Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The New 3-Ferry Bike Overnight

On Columbus Day Indigenous People's Day weekend, we rolled out for an afternoon ride, the easy segment, crossing two ferries, and eventually against a headwind as we made our way to the Ausable Campground in New York.

Last weekend of bike ferry operation.

Snacking at the Sam Champlain monument in Plattsburgh, New York.

Interesting to spot the Empire State Trail signage. This is part of a bike route from Montreal to New York City.
The brisk, but sunny weather, of course, was spot on for the culmination of bike ferry service and campgrounds still open. We felt lucky in many respects; the colorful foliage was more advanced on the New York side than anticipated.

A pick of tent sites, we chose a grassy, large area close to the bathhouse.
After 35 miles and one surprise steep hill at the end, we made it by 4 pm. With early darkness, we had called ahead for reservations, confirming the use of an indoor space, allowing evening comfort before retiring to the tent. A well-lit and heated laundry room with table and chairs was a perfect solution.

We came back the following weekend with our mountain bikes and explored the trails. They were easy for a beginner to complete 10 miles.
Unbeknownst to us, the campground was surrounded by a system of mountain bike trails! We saw many riders weaving through the woods, eventually exiting to their camp site.

The second day was difficult, both of us not having ridden this hilly section in several years, especially hauling a loaded bike. The foliage distracted us, however, and each turn revealed a beautiful view, a lovely farmhouse, or brook. I have developed a different strategy regarding steep terrain: if my pace is equivalent to walking, then I walk to baby tender knees. It also gives my backside a break. My husband eventually joined me in this practice, though I could tell it hurt his pride. But I think he understood the wisdom in what I was doing.

I call this route the new 3 ferry loop because the Burlington-Port Kent ferry has ceased, due to lack of ridership. The route used to be 45 miles of mostly flat or gentle hills, easily ridden in one day. By using the Charlotte-Essex ferry further south, the loop has extended to 80 miles. The new route is better as an overnight, especially with the addition of hillier sections. 

These Lake Champlain loop rides are very scenic and worth making the extra effort. And what's not to like? Any time I can do a bike overnight, I feel over the moon.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice looking overnight route you have, amazingly empty road ways! The roads all around Colorado Springs, CO. have a lot of traffic, you have to get a looong way from the city before you'd see clear roads like these! Looks like you both had a grand time! :)


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