Monday, April 28, 2014

Another Roadside Attraction: The Saratoga 300K

The man-made roadside attractions on the shores of Lake George stand out in part because they are in such stark contrast with the largely desolate wooded splendor of the Adirondack High Peaks region of New York State that comprised much of this ride. Starting in Schuylerville, the Saratoga 300K is an out-and-back route that winds its way up along the northern Hudson River before passing through Glens Falls, Lake George, Schroon Lake and turning around in Elizabethtown. It's a no-frills ride with plenty of scenic beauty that continued to surprise me throughout the day. When I scanned the route and saw that we would be riding on State Route 9 for considerable portions of the day, I did not have such high expectations, but boy oh boy, was I pleasantly surprised by what we encountered.

Since this north-south, out-and-back route generally follows the path of the Adirondack Northway (US87), there are few reasons for cars to take secondary roads. As a result, we spent much of the day riding in peace and quiet. While we did not encounter much wildlife (unless you count Spring Peepers and the cows that dot the farm country at the start of the ride) but it did seem possible that a bear would pop out of the woods at any minute for much of the ride. The temperatures hovered in the 40s throughout the day and despite being generally comfortable, I was able to find a lone stand of ice at the site of a shaded waterfall.

The were only four of us that turned out to ride on Sunday morning: a local ultra racer, who shot off the front with a support crew to meet up with at each of the controls, a rider from New Jersey out for his first 300K and a rider named Simon who I had met on last year's Bash Bish 300K and fell into riding with again this weekend. All told, it was a very enjoyable day. With smooth, low-traffic roads and majestic views, this is definitely a ride to put on your calendar.

Up next: I'll be riding in the PA 400K in a few weeks. Time to build some endurance and speed.

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