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Ride Info

Ride Overview

The Best of the New York Finger Lakes

  • Arrival
  • 5/27/2023
  • Departure
  • 6/9/2023
  • Ride Director
  • Charles Feerick
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Joan Feerick
  • Starting Location
  • Rochester, NY
  • Finishing Location
  • Rochester, NY
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $2490
  • Deposit
  • $1245
  • Number of Riders
  • 20 (min. 18 /max. 26)
  • Space Available
  • 6
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

Ride Description

OVERVIEW:  If you haven’t ridden in Western NY, you’re missing a hidden gem! The area is full of history, great scenery and fabulous riding on quiet, rural roads with little traffic. This region has also become a mecca for hundreds of craft breweries and wineries, which is reason enough to come experience this part of the country. This ride was last held in 2021, and one can view the tripper report from that ride at Best of the New York Finger Lakes 2021 Tripper Report. The ride was so successful that we have decided to run it again! 

Looking at a map of Western NY, you will find numerous “finger shaped” lakes situated in deep glacial valleys. Between the lakes, rich agricultural land boasts hundreds of vineyards and dairy farms. The terrain is rolling hills with a few extended climbs.

We meet in Rochester, NY on Saturday May 27 for an introductory happy hour and dinner at a historic restaurant located on the Erie Canal. The next morning starts us off with a very interesting tour of Rochester. We ride along the Erie Canal Heritage Trail, the Genesee River Trail, and assorted roads in and around Rochester. For those wishing to ride the morning of May 27 as a pre-tour warm-up, we have put together a fun rural roller coaster ride (Mendon Ponds loop ride) that is a favorite with locals.  

On Day 2 of riding our route takes us through pleasant, rolling farmland before reaching the town of Geneva. Perched at the northernmost tip of Seneca Lake, this historic college town is home to Hobart and William & Smith Colleges, and some of the region’s best theaters, restaurants, and wineries.

Day 3 we explore the countryside between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes before arriving at Seneca Falls. This charming town is the home of the Woman’s Rights National Historic Park which tells the story of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, as well as the home of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The town is also the inspiration for Bedford Falls which is the fictional town in the classic 1946 film, It’s a Wonderful Life. One can even visit the Museum dedicated to this film. 

Day 4 we make our way toward the picturesque village of Skaneateles (“skinny atlas”), riding down the east shore of Cayuga Lake and up the west shore of Owasco Lake. That evening we board a boat for a delightful sunset dinner cruise on the Lake. Day 5’s optional ride is one of the best, taking you around Skaneateles Lake and high above Otisco Lake.

Day 6 we head to the city of Ithaca, home of Cornell University. We will stay in the heart of Ithaca with its many dining and sight-seeing options. While in town we recommend you consider booking a table well in advance at the famous vegetarian Moosewood Restaurant. Day 7 is an optional ride day.  

On Day 8 we explore the east side of Cayuga Lake, passing through Taughannock State Park. We then turn west toward Seneca Lake, where we have beautiful lake vistas before dropping into the village of Watkins Glen. The Glen is renowned for its International Speedway and the Watkins Glen State Park, perhaps the most spectacular of the Finger Lakes State Parks.  As our mileage is short on Day 9, we begin the day with a hike through the Park, boasting a 400’ deep gorge teeming with 19 waterfalls. After our hike we head northwest to Penn Yan on Keuka Lake.

Day 10 we enjoy an optional shoreline circumnavigation around beautiful Keuka Lake. Along the way we will pass several wineries and breweries which should provide ample opportunity to sample some of the local hops and grapes.  

Day 11 we travel from Penn Yan to Canandaigua which takes us to the most beautiful vista in the Finger Lakes…a full length view of Canandaigua Lake from 800’ above the water. The native Iroquois called this "Kah-nan-dah-kwe” meaning “the chosen spot”. Day 12 brings us back to Rochester and our departing dinner. Your departure date is Friday, June 9. 

COVID REQUIREMENTS: All participants must be fully vaccinated and be prepared to present vaccination documentation for viewing by Ride Leader if requested. 

RIDE RATING: This ride is rated a 2B (35-50 miles with 1500-2500 feet of elevation). There are 8 days of required point-to-point riding and 4 days of optional loop riding, but in reality you won’t want to miss any of these optional days due to their exceptional beauty. The average elevation gain is ~2,100’ per day over 45 miles. On many days there are short and long ride options. Please note there are two required riding days where the long ride options exceed the 2B rating. Optional day 5 has ~3,000’ of climbing over 45 miles, and optional day 7 has a long ride option of ~2,700’ over 40 miles.

There will not be sag service except for emergencies. We will be renting a cargo van to transport luggage which has limited passenger space. Some riding on flat, packed aggregate is required along the Erie Canal Heritage Trail, the Genesee River Trail and two short stretches on Day 8. These are popular, predominately flat bike routes, and a 25c tire is adequate for this terrain. The Finger Lakes terrain at times is challenging. There are many rolling hills with some short steep climbs and descents; there are a couple climbs ~8% for a mile or more. However, on the more challenging days we have developed alternative routes that are also beautiful but with less climbing and distance.   

WEATHER: Late spring in Upstate New York is usually comfortably warm with average June highs of 77 degrees and lows of 56, but is famously variable. Cold weather or rain is always a possibility, so one must be prepared by bringing warm under layers and rain gear.   

LODGING & MEALS: Lodging for the 13 nights will feature a combination of modern chain hotels and local classic inns and lodges.  Five group dinners, breakfasts most mornings, and happy hours in the evenings are planned. One of the group dinners includes an evening cruise on picturesque Skaneateles Lake.

LOGISTICS: Arrive on Saturday, May 27, 2023 in Rochester, NY. The first two nights will be spent at the Hilton Garden Inn, 800 Pittsford-Victor Rd (585-249-6031). Parking and bike box storage for the duration of the trip is available at no extra cost. Overnights are in Rochester (three nights), Geneva, Seneca Falls, Skaneateles (two nights), Ithaca (two nights), Watkins Glen, Penn Yan (two nights), and Canandaigua. Contact us for more details about local bike rentals. The tour ends after breakfast on Friday June 9.

TANDEMS AND E-BIKES: We welcome tandem riders and those who wish to ride e-bikes.

COST: Estimated tour cost is $2,490 per person which includes 13 nights lodging, five group dinners, breakfasts most mornings, evening happy hours, and the cargo luggage van. Electronic RWGPS route maps and cue sheets will be provided. A deposit of $1,245 is required upon ride acceptance. A second and final payment of $1,245 is due by February 1, 2023. A solo single supplement is estimated to be an additional $1,380.  Single riders who are willing to share a room are encouraged and we will assist with finding a roommate. Due to lodging limitations, two-bed rooms may be limited.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY:  A “single” is a member who signs up by himself or herself and wishes to share a room with another participant. A “solo” is a member who signs up by himself or herself and does not wish to share a room. It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. After receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until February 15, 2023 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC Ride Registration Fee and Payment Processing Fee) or pay the $1,380 solo supplement and stay on the ride. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. If the single finds a roommate the solo supplement will be returned. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by February 1, 2023. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check. They should be mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.

CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC Ride Registration Fee and Payment Processing Fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is canceled because the number of participants registered is less than the minimum established for the tour. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations. If the canceling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the canceling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the canceling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY: Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support. Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles. All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour. We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from the Ride Leader. While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and cleanup. Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour. Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you might have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions. Before participating in any BAC tour, members should review their medical coverage and assess whether what you have is sufficient. If it isn’t, you should purchase additional travel medical coverage.  BAC maintains a policy that provides limited coverage for medical expenses associated with accidents incurred by US residents when on tours within the US. The policy maintained by BAC does not cover costs associated with self-quarantines that may be government mandated. Members should also ensure that vaccinations are up to date (e.g., COVID, annual influenza, tetanus, etc.). If travelling outside your home country you may wish to consult with a travel physician or nurse to ensure that the appropriate vaccinations are up to date.

SIGN-UP: To register for this ride, use the sign-up links just above the Ride Description. After preliminary acceptance, you will be moved to the pending list and receive an email requesting you to go back to the BAC site to digitally accept the terms of the Release of Liability (ROL), and pay the non-refundable BAC Ride Registration Fee and Tour Deposit by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List. BAC members with questions may contact the Ride Director by "clicking" the name at the top of this Ride Description.


Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 office@bicycleadventureclub.org

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