximately 125 people, which included about 65 kids ranging in age from 4 to 16 years. Therefore, we jointly traveled by bike over 5,040 miles! Congratulations to all for a trip well done! And a big thank you to all the volunteers (nearly a dozen) who staffed the rest stops, lunch stop, dinner & breakfast prep, drove the rental truck, provided crossing guard assistance, plus a myriad of other important functions. Also thanks to all FLCC members who provide support for this trip in terms of insurance, website hosting, and publicity — the actual tour expenses are paid by trip participants and this year amounted to approximately $35 per person. We intend to do a similar trip next year, on the first weekend of June, once again in conjunction with National Bike Travel Weekend, an effort led by the national non-profit Adventure Cycling Association. The FLCC Young People’s Bike Tour was actually the inspiration for National Bike Travel Weekend, which this year included over 900 independently organized bike trips with over 11,900 participants. 2017 should be even bigger and better!
On May 2, the Ithaca community lost someone extraordinary — Tob de Boer. As a cyclist, I knew only that fraction of his activity and accomplishments; but, Tob was deeply and actively involved in our community in many different ways.
Tob de Boer giving us the early history of the FLCC
(See the obituary below) I think the last time I was with him was in 2012 at the FLCC 30th anniversary picnic where Tob took a turn regaling us with stories of the “old days,” which stretched back before the formal founding of the club by at least a decade. We will miss him greatly in many ways. Our condolences to Tob’s family.
Below are a reminiscence by Glenn Swan and, below that, the formal obituary.
I heard with sadness that Tob DeBoer has died recently. Many, if not most of the current membership of the FLCC may not have known Tob, but we all owe a lot to him. Tob and Jim Hartshorne were the founders of the Finger Lakes Cycling Club back around 1980, just about the same time I moved to Ithaca. Continue reading →
Introductions from the VPs from Youth Cycling
My name is Madeline Turner, and I am one half of the newly instated co-Vice Presidents for Youth Cycling on the FLCC. My first memories of cycling come from riding in a bike seat at the age of two, and then, four years later, pedalling on a tag-along attachment while my mom did most of the work. It has been a constant presence while growing up, but until recently, cycling was never an activity I would have considered pursuing. I’ve explored a number of different clubs and activities in the past couple of years to try and find things I’m passionate about, and when I heard about the IHS Cycling Club, I decided I wanted to join. My initial apprehension over my lack of experience vanished when the community I found was welcoming and fun. Armin, our president, has served as a guide to all of us in improving our group riding, technical skill, and even terminology. I am still very much a newcomer to cycling, but am excited about learning more! There are so many opportunities that come from this sport, and so many skills to learn. I am confident that this is the beginning of a lifelong hobby for me.
Hi, my name is Willem. I lived the majority of my life in the Netherlands, so cycling has been an important part of my life since the beginning. However, for me, cycling in the Netherlands was purely a form of transportation and not a workout. It wasn’t until a sabbatical to Boulder, CO, in 2012-2013 where cycling turned into a sport. In Boulder, I got a road bike for my birthday to share with my mother which I still use. Since I met Armin and joined the IHS Cycling Club, I have started to ride more often. It went from riding one time every few weeks to riding a few times every one week. Armin has also taught me and is still teaching me many new skills, including riding in a larger group and basic bike repairs. Today, riding is a way to keep myself fit physically and mentally. A day feels more complete even after just a little ride. The next step will be to try racing for the first time at Hollenbeck’s in a couple of weeks. I am excited even though it will be a new experience.
Joint Skaneateles Lake Ride with STBC
Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 26, 10:30 AM, for our joint ride with the Southern Tier Bike Club rated C/3/40. We’ll be going with their start point at the park in Scott, NY, at the southern end of Skaneateles Lake. We’ll take lunch with STBC at the north end of the Lake.
Click for larger view
Turns out STBC’s start point is faster to get to than our usual one according to Google Maps. Here are their directions:
From Rt 11 going north, to Rt 41 north, 9.2 miles from exit turn left on Glen Haven Rd. Approximately 1 mile turn left and quick right to the town of Scott. “Parking at the park 42°45’36.7″N 76°16’05.2″W
is highly adequate.”
We gladly invite you to join us for an IHS Cycling Club-sponsored ride next
Sunday, 3/20/16. We are looking forward to working together with the FLCC
and learning from the community. Hopefully this will be the beginning of an
amazing new partnership. Multiple excited members of the IHS Cycling Club
will attend, as well as Armin and maybe some parents. This is a one-time
trial event, but may lead to regular FLCC rides led by youth cyclists from
the IHS Cycling Club.
We will meet at the start of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail near the Ithaca
Youth Bureau at 1:00 PM. Our plan is to ride 36 miles with 1600 ft of
climbing at a moderate pace (12-14 mph). Our ride will bring us through
Lansing, so there will be mostly flat and rolling terrain. There will be
absolutely no drops. However, we might divide into an A and B group
depending on who shows up. Also, there is an optional stop at Lansing
Market for those who feel the need to rest and refuel.
There is no need to RSVP, but you are welcome to email if you are
interested, have any suggestions on how we might collaborate with regular
FLCC cyclists, or have any questions. This ride is open to anyone who would
like to go out on Sunday, even if you are not connected to the IHS Cycling
Club or the FLCC.
For those who are interested in the exact route, follow this link:
We hope you can make it!
-Willem, IHS Cycling Club