Monday, July 20, 2009

7 Tour Of The Highlands

100 Miles
5000 Ft Climbing

7.5-8 hours saddle time

I'd like to report to you that I recently relocated myself, three bikes and little bit of money I have to Rochester, NY. Personal reasons. Now I was overcome emotionally with the move. Having found a climber's paradise in Cattaraugus, where I lived before for a year, this new area sort of first felt like having the urban feel to it, flat and fit for the street smarts. I wondered whether I would ever see valleys and mountains again.

I may have been right about the fact that there is a certain absence of long climbs. But I tell you, the terrain south of Monroe County can be punishing. The relentless rollers provide endless interval training. And if you keep riding your bike southeast, you'll find the great area of the Finger Lakes. If you don't know what it is, consider it New York's answer to the Napa Valley area in California. Simply put, it is NY's biggest wine producing region. And lot of hills out there.

So I decided to check into the region's mysterious landscape, said to have been carved by glacial activity over a long period of time. The agenda was to visit Canandaigua and check out the Lake Canandaigua, the first of the major Finger Lakes. Then I would climb what the locals warned me about - Bopple Hill or L'Alpe de Bopple. The tower of asphalt, gaining 600 feet in just 0.8 miles, would be interesting. They told me that people come from far off places just to ride the damn hill and that it would be a sound achievement if you could simply climb it somehow, leave alone climb it without stepping off your bike. Then I would visit the little town of Hanoeye and also hang out at the beach in front of Lake Hanoeye. But to get there I would have to take some pretty steep valley roads. After all this adventure, I would have to find myself back home somehow (which I did).

Enjoy the pics of the highlands in the Finger Lakes valley. Most of the pics were taken while riding, an artform I call cyclophography. If you have any questions, ask away!! Come ride around the Finger Lakes. Its great for cycling.

Click to Zoom In

Check out the wild terrain. I think the only flat section I rode on this day was the run into my new home, at around the 95 mile mark...

Pinnacle Road

Rush-Mendon Road (251)

Mendon-Ionia Road (64)

Passing another cyclist on Rt. 64, towards the town of East Bloomfield. home of the Northern Spy apple.

Bristol Valley Road

Montanye Road to Cheshire

Deuel Road towards Canandaigua Lake

Lake Canandaigua

Seneca Point Road

Check out the hill on the right - Hicks Road


The run into Bopple Hill

Start climbing. This is it.

1 mile climb (1.6 km) at 11% average gradient. I think it maxes close to 20-23% a little after midpoint. That final steep section runs all the way to the peak. Now to get just get here, you need to climb the 2 mile long Miller Hill, at ave 4-5% gradient. There's a small downhill and a flat section along the Lake (Seneca Point Road) before the official climb starts as you see above.

When you're climbing Bopple, and look behind you, this is what you see. Beautiful.

As always, something ominous at the peak - a grave site! For cyclists?


This is the Bristol Ski Resort

Egypt Valley Road

Mosher Road

1.2 mile climb (2km) at 7% average gradient, reaching max of 9-10% in places

Check out the views from Gullick Road

Towards the town of Hanoeye

Hanoeye Lake!

Its a Sunday. Great day to be out at the beach.

The relentless Rt.20A

Route 15A

East River Road entering Henrietta

Crittenden Road back to home sweet home.


Climbs Of The Western Finger Lakes

Highlander Cycle Tour - Supported Ride of 100 Miles & 10000 feet of climbing

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  1. Anonymous8:52 PM

    You call this mountain? You must come to Europe...each climb is 2 hours long. Haha...good job anyway.

  2. Sorry but wow. You're too full of yourself? If I had the means to get to Europe I would but for the moment I'm going to enjoy what nature provides for me here. Hey come ride around this area. My pics don't do justice to 'difficulty'

  3. Welcoeme to Finger Lakes Ron. You did climb Boppel. You name should be chalked on it now. :) Lots of other hills around here. Check mapmyride for routes.

  4. Thanks Matt. No chalking business. I hate chalked roads. Leave them clean and well maintained! :) [It may also be disgracing to have my name of all name's on that hill I tell you]

  5. Anonymous1:54 PM

    Hey Ron,

    Excellent post; looks like you had a great ride in the country. Here's to settling peacefully into your new home.

  6. Thank you Truman. I'm settled but a little homesick. But the prospects of discovering new bike routes keep things fresh. Its something to do.

  7. Anonymous5:34 PM

    Great Ride. I've been up bopple a few times, and its always difficult..Those pictures do NO justice to the steep grade that bopple is all about.


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