by Elizabeth Folwell
Last Saturday’s Black Fly Challenge—a demanding 40-mile mountain-bike race from Inlet to Indian Lake running through the Moose River Recreation Area—set records for participation and speed: WKTV, out of Utica, reports that eight racers matched or broke the previous top time of 1:53:33.
But if you prefer a more leisurely pace, the Moose River Plains is a great destination for mountain biking from Cedar River Flow toward interior ponds and the South Branch of the Moose River. The Otter Brook trail is a great ride, and Pedals & Petals, in Inlet, can suggest all kinds of easy to moderate backcountry two-wheel treks.
An action-packed weekend for bicyclists of all ages is set for June 14–17 in Wilmington, using trails around Whiteface Mountain and the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway. The Wilmington Whiteface Bike Fest starts with a free beginners’ course on Thursday at 4 p.m. Things get crazy with Saturday’s uphill bike race on the scenic highway that ascends the state’s fifth highest peak, followed by downhill dual slalom contests on the slopes. The kicker, an overland century ride, is a qualifier for Colorado’s brutal Leadville Trail 100.
Exploring the varied terrain east of Lake Placid is great any time, especially now that Barkeater Trails Alliance has a network of routes around Wilmington, branching off country roads into the woods. For suggestions about even more trips check with Kenny and his crew at Placid Planet bike shop, in Lake Placid.