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 richly enjoyed a dip in the lake at the park right next door, followed by lunch and a taste of some of the delicious local beers and wines.
Keuka lake is a gem that must be seen to be believed. The routes for TDK were designed by veteran cyclist Randy Rhoads, who has organized this event with his wife Jenny for over a dozen years. His routes take every opportunity to bring cyclists off main roads and into protected lakeside ways, featuring a shortcut behind Penn Yan through a park on a bike path! If you have yet to explore beautiful Keuka, you can find these routes at www.tourdekeuka.com.