I'm all for snow sports - we live in the Adirondacks, after all. If one doesn't ski, snowshoe, snowmobile or otherwise embrace the beautiful white blanket that covers the landscape for so many months, the winter could seem very long!

However, as a recreational cyclist, I am quite happy to see the first signs of spring. I live on the Adirondack Coast of Lake Champlain, the lowest elevation in the region and usually the first to see sure signs of spring; robins and bicyclists.

spring cyclingMy first ride of the season was last weekend. It was nearly 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and sunny. I have to admit that it was a bit windy, but I persevered. (Nothing my 1980's vintage bright orange windbreaker couldn't handle.)

I had acquired "the cycling bug" for a couple of reasons. First, I had spied some other recreational cyclists out riding. And second, we have been talking about cycling a lot in anticipation and promotion of a couple of new exciting upcoming events.

There's been a lot of buzz about a brand new two-wheeled event for the Whiteface region; the Wilmington/Whiteface 100k will serve as one of three qualifier series race host venues for the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race, the best known and most prestigious mountain bike race in North America.

The Adirondack qualifier, held on June 19, will traverse 100 kilometers of backcountry trails in the Towns of Wilmington and Jay and finish on Whiteface Mountain.

The event's schedule coincides with the annual Wilmington Bike Fest, which includes the Whiteface Uphill Bike Race, which will be held on Saturday, June 18. Wilmington/Whiteface 100k participants are invited to "Warm UP" by riding in the mountain bike division that is being introduced this year; a five mile race to the top of the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway. 

Another new two-wheeled event was just announced, too. This one of the motorized sort. A number of motorcycle enthusiasts, NASCAR fans and Victory Junction supporters will kick off the 17th Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America from Lake Placid, Adirondacks USA on May 7, 2011.

The ride is a fundraiser for Victory Junction, a year-round camping environment for children ages 6 to 16 with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam, the camp is located in Randleman, N.C., with a second location opening soon in Kansas City, Kan.

The group will spend a couple of days in Lake Placid in preparation before they depart on May 7, and will be headquartered at the High Peaks Resort. NASCAR, obviously, has a huge following. Like the Bodine Bobsled project held here in years past, it will serve to both support a great cause, and will also provide ancillary exposure for our destination to a huge demographic. 

-Kim Rielly is the director of communications for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism/Lake Placid CVB.