Below is a quick FAQ list that will answer pretty much everything, but if you don’t find specific answers you’re looking for you can always go straight to the 2017 Ride Guide for full details on our weeklong tour.
CycleADK is all about providing the highest quality Adirondack cycling experience possible. That's why we purposefully keep our total rider numbers lower than most fully supported cycling tours. For 2017, we plan to have 200-250 riders on the road on any given day. Doing so provides a real feeling of camaraderie, while also making sure we don't overwhelm our host communities.
Anyone over 18 is welcome to register as an individual rider. Riders under 18 must be registered by an adult rider. We encourage you to bring children who can handle the distances involved each day, whether that be on a tandem with an adult, or an individual bike. Of course, any age guest can register as a non-cycling companion. If you have questions about the event's appropriateness for a junior rider, email us and we'll explore it with you.
The overview: You have to train and be in shape to do this ride, but not in Tour de France shape. It’s a tour, not a race, and so you have all day to finish – the route is open for up to 12 hours each day, and last year we didn’t have anyone in danger of not finishing in time. That said, this is the Adirondacks and each day will have its fair share of climbs. Bottom line: the more physically prepared you are to ride, the more fun you'll have. The big bonus of the 2017 route is that you have tons of options. You can ride as little as three days (with rest days in between each) or ride all six.
In a word, no. This is a tour, not a race. We encourage everyone to ride at their own pace, and the route is open 12 hours each day – so you have plenty of time to ride at a relaxed pace, stop to take pictures, linger at a rest stop to talk to a local resident… As a measuring stick, you should be able to ride at least 8 to 10 miles an hour for extended periods.
This is a great event for people who want to enjoy a multi-day cycling tour, and that includes new riders. With plenty of lead time before the tour, you should be able to get in enough rides and mileage to be ready. Two things to consider, though, are that you should be comfortable riding in a group, and you should be OK riding alongside highway traffic. We suggest you ride with a local bike club or other group, or do a few one-day events, to get used to group rides. And do some urban or highway riding to get used to having cars near you, sometimes at highway speed.
Let's start with one in good working condition. Most riders will ride road bikes with drop-style curved handlebars, but touring or hybrid bikes with straight bars are just fine too, as are recumbents and tandems. What's most important is that you're comfortable and that your bike will hold up through multiple days of riding. You probably don't want to show up on a mountain bike with knobby tires, a fat-tire beach cruiser or a unicycle. Leave that to the Event Directors, who plan to pedal a portion of the 2017 route on big wheels.
If you're unable to finish a day's route because of injury, sickness or a mechanical problem, we'll have multiple SAG (Support & Gear) vehicles circulating on the route that can pick you up and take you to the next camp. However, please remember that they're not Uber divers or taxis.
The nice thing about a supported tour is that you can travel really light. We have mechanics and SAGs along the route, plus of course we carry your bags and offer Gear Drop each day so you can shed some layers of clothes as the day warms up. That said, you might want to carry a basic flat-repair kit – if you can fix your own flat you don't have to wait for the next SAG to come along. A pump or CO2 cartridges would be included as part of that kit. And you MUST (seriously; this is a requirement) carry at least two water bottles or the equivalent on the bike at all times. We will have plenty of opportunities for you to refill, but you should always play it safe on having liquids available. Other than that, you can consider bringing a light jacket, some money or a credit card if you see something tempting along the way, and a small camera. Your rider wristband serves as your identification; with your rider number we can access all your emergency information.
Sorry, no. Based on past rider feedback and in an effort to make Cycle Adirondacks available to a wider group of people, we've shifted the event format from a seven day ride in 2016 with six mandatory ride days to a six day ride in 2017, where you can choose to ride as little as three days or as many as six throughout the weeklong event. Our planning, budgeting and our donation of proceeds to the WCS Adirondack Program are all based on the new format. Additionally, we don’t feel that making exceptions to this would be fair to other riders. Stay tuned to www.CycleAdirondacks.com and our social channels for all the latest updates.
Most guests drive to the start/finish in Schroon Lake. If you drive, we provide free parking for the week. If you fly in, you should fly to the Albany International Airport (ALB). We plan to have shuttle service available from the Albany airport on Saturday August 19th and back to the airport on Friday August 25th.
Yes. Bike Flights is our official shipping partner. And our bike-shop partner, Placid Planet Bicycles, will receive and later send your bike out, including assembly/disassembly and packing if needed. In addition, you can arrange shipping on your own directly to Placid Planet.
Yes, Placid Planet Bicycles has a small fleet of rental bikes available for our riders. You can contact them directly (518.523.4128) and they will arrange to have a bike waiting for you in camp, where they will work with you to make sure it fits you perfectly.
Non-riding event participants can register for the evnent. Your $595 registration fee entitles you to all the amenities of cycling guests and allows you the flexibility to explore the Adirondacks at your own pace by using your own vehicle for the week.
For safety reasons, we don't want personal "support vehicles" out on the route. The only vehicles allowed are those of non-riding guests and they are not meant to accompany riders on the road. They are meant to be used to explore during the day and meet at camp in the afternoon.
There are three ways you can go here. The first is to bring your own camping tent, bedding and gear; we will have a large grassy area for tent camping at each site, with mobile showers and sinks, toilets, water bars and handwashing stations positioned nearby. Tent spaces will be available on a first-come basis in each camp. The second choice is to use our tent-rental option, offered by popular event parnter Comfy Campers. They will provide you with a tent, an air mattress, a chair and a fresh towel each day, setting up and taking down the tent for in each camp. There is a separate, additional registration fee for this service. The third choice is to secure lodging in host communities on your own via the listings on the 2017 Route pages We will provide shuttle vans to properties, carrying you and your bag to and from your lodging (we suggest you leave your bike in camp). Lodging reservations and costs are up to you.
We've set up Cycle Adirondacks in the mode of an all-inclusive resort: Once you pay your registration fee, you're pretty much set. But you might want to bring some cash along; things you may spend money on include snacks and drinks in the in the Beer Garden; tips for baggage carriers, mechanics and massage therapists; and anything you buy along the way as a souvenir. This years tour also allows for a ton of off-bike opportunities (guided hikes, museums, etc.). Most will have a fee associated with them.
First, let us emphasize: You're limited to 65 pounds of total baggage. And we're not kidding. In advance of the event, you'll receive a Rider Guide with a suggested packing list. Beyond that, just ask yourself what you'd need on a trip where you'll be staying in civilization each night, but without a car, sleeping in a tent with a bunch of other people quite nearby (think earplugs), and on a bike all day in whatever kind of weather Mother Nature throws at us.
Cycle Adirondacks was created by the Wildlife Conservation Society to support the community-based conservation program it operates in the Adirondacks. By experiencing the landscape firsthand, our guests are able to understand just how special this place is and why we love to call it home.
Your registration covers just about everything on this event. That includes meals, plus rest and water stops on the route. Mobile showers, sinks, toilets, handwashing stations and water bars. Baggage service, bike mechanics, SAG vehicles and emergency medical crews. Route maps, signs, course monitors and a gear drop service. Live entertainment and a beer garden in each camp. Wellness services including free yoga. People to serve your meals, set up our camp sites, carry your bags, compost and recycle your waste, and greet you and be gracious hosts in each town. Free parking for the week. That's the main stuff…
In several ways. First, your presence provides a serious financial boost to the region and we use local vendors whenever feasible. We pay local nonprofit and school groups grants to provide volunteers so we can pull this event off. You also bring tourist dollars in the form of anything you spend during the event – and hopefully you'll fall in love with the area and come back. And bringing in hundreds of people raises the level of awareness of how fantastic the Adirondacks and this region are, which makes people more inclined to get involved in related programs and has a multiplier effect over time – Wildlife Conservation Society's community-based programs in the Adirondacks being a prime example.
For information on the entire organization, go to their website. WCS has programs around the globe, and operates five living institutions in New York City, including the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo. More specific to this event, the WCS Adirondack Program uses an interdisciplinary approach to link wildlife, wilderness and human well-being, through scientific research and community-based conservation. If you'd like to directly support the WCS Adirondack Program, simply reach out to Zoe Smith.
Cycle Adirondacks involves two types of volunteers – our event volunteers and our community volunteers. The event crew is with us for the entire week (and a little time before and after, too), split up into teams that provide a variety of services to make this event happen. Our event volunteers are… well, whatever word goes beyond "invaluable." We also have teams of community volunteers helping out while we're in each town; these volunteers come from local nonprofit and school organizations, and are recruited and managed by a Community Coordinator in each host town who works with us on the event. If you're interested in being an event volunteer, we have positions available for virtually anyone – physical jobs and not-physical jobs. We provide meals, transportation during the week, a dedicated camping area in each town, some event apparel, and a rockin' appreciation party. You can apply to be an event volunteer here.
The weather in the Adirondacks in late August tends to be quite nice, with highs in the 70s and 80s and lows in the 50s and 60s. But, of course, we have to warn you that anything can happen. It could rain. There could be thunderstorms. It probably won't snow. It could get really hot. Take a look at the long-term forecast for our 2017 region before the ride and pack intelligently.
Out of 24 hours each day, you'll probably spend 4, 5, maybe 6 of them riding your bike. The rest of the time you can eat, sleep, dance, hang out in the beer garden, get a massage, listen to a wildlife professional tell you cool things about the lands and wildlife… hey, this is a vacation. We'll also have plenty of off-bike activity options for every day of the ride and we do encourage you to explore our host communities as much as possible; it's more fun when you feel connected to the people and places you're seeing.
We know this will happen to some people; it's statistical odds. We have committed costs for vendors, equipment, staff and more, so if you cancel we do keep a portion of your fee; the more notice you give us, the more of your money you get back. And we strongly urge you to consider buying a trip-insurance policy, which you can access during the registration process. Many of the injuries, illnesses, lost jobs and other heart-wrenching events that happen would be covered by such a policy. With this much money at stake, it may be worth it to spend a small amount more to get some peace of mind. Our cancellation policy states that cancellations on or before June 1, 2017 are subject to a $200 cancellation fee. Cancellations on or before August 1, 2017 are subject to a $400 cancellation fee. No partial refunds are given after August 1, 2017.
Spotty. All of our host towns are in areas with cell coverage, however we can't guarantee coverage for your carrier and phone. As far as WiFi, we're working hard to establish hot spots dedicated to our event in each camp – but again, we can't guarantee it at this point. So don't plan on continuous WiFi availability, but we'll let you know which places you can find it.
We will have a free device-charging station in each camp, next to our Help Desk. Of course, this is the kind of vacation where you should unplug as much as possible… but we understand that can be hard.
We'll have emergency information and a contact number for you in our registration system; your rider number on your bike and wristband can help us find you. If someone is trying to reach you, they should call our emergency number (we'll send this to everyone in our Rider Guide before the event), and we'll use our event radio network to get word to you.
We can get you close to power in camp but it's a good idea to bring an extension cord.