Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Preparation Aches

I learned about the Lake Champlain Bikeways when I was looking for some Vermont biking. It seemed like a good choice for a first bike tour so I ordered up the maps from their website and could not wait to surprise Bonnie about my excellent find. As it turned out she of course had already ordered a set of maps several days before I did. Which came as no surprise to me.
A quick google search yielded a cue sheet that begins from the bottom of the lake, goes up through the New York side to Canada then goes down through Vermont. I mapped it out in Mapsource and modified it so that it began from Crown Point state park and then crossed over to Vermont right before reaching the Canadian border.
Bonnie gave me a list of camgrounds in the general Lake Champlain area and I waymarked them in with the route map. We then chose the campgrounds based on a 50-mile max daily mileage. We ended up charting rides just below 50 miles for each day.
The first campground I called to make reservations was Crown Point. We were told that the park was flooded due to several days of continuous rain. This was unwelcome news and we worried that it may be a preview of how the tour would come down.
Undettered, I proceeded to check the other campgrounds and found out that they did not share Crown Point's predicament. I simply rotated the route and found a different starting point near Port Henry. We decided to make reservations on campgrounds for each night to ensure we would not be riding around looking for another campground should the one we chose was full.
For the first night we decided we'd stay in a motel since we would be driving to the lake right off from work and would arrive at a late hour, way past quiet time in most campgrounds. We found a mom-and-pop motel called Family Fun Cabins and Motel. The owner sounded very pleasant over the phone and was very accommodating about us leaving the car at their place for five days.
All the campgrounds we chose had available sites and we had no problems placing reservations.
Another tool that helped in choosing daily mileages was the terrain view of Google Maps. If the terrain showed a hilly profile, we reduced some miles from it.

No comments: