by BRITTANY GROW
Express Staff
The Wildlife Conservation Society held it’s first ever Cycle Adirondacks from Aug. 23-Aug. 29. The main purpose of the event was to introduce cyclists to the beauty of the Adirondacks as they pedaled through various towns taking in all the forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife the Adirondacks have to offer. The bike tour started in Saranac Lake, and by day four, the cyclists reached Old Forge after biking nearly 300 miles. Old Forge was chosen as the layover spot, so as of day five, the bikers had a chance to take in the sights and even go for a smaller bike ride, should they have the ambition.
Becky Hawkins was one of the many cyclists with nothing but positive feedback about her experience with the bike tour as well as her time in Old Forge. “This was a terrific tour, one of the best organized tours of its type,” Hawkins said. When asked if she would do the bike tour again, “Of course I would. And I would encourage others to do this tour as well. What a way to learn about the great part of our country called the Adirondacks. I learned about all the back roads available, about animal migration, conservation efforts, geography, terrain, weather, and small communities,” she said.
Another cyclist, Todd Essig, agreed that the trip was great fun and very educational. “One of the best parts were the roundtable discussions led by Wildlife Conservation Society scientists,” he said. Essig plans to do the tour again and will have several friends and family members along for the ride next year.
When asked specifically about her stay in Old Forge, Hawkins believed that “Old Forge was a perfect place to have a rest day. There were things to do for everyone. A friend and I had a leisurely breakfast in the town and found some good brewed coffee. We then spent some time in some of the interesting shops including the Hardware store.I found lots of goodies there which I then had to mail home.”
Though Essig spent his down time resting and preparing for the next leg of his journey, he did find time to develop a deep appreciation for the doughnuts at the Donut Shop in Eagle Bay. A visit to Old Forge and Inlet at a later time is something he is interested in. “Old Forge and Inlet look like interesting places to spend some time. I do want to come back to explore and enjoy the area when I have time,” he said.
The 2016 Cycle Adirondacks tour is already scheduled for Aug. 20-Aug. 27. Though they aren’t releasing the route quite yet, they have said they will be looking to “map a route that will rival 2015’s scenic beauty, community hospitality and a little riding challenge along the way.”
To sign up for the 2016 tour, go to www.cycleadirondacks.com and click on the button that says Count Me In for what will potentially be the ride of a lifetime through the Adirondacks.