Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, also known as Denali (which translates as "The Big One" ) has more than 20,000' elevation, and FANY
usually climbs a total of 20,000' or more for the week. So you could say that we climb the equivalent of "The Big One"! We're not trying to
scare you off; FANY alumni have had fun doing it for years. We're simply substantiating our bragging rights. The good news is that we have a whole week to do it, and since we usually don't need
to wear fur trimmed parkas, our biker tans look great when we get back to our offices and boast. Come with us & bike happy.
LOTS OF FUN, LOTS OF HILLS! New York has wonderfully diverse terrain, and we plan to sample all of it. The western part of the state is flatter, so we'll spend our first couple of days out there warming up. 10,000 years ago glaciers deeply carved and wrinkled the middle of NYS, so we'll spend our middle days doing some major hills with scenery that makes the hills all worthwhile.
We'll average 70 miles a day, (or 35 on the Sore FANY option) with more mileage on the flatter days, and less in the hills. They'll be mostly road miles, with a few short stretches of bike trails thrown in, so light-weight, multi-geared road bikes are recommended.
Also, have a great set of NEW tires on your bike. You'll be biking for 500 miles on all kinds of roads, so be sure your tires are road/touring tires, and not some lightweight tires better suited for racing around a smooth track. New York has been experimenting with new road surfaces, so tires with names that include "Survivor" or "Gator Skins" make sense, unless you like changing flats.
Since almost all of the 500 miles are road miles, road bikes are strongly encouraged, except for you die-hard fat-tire types, and you know who you are. (However please note that all types of bikes have already successfully completed FANY; tandems, folders, trikes, hybrids, recumbents. Oddly though, no unicycles yet. )
First be sure that your bike is in good working order. Does your bike shop know that you're planning on taking this bike? For that matter, does your doctor know that you're going? As with any physical activity, it's recommended that you consult your physician.
Last year's bikers would say that "YOU DEFINITELY WANT TO TRAIN - THE MIDDLE PART OF THE RIDE IS HILLY." We often go up, not around, 10% grades and on occasion FANY has climbed (or walked) 17%.
So make sure to include hills in your training! Train on the bike that you're going to ride and set a goal to ride at least a bare minimum of 500 miles (1,000 would of course be even better!) before FANY including at least one 70 mile ride.
Also at some point, make sure that you train at least 5 consecutive days, to see if you really like throwing your leg over the bike day after day. Join a bike club and go on club rides to increase your speed and endurance. If you can sustain an average of at least 13 mph including breaks you'll have time in the day for sightseeing.
Bicycling training on the web includes:
A great training ride for FANY is the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour, June 9-11, 2017. Many FANY riders, both
past and present go on this annual ride. The tour starts and ends at the Hidden Valley Group Camp at Watkin's Glen State Park, NY. Choose from different length routes each
day. Non-biking friends & spouses can enjoy kayaking, hikes near the waterfalls, or lakes or shopping in quaint villages. Includes 3 days biking and 2 nights camping (which
presents a good time to test if your new tent is really cozy and easy to set-up). Or there’s a bunk house option in case you're not a "camper." This wonderful event features
catered meals and well planned rides over scenic Finger Lakes roads, and is exquisitely sponsored by the Southern Tier Bicycle Club of Binghamton, NY.
One last thing - FANY routes & this ride don' really overlap. It's a nice way to see another area of New York State.
See you there?