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Young People’s Tour 2017

Keep the weekend of June 3-4, 2017 open on your calendars for the return of this bike tour that is specially designed for families, kids, teens, and adult chaperones.  We’ve selected the Perinton Community Center in Fairport, NY to be our overnight camping location.  This is the same overnight location as last year, with the amazing indoor water park, however, we are looking at a new location to start the bike tour.

One possible starting location is south of Rochester near Scottsville, where we would ride north along the Genesee Valley Greenway trail, connecting to the Erie Canal trail to Fairport.  Alternatively, we could start north of Rochester near Lake Ontario, and ride south along the Genesee Riverway trail, connecting to the Erie Canal trail to Fairport.  Both routes would be approximately 30 miles long, with virtually all riding on car-free trails.  The final route selection will be made in the spring, after evaluating the condition of the trails and any possible construction zones.

IMPORTANT: Volunteers willing to give up one day of riding are urgently needed.  This is a large bike tour and we need 10 to 15 adult volunteers to help make this trip possible.  The number of volunteers will determine how many bicyclists we can support.  Past tours have been in the range of 35 to 125 bicyclists.  Full-day volunteer positions include rest/lunch-stop staff, U-Haul truck driver, and road crossing assistant.  Each of these positions require a full-day commitment for Saturday or Sunday, and we will provide transportation for your bicycle so that you can volunteer on one day, and bike with your family or group on the other day.  Please contact me directly now at sp35@cornell.edu if you can volunteer for a full-day role.

I realize that not everyone can volunteer for a full-day due to their family situation or other factors, so there will be other shorter volunteer roles such as food prep and cleanup for Saturday dinner or Sunday breakfast at the campground.  These are important roles and we all appreciate your willingness to volunteer.  I will collect names for these shorter volunteer roles at a later date, during the tour signup process.

Signups:  Full-day volunteers contact me now — see above paragraphs.  We will open general signups on approximately April 1, with an announcement to the FLCC listserv and a posting to the FLCC website.  At that time we will provide a link where you will be able to download the trip information packet.

Here are some additional details for the trip, so you can “Save the Date” and get ready for the April 1 signups:

What:  A weekend bicycle tour with 1 night of camping along the Erie Canal Towpath Trail near Rochester for families, kids, teens, and adult chaperones.

When:  Saturday, June 3 to Sunday, June 4, 2017.

Where:  We will meet in a currently undecided location near Rochester, NY area on Saturday morning, then ride our bikes approximately 30 miles along several trails including the car-free Erie Canal Towpath Trail to Fairport, NY and camp at the Perinton Community Center.  On Sunday, we bike approximately 30 miles back to our starting point, ending mid-afternoon.  FYI, Rochester is approximately a 2-hour drive from Ithaca.

Cost:  $35 per person, which includes food for the weekend (lunch & dinner on Saturday, breakfast & lunch on Sunday, plus rest stop snacks both days), camping, showers & swimming at the indoor pool/waterpark at the Perinton Community Center.  Also included is transportation of your camping gear and personal items from the start point to the overnight location on Saturday, and return transportation of these items back to the start on Sunday.  For anyone who would like to carry gear on their bikes, the club has a large supply of Donkey Boxx panniers to loan out or for low-cost purchase ($10. each).  FYI, the club runs this trip at-cost.

All the best,
Steve Powell

Regional Rides for 2017

It’s cold outside, but we’re planning to ride! Here’s a list of 2017 summer and fall rides in (or near) our area. Perhaps you’ll find something here  to dream about and plan for.

Enjoy!

South Hill Trail extension plans

Open House – South Hill Recreation Way Extension
Tuesday, November 29, 4:00-7:00 pm
Coddington Road Community Center

South Hill Rec trail extended to Middaugh (click for larger map)

South Hill Rec trail extended to Middaugh (click for larger map)

No sooner have we reveled over the new Black Diamond Trail, plans are afoot to extend the South Hill Rec Way a good ways further toward Brooktondale.

Tompkins County residents are invited to attend an open house on November 29 to provide input on a proposed extension to the South Hill Recreation Way. The vision is to extend this multi-use trail three miles along the former railroad bed in several phases from Burns Road to Banks Road, and eventually to Middaugh Road. The project seeks to provide expanded opportunities for wildlife viewing, hiking, and bicycling in the towns of Ithaca, Dryden, Danby, and Caroline and to provide a non-motorized transportation alternative for residents in areas around Brooktondale and Coddington Road.

The open house will be held at the Coddington Road Community Center, 4:00-7:00 pm, Tuesday, November 29. Planning staff will be on hand to share information, answer questions, and solicit community input about the proposed eastward extension of the existing multi-use trail. The community center is located just past Updike Road on the right side of Coddington, as you come from Ithaca.
All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.
For additional information, please contact the Tompkins County Planning Department at planning@tompkins-co.org or (607) 274-5560

Club jerseys in abundance

Jerseys

Renewed stock of jerseys

Good news: we have a full selection of sizes in the FLCC club jerseys available again. At the Black Diamond Trail celebration a few weeks ago, several people were unable to get a fit, because our stock had been depleted, but a brand new shipment has just arrived from Louis Garneau with more high-quality jerseys. I know it’s a bit late for the cycling season, but a good time to prepare for the future and maybe for gifts. The price, alas, had to go up for this batch — but, at $65 a piece, it’s still a steal for a really high quality garment.

More info and always the correct tally of our inventory is on the “Store” page.
Here’s the inventory as of Nov 3, 2016:

  • XS – 6
  • S —  6
  • M —  10
  • L —   6
  • XL — 6

Give a call/text or email to andrejs@ozolins.com / 607 59 0780 with any questions, requests, comments.

Important update about the Black Diamond Trail celebration on October 2

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.
Best,
Armin

Black Diamond Trail Thank-you Picnic

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.

finalposter
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.”

 

Adopt-A-Highway program: Ringwood and Midline roads

ringwood1The 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)

Tour de Keuka 7/23 Ride Report

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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 →

Don’t get no respect on the road?

rad-righthookIt 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 →

Successful 2016 Young People’s Bike Tour — 5,040 miles!

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.  IMG_3858 copy 3For 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!