Hello all! My name is Ben Lehman. I am planing a week or so tour with my dad (68 with no tour experience)in the north east at the end of october.I think he will be able to handle 40-60 miles/day ???? I was thinking vermont, he finger lakes. Does anyone have good loop suggestions or multiple bases with day rides? I know he enjoys farms, winery's and historic sites. I really want to make this happen and be a great and feasible experience for him, any input would be super helpful, I can only get so much from books... thanks for your time! Ben
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Qui, 2010-08-26 13:07#1
Depending on your conditioning, 40 miles is around the max. I would recommend for someone just starting out.
Vermont can be hard, with lots of hills and poor roads. The area around
Burlington along Lake Champlain is pretty good with fewer hills and better bike paths. Check out www.champlainbikeways.org for some suggestions for that area.
I just completed a tour of the NY Erie Canal, see the journal with maps at www.crazyguyonabike.com/amchikertrip3. You could connect up a trip around the Finger Lakes with a bit of the canal.
From my limited experience through the Finger Lakes, I would say it could be hard, but good views and plenty to see and do. I suggest doing a loop around 1 of the lakes, such as Cayuga or Seneca. Expect hills as the area is a plateau and the lakes are in the valley.
Just responding to another commenter, it's easier to put together a non-hilly ride in Vermont than in the Finger Lakes. The fact is that the entire Northeast of the country can be very challenging bicycling unless you carefully plan your route.
I agree that your estimate for daily distances is high. I just did a tour with friends in better shape than me and even they were very spent at the end of our days. I'd urge you to take 40 miles as a maximum. That way you can certainly finish without being dead tired but also take time during the day to eat, look around, and savor the experience. If you're doing loops and not carrying your gear loaded on the bikes, the distance can be increased, of course. But I would avoid shooting for more than 50 miles until your dad has done that a few times and is ok with it.
The time of your tour is very worrisome: late October weather is extremely unreliable and variable. It could be anything from withering heat to freezing rain. For this reason I'd recommend choosing an agenda that gives you some flexibility in terms of a plan b.
Since you're not sure of your dad's abilities, the safest thing to do is to make a base and do loop rides. I'd recommend Ithaca as a base. Our club website has detailed maps and cue sheets for lots of rides from here and, if you decide to do this, I can help with specific questions or needs. (http://flcycling.org) It's a beautiful region. And, if the weather is really beastly, you can still enjoy hikes in the trails and parks which are worth a trip on their own.
(by the way those other map links show very old info; double check before accepting the routes)