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Ride Rating System

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Ride Info

Ride Overview

Best of the New York Finger Lakes 2025

  • Arrival
  • 5/24/2025
  • Departure
  • 6/6/2025
  • Ride Director
  • Charles Feerick
  • Ride Co-Director
  • Joan Feerick
  • Starting Location
  • Rochester, NY
  • Finishing Location
  • Rochester, NY
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $2600
  • Deposit
  • $1300
  • Number of Riders
  • 23 (min. 20 /max. 28)
  • Space Available
  • 2
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 3

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 $85 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

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 wineries and craft breweries, which is reason enough to come experience this part of the country. This ride was last held in 2023, and one can view the tripper report from that ride at Best of the New York Finger Lakes 2023 Tripper Report. The ride was so successful that we 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 24, 2025 for an introductory happy hour and group dinner. 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 24 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 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. Dinner tonight is at our hotel, The Gould.

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 sunset dinner cruise on Skaneateles 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 sightseeing options. Tonight, we feast at the famous vegetarian Moosewood Restaurant. Day 7 is an optional ride day – ride the Cayuga lakeshore, visit the farmers’ market, explore the county side, or just hang out at the Cornell Dairy bar and eat ice cream!  

On Day 8 we explore the east side of Cayuga Lake, passing through Taughannock State Park (don’t miss the incredible waterfalls). 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 Watkins Glen State Park, perhaps the most spectacular of the NY Parks. Tonight, we dine on authentic Thai food.  

On Day 9, we begin the day with a hike through the Watkins Glen Park, boasting a 400’ deep gorge teeming with 19 waterfalls. After our hike we head northwest for a short ride to Penn Yan which sits at the north end of Keuka Lake. Tonight is BBQ and freshly baked pie night (with vegetarian options, of course)!

Day 10 we enjoy an optional shoreline circumnavigation around beautiful Keuka Lake, possibly the most beautiful of the finger lakes. Along the way we 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,  with some of the route along another stretch of the Erie Canal Heritage Trail, and our departing dinner. Your departure date is Friday, June 6. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY: Vaccinations for Covid are recommended but not required. Participants are expected to come to the tour in good health and ready to ride. Should someone's health become compromised and the group’s health and safety placed in jeopardy, a plan will be developed by the ride leaders and communicated to all individuals. The expectation is for the group to work together to mitigate any spread of infection or illness to ensure the tour can continue as planned. 

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.   

ROUTES: Downloadable electronic RWGPS files and route maps will be provided. Riders can print their own maps and cue sheets, if desired, from the RWGPS files. 

WEATHER: Late spring in Upstate New York is usually comfortably warm, with average late May-early June highs of 74 and lows of 54 degrees F 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.  Seven group dinners, five breakfasts, and happy hours each evening are planned. One of the group dinners includes an evening cruise on picturesque Skaneateles Lake.

LOGISTICS: Arrive on Saturday, May 24, 2025 in Rochester, NY. The tour begins at 5:00 PM with a social hour at the Hilton Garden Inn, 800 Pittsford-Victor Rd (585-249-6031) where we will spend the first two nights. It is a 20 minute drive from the Frederick Douglas Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) to the hotel. The hotel does not provide shuttle service. Uber/Lyft/taxi service is conveniently available at the airport. Parking and bike box storage for the duration of the trip is available at the hotel 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 6.

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

COST: Estimated tour cost is $2600 per person which includes 13 nights lodging, seven group dinners, five breakfasts, evening happy hours, and the cargo luggage van.  A deposit of $1300 is required upon ride acceptance. A second and final payment of $1300 is due by February 3, 2025. A solo single supplement is estimated to be an additional $1470.  The second payment and the solo supplement may be adjusted slightly up or down, depending on (1) the final number of ride participants, and (2) hotel costs, a number of which are currently estimated rather than firm contract rates. Single riders who are willing to share a room are encouraged, and we will assist with finding a roommate. Due to lodging constraints, rooms with two beds are limited at some locations.

SINGLES & SOLOS POLICY:  A “single” is a member who signs up and wishes to share a room with another participant. 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 January 31, 2025 to find a roommate. If they are unable, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC Ride Registration Fee and Payment Processing Fee) or pay the solo supplement and stay on the ride. They may continue to seek a roommate but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. If a roommate is found, the solo supplement will be returned. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. 

A “solo” is a member who signs up, does not wish to share a room, and pays the solo supplement of $1470. There are two ways to pay the solo supplement:

1.        A check made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check mailed to: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.

2.       Zelle payment transfer using the following instructions:

o    In your bank's website, add Bicycle Adventure Club as a new recipient with the email address

o    Initiate a payment

o    In the message block, enter the name of the ride.

Solo supplement payments are due by February 3, 2025.  

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 because 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.

INSURANCE: Before participating in any BAC tour, you should assess whether your medical and travel insurance coverage is sufficient. BAC maintains insurance that covers expenses related to accidents. This coverage applies when touring inside the US, regardless of your nationality. It’s assumed that members’ personal insurance will cover medical emergencies such as sudden and unexpected sickness, so these have not been included in the BAC policy. Coverage is subject to a $1000 deductible. You may want to consider personal coverage for emergency evacuation, as this is not included. The costs of treatment or quarantine for Covid and other unexpected illnesses are not covered. You should ensure that your 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

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