Lake Placid Recon

I’m in an Adirondack state of mind. On Saturday, after a few hours of work at the shop, I drove to Lake Placid, New York on  a reconnaissance mission. Ironman USA is less than a month away and this was my last chance to scout the course. I’m in build up mode with two weeks of hard training left. I wanted to ride both the run and bike legs. I left Hartford in the sun and drove right into another round of Northeast storms. Our Friday night storms were wild with wind, rain, and nasty lightning. On Saturday, it was mostly rain, but torrential at times. Sections of I-87 were white knuckle driving. 

Lake Placid

I made it to LP safely and parked in town. I suited up and rode one lap of the 56 mile bike course. I’ll have to do it twice in the race, but I didn’t have enough daylight this time. I ended up riding for a few more hours to get five total. My GPS wasn’t performing, so I’ll have to guess at mileage, but it doesn’t really matter. I was soaked to the bone after steady rain in the second half of the ride. I was also covered in sand, so they don’t have to worry about sweeping the roads. I took care of it for them. After dinner and and UBU Ale at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, I found a place to camp for the night. 

Athletes Training

It had been a few years since I was in LP. I used to go a couple times a year for road bike races, including the Tour of the Adirondacks. The place really is a sports Mecca. We rarely get to the Adirondack Mountains. When you live in New England, the White Mountains and Green Mountains are your preference. The drive is about the same distance, but we do most of our hiking in New Hampshire and Vermont. Of course, now that we have done all 67 of the 4000 footers in New England, we may eventually turn our sights to New York where there are 46 more mountains to climb.

LP is like an athletes’ paradise. The whole town seems very welcoming. I’m not sure if that is why it was suitable for hosting the Olympics (twice) or if it is a result of hosting the Olympics. On Sunday, after morning fog, it turned out to be really nice. I got up and rode to Wilmington, then continued half way up Whiteface Mountain. I stopped at the toll booth because all of the signs said the road was closed to bikes. I should have ridden around the barricade and kept going, but it was all uphill and my legs weren’t great. I returned to LP for some breakfast and an early departure. I’ve always wanted to ride the official bicycle hill climb. It is a total of 8 miles up from Keene, so I’ll add that to my to do list. 

Ski Jumps 

When I got back to town, it seemed as if the whole town had woken up. On one stretch of road, I saw swimmers in the lake, other cyclists, runners, horse jumpers, fly fisherman, rock climbers, lugers (on the road), and hikers. It was wild. The lugers were coming down a hill next to the ski jumping complex, which is across the road from the horse show grounds. I got photos of both sides of the street without moving.

2009_Lake Placid 31 - Version 2

2009_Lake Placid 57 - Version 2

One my way home, I stopped at Marcy Field to visit the Keene Farmers’ Market. I did a little shopping before hitting the road again. It was a lot nicer drive on the way back to Connecticut, but I was weary from the whirlwind 30 hour trip. I spent 10 hours in the van and 7 hours on my bike, all in an effort to get a preview of the course. I think the scouting mission will prove its worth. 

Rock Climber

Speaking of luge-while I was on the road, I came across a “Luge Mom” of sorts. This is the Lake Placid version of a soccer mom. Someone was probably a luger back in the day based on the license plate on the SUV. I think the 1984 Winter Olympics was in Sarajevo. 

Luge Mom

We are bound to have a good time in Lake Placid again next month.

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