This summer has not been great on the weather front. As Ray Deslauriers put it, “IT might be time to get rid of the bikes and start building an Arc!” The Wilmington weekend was wet as well but that did not stop the brave band of cyclists who decided to go down to Wilmington so that they could ride up Whiteface. Gosh some had so much fun going up they decided to do it a second time! Thanks to Joanna Cumyn for sending in a summary of her climb up Whiteface.
Wilmington, 24-26 juin 2011 (J.L.C.)
This past Friday, several CCB cyclists flocked to Wilmington NY to conquer Whiteface Mountain, whose summit elevation reaches an impressive 4,867 feet, which translates into a 13 km climb. Another source states that this climb boasts a 360 degree panoramic view of the Adirondacks, New England and Canada at the top of New York’s 5th highest peak (ref: www.facerace.com).
So, after a two hour delay at the border and for some, a sporadic detour to the Adirondack Holiday Lodge, a group of CCBers decided that there was no better time to cycle up Whiteface. After all it was sunny and the dark clouds didn’t appear too ominous. The uphill climb begins immediately from the hotel, and soon it became apparent that the “long and steady” climb was to take on an entirely new dimension. For future reference, a slow and tortuous climb is a far more accurate description. Ask those who started tacking in the first 4.5 km. For others however, it was a question of establishing a consistent, manageable pace. Whatever the strategy, cold rain, thick fog and winds turned the “long and steady” climb into an endless battle against the elements. The 4867 foot summit seemed virtually unattainable when finally a small dark tunnel at the top provided shelter from where we could enjoy the panoramic view of thick white fog and contemplate the descent back down the steep, winding and now soaking road. Soon, at approximately 4499 ft, the fog dissipated, and the rain let up. To say the least, it was a relief to reach the hotel; we might have otherwise drowned in our water logged cycling apparel.
Saturday and Sunday were spent shopping at the cycling stores in Lake Placid, and/or negotiating rain clouds and fitting rides in during the sunny as well as not- so- sunny breaks. However, after a false start or two, we all managed at least one or two rides along Wilmington’s rollercoaster-like roads beside the scenic river.