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Whiteface the Other Hard Way

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  • Whiteface the Other Hard Way

    By bicycle. Ok, it has nothing to do with hiking but it seems my interests lately lean more toward pedal power than hiking– please forgive me.

    I’ve been vacationing at my brother-in-law’s on Lake Clear this week and out pounding the bicycle just about every day. On 7/1 I left the house early under cloudy and threatening skies and rode 31 miles to the bottom of the Veterans Memorial Highway where I took a short break before heading up the hill. Another short break chatting with the ticket booth operator and then on with the up.

    I ran into the cloud ceiling at 3000’ and then light drizzle at 4000’. 5.5 miles into the climb at a “blistering” 5.1 mph average I was passed by another cyclist about 20 years younger who was making the climb look easy. I’ll forgive him eventually. We exchanged greetings and encouraged one another and he was gone. Came close to taking another break with two miles to go but ended up staying on the gas all the way to the end. Counting off the distance to go in 0.1 mile increments helped.

    No view at the top of the highway and with the stairs closed off, no way to get to the summit. Really wanted to carry my bike to the top for a pic with the summit sign. Maybe some other time.

    The bad weather did lead to one unexpected benefit – no tourists. On the entire ride up the mountain I saw three other bicycles, two cars and two motorcycles. I had the pleasure of passing one of those cars on the way down. My new brakes pads got a workout at first on the wet road but once out of the wet I just sat straight up on the bike and used my chest as a wind brake for the rest of the ride down. The gps showed around 35 mph most of the time.

    Once at the bottom it took five miles or so of pedaling before my legs loosened up again and by the time I got back to the house I was spent. The ride was 78.6 miles in total with 6,834 of up and took me a little over five and a half hours. Check that off the bucket list.
    Me - 41/46
    Mrs - 17/46

    A trail without mud is like a day without sunshine.

  • #2
    That's quite the trip-congratulations.
    Question: Since you leave from Lake Clear did you ever approach Whiteface from the Franklin Falls side, or is that your first time?

    Comment


    • Fat Man Hiking
      Fat Man Hiking commented
      Editing a comment
      This was my first time and I was looking for the mileage on this ride instead of the shortest route so I intentionally did not go through Franklin Falls. Might go that way this afternoon though.

    • Old Hunter
      Old Hunter commented
      Editing a comment
      You'll get more shade and less traffic.

  • #3
    Does the trail on the Franklin Falls side still exist?
    Mike

    ADK 46r #8003; 6W
    2nd round: 16
    SL6r #596
    Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W

    Comment


    • Old Hunter
      Old Hunter commented
      Editing a comment
      Great question. I know where the beginning is but Its been decades since I was on it. It was followable a few yrs ago I know that. Lots of people don't realize how unique that patch of woods is. It was logged and farmed all the way to Lake Placid and the hurricane in what was it 70? [ I forget] did some real damage back there. You never saw blow down unless you saw that. But traces of man could/would still be back there. We found cages, scythes, a shed and other things. Lots of Hops was grown from there to the West Kilns area...but winters were to harsh to be a success.

  • #4
    Great ride, FMH! How have your knees been feeling? Has the biking helped?

    Comment


    • Fat Man Hiking
      Fat Man Hiking commented
      Editing a comment
      My knee problems have leveled off some but I'm not sure if all the cycling has helped directly. I've lost another 40 lbs this year (100 in total over six years) which has helped with the pain but I found out when I tried to run some of the trail on St Regis 7/4 that running for me is still a bad idea. In fact my serious hiking days may be coming to an end sooner than expected partially because of my knee.

    • Groundpounder
      Groundpounder commented
      Editing a comment
      Damn, I'm sorry to hear that. Have you thought about one final "blaze of glory" with anti-inflammatories, knee braces. and poles on every descent to finish the last few peaks of your 46, or has that all taken a back seat to not wanting to do any additional long-term damage? Congrats on the tremendous weight loss though. I'm having trouble just taking 20 pounds off, so I admire your accomplishment!

    • Fat Man Hiking
      Fat Man Hiking commented
      Editing a comment
      Finishing up is still on the agenda for this year but after that, who knows? There are many peaks I want to revisit and some I want do-overs on. My plan as of now is to get Couch towards the end of August (if I can get a hiking partner), then hit Basin/Saddleback in September and Esther/Whiteface for the big finish in October. Still going to resist cortisone, etc as long as I can. Advil and common sense for now.

      Taking the weight off wasn't easy for me either. Finally had to just get serious about counting calories and maintaining a 500-700 calorie deficit per day. Low carb was part of the deal too.

  • #5
    Awesome!

    Sounds really amazing, wish you had better views considering the destination payoff for the effort, but this was definitely something to be proud of regardless. Are you using this for the adk club virtual ride this year also? I would say udidahellaride.

    Im working my legs back up for a respectable 23 offroad.
    35er
    46er'n'Mac
    FLT steward

    Comment


    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      like a lot of events and orgs have adapted this crazy year with their runs going virtual, the adk club's ididaride is "virtual" this year also. mileage is 23 off, 50 on.

      while not getting together in the designated spots like normal years past, this is a great way to still have the events this year and keep some money coming in. plus gives people awesome flexibility do their runs or rides for these events when they might not have been able to get to the event on certain days in years past, I have had something going on every year for the ididaride it seems.

      thats great mileage so far, have you gotten the 5k in a year before?

    • Fat Man Hiking
      Fat Man Hiking commented
      Editing a comment
      2000/yr is normal for me but with the lack of work in my machine shop and getting involved with the NYSVR434 I gravitated towards my bicycles. If I get 5000 this year it will be the first time I've done so.

    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      That sounds like a considerable leap but this year being so different, sounds like the way for you to get to it could be there. While there has been a lot of craziness and negatives this year, it seems a lot of people have found their own new goals and/or positives that might not have come about had this year not been so odd, like your 5k. Get it.
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