May 7 Attendee List

On May 7, 2010 – at the Inn at Speculator – 34 individuals met to discuss bicycling and bicycle tourism opportunities for the Adirondack North Country region of northern New York. The 4-hour meeting raised a number of issues and ideas to be considered by the project team during development of the new Bike the Byways website for ANCA, expected to be completed by April, 2011.

Here is a PDF of the May 7 Stakeholder Meeting Attendees at the project kick-off meeting.

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Ride Form Content Explained

Here is a brief explanation of each of the items requested on the form for suggesting routes and rides in your area.  The items are displayed below and there is a link to the PDF version.  If any questions contact Tim Holmes – or 518-302-1891.

Ride Form Content Explained (as a PDF)

Route or Trail Name Use common name or descriptive words that indicate its general location
Ride Category Road or Mountain?
Distance Ride Distance in Miles
Estimated Ride Time Duration in hours
Suggested Ability Level (1-5, 1=easy) Rate using a 1-5 scale. 1 being easy (pancake flat), 5 being extremely challenging (climbs that make you want to cry for your mother)
Elevation & Surface Quality Document challenging climbs/descents. Also indicate ride surface quality: ie crushed gravel, muddy singletrack, new asphalt, etc.  Elevation change (if known)
On-Route Support Convenient places to stop and grab a Gatorade? Is the ride in an urban setting or in a remote forest preserve? Proximity to public restrooms or bicycle repair shops?
Environmental Factors Indicate environmental factors which can impact the ride, such as strong winds, potential flooded/damp areas, eroded areas, etc
Suitable for Children Note anything which may be of interest, or potential detriment to groups with young children or adolescents. For example: playgrounds along the route, dangerous stream crossings, etc.
Nearby Communities List communities on or near the route
Trailhead Location Offer helpful directions/landmarks to help find the trailhead
Trailhead GPS Latitude, Longitude. Google Maps is an easy way to include Trailhead GPS coordinates: right click on the point and select “What’s here?”
End Point GPS Latitude, Longitude.  End point or destination on an out & back ride.
Ride Description and Highlights Describe the route and end by “closing the sale.” What is the best thing about this ride? Is there a great view, waterfall, other environmental feature, historic landmark, chance to see wildlife or a great beach along the way. What sets this ride apart?
Nearby Attractions, Other Recreational  Opportunities Beyond the ride description, what else can you see or do in the vicinity of the ride. Great spot to add the “don’t forget to stop and visit…” or “must-see” items. Can range from cool museums to nearby scenic vistas, boat rides, or farmer’s markets. Be creative!
Hard Copy References Guidebooks or maps which might be helpful?
Links to Online Resources Toss in any worthwhile links to websites of interest that feature the ride and describe the area it passes through.
Photos Available Aware of any photos of this route which are available? From whom?
Suggested By Who is suggesting the ride and who else might have more info on it?
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Pine Pond Ride Description

Ride Example for Pine Pond

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Blank Bike Route and Ride Suggestion Form

Use this the Word Document linked below to suggest a great bikMtn Bikee route or mountain bike ride in your area.  Save a copy so you have a blank for additional rides.  Enter as much as you like or as much as you can, not all cells are required.  Forward on to others that might have more info.  When ready to submit, attach it to an email to: Copies of this form, a completed example, and an explanation of each item are linked to the right under Suggest a Route or Ride. There is also a Survey Monkey version of the form at Online Bike Ride Worksheet.

Blank Bike Ride Suggestion Worksheet (Word Doc)

Below is displayed the content of the worksheet.

Route or Trail Name
Ride Category
Estimated Ride Time
Suggested Ability Level (1-5, 1=easy)
Elevation & Surface Quality
On-Route Support
Environmental Factors
Suitable for Children
Nearby Communities
Trailhead Location
Trailhead GPS
End Point GPS
Ride Description and Highlights
Nearby Attractions, Other Recreational  Opportunities
Hard Copy References
Links to Online Resources
Photos Available
Suggested By
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Stakeholder Meeting Notes

Notes and Summary from the Information Sharing and Discussion Meeting on the website project:

Adirondack North Country Byways, An On-Line Adirondack Byway Bicycle Mapping Project

Meeting Held May 7, 2010 in Speculator, New York at the Inn at Speculator, 10:00 – 2:00.

Notethese comments were providing by the meeting participants during discussions and brainstorming sessions. As such they reflect individual views, perceptions and observations. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) or the views of any of the project sponsors.

(also view as PDF file: Meeting1 Notes 5-7-10 Bike the Byways)

Work Session: Understanding the Market

Topic 1:  What are our competitive advantages for both Road & Mountain Biking?

Diversity – we have a tremendous diversity of rides

NOT ALL MOUNTAINS – many are afraid of our mountains; need to let them know that we have many rides that are not mountainous.  So we need a very good rating system for our rides.  Still have enough hills to keep it interesting.

Inlet has the full spectrum of Mtn Bike rides – from “easy to insane” Lots of DH (Down Hill).  “We have great stuff”

We offer the challenges – mountains, etc. – that some are looking for.

Lots of history.

Great restaurants and a variety of lodging properties.

Low traffic – we have very low traffic numbers, much lower than cities, etc.  need to promote.

“Scenery”Natural Beauty” – High quality.  Good roads through forests, farms and river valleys.

Our Climate is conducive to comfortable riding, cooler weather.  Also Clean Air, History, Affordable, Good Shoulders, lots of other Outdoor Activities to do (fishing, hiking, boating, etc.)

We have designated Bike Routes (although later we heard that the Bike Route signs are coming down, at least that is the plan of DOT, because of deteriorating shoulders and less maintenance of those shoulders is anticipated.)

Proximity to Canada – an appreciative market there.

We have a “Compact Geography”  compared to out West, our communities are much closer to together – 10 miles apart as compared to 30 or more.

We have a different Culture here, with a long history of hospitality.  People are friendly (or, as some joked, you are less likely to get shot here, or, we have lousy aim)

Trailhead parking is prevalent, should better promote those parking areas that bicyclists can use too.

Wide shoulders – a great aspect of our biking infrastructure.

Bring your bike on the train – Amtrak accommodates bikes.

Rumble Strip Free, (although we learned that DOT has a recommendation on the books that rumble strips be added to roads with more than 200 traffic count (no roads are that low – although we heard it appears to be actively pursued at this time…)

Few traffic lights

Family friendly, friendly up here, people will talk to you.

Need to distinguish our “town to town” rides from the X-country routes or cross-regional routes.

Consider “Bike Destination Centers” that offer a number of ride opportunities.

Need to promote the St. Lawrence River Valley, we are not always considered as part of the Adirondacks.  Need to be part of the region; feed bicyclists back and forth.

Be aware of the new “Blue Highway”, an effort to promote the Raquette River valley.

Need to let the powers that be give us assistance…  (not sure what this means?)

Tandem bike shop in Saranac Lake needs to be added as a push-pin to the bike shop map. (will stop by their shop for more info).

Relatively inexpensivemany camping opportunities at Forest, State Park & private campgrounds.

For Mountain Biking – really have little to promote.  Few trails, especially for advanced riders, poorly laid out, generally short trails.  There is huge potential, but would take a dedicated hard working crew of trail builders.

St. Lawrence Seaway is an asset.  We have the infrastructure to support cyclists in the St. Lawrence Seaway – shops, restaurants, lodging, camping, etc.

Many advantages in the Glens Falls area – Close to I-87, thruway.  3 hours from NYC, Montreal, Boston.  Warren County Bikeway for on-road, Feeder Canal trail off-road.  Bike shops in the area.  Need rider-friendly restaurants and lodging.

Lots of beautiful roads, variety of trail options, and plenty of attractions to make a weekend or a week of it.  Potential for some theme rides.

Have great communities promoting buy local, local flare for higher educated, higher income bicyclists.

Big events provide big visibility – Tin Man in Tupper Lake, Battenkill Race in Washington County, Black Fly in Inlet-Indian Lake, IronMan in Lake Placid, etc.  Need to promote those on the new site as well.

We are missing a few things – shuttles between towns, shuttles up steep trails & rides so they can just enjoy the ride down, not many tour guides based in the area (like the fishing and whitewater guides we have), more bike rentals – especially for families.

Lakes & rivers – many routes are near water.

Improvements for bike use of the RR corridor would help build a stronger bicycle tourism economy.

We have a Brand Name established – the Adirondacks are well known.

The area has an outdoor culture.

Proximity to wild areas, small towns, friendly people.

Diversity of riding and interconnected riding.

Support from bike shops and/or recreation stores is available in most communities.

Topic 2:  What are potential niche markets and what are the preferences in those market segments?

One way to promote in niche markets is to engage areas of the region, promote areas where day loops and rides link back to a central location.

Families are a niche.  Multi-sport couples and families are another.

Single-track mountain bike trails are another, with a variety of types and challenges.  Don’t all have to be X-game-type trails, but that is a niche in the Mtn Biking market.

Dirt-road bicycle touring is another popular market, families and others enjoy it.

Dedicated bicycle paths are another market, and one we have a few examples of (Lake George-Glens Falls, Tow Path, Gloversville-Johnsburg)

Rail-Trail conversions are a niche, where they occur.

Not be easy to divide biking into niches that can be marketed to exclusively, there are the DINK’s – Dual-Income No Kids, and the RV’ers who have their bikes, other Retirees, etc.  They are all important, while having similarities as well as differences.

The TOBIE trail links communities and is relatively easy riding, so could appeal to a variety of markets.

Don’t forget about ourselves, need to market to residents of the region, internal tourism.

One of the tenets of marketing is “cross-over,” encourage multiple types of recreational opportunities and other activities (history, culture, scenery, etc.)

Canal communities have niche opportunities, marketing to boaters who might want to bike along the canals, as well as promoting the canal pathways in general.

There is also historic-related travel that dovetails with biking, such as historic tours along the canals and in other areas.

Market events – use events to attract more cyclists and expose them to the area.

Speculator Chamber has survey data from users of their mountain biking area, from a few years ago.  They will try to make a PDF available.

Biking appeals to everyone – from elite athletes to families with children, etc.

There is the dual question of what are the markets, and then where in the area is the biking that can be promoted to those markets.

Promoting “areas” of the region that provide a wide variety of biking opportunities, seems to be one option.

Some of the markets include:  55-65 year olds, destinations-staying in one area, easy mountain biking.

On the other hand, we should try to reach a broad demographic, reach the majority of the market.

Bike Magazine did an article on Inlet a few years ago and we received a lot of visitation because of it, and while the article stressed the more extreme-type Mtn. biking, a wide variety of bicyclists visited because of that article – not all were looking for the extreme biking that they read about.  They were attracted to area’s support for biking in general.

Think about seasonal markets too, attracting bicyclists in the shoulder seasons.

The family market is important.

Don’t want the promotion to be “too watered down”.  So need some general promotion of the area that will appeal broadly, while target specific groups – the long distance rider, the families, the X-gamer, etc.

Should promote the facilities that teach Mtn Biking, Mt. Van Hovenburg teaches mounting biking to older riders.

Mountain biking trails should be rated – easy, moderate, advanced, and need to have “objectivity” in those ratings.

Kingdom Trails in VT has 40,000 users a year, mostly single track.

Use pictures to clue people into what to expect.

Focus on localities – such as the Old Forge/Inlet/Raquette Lake area – and promote the wide variety of biking opportunity in that area.

Niche could be further developed by promoting and/or expanding bike shuttle services – back to starting points.

Largely an urban market, 25 – 70, some like to leave car behind – how easy do we make it to leave a car somewhere for 3 to 4 days? – may be looking for packages.

More competition events that are not fund-raising events.

Main niche markets:  family; young unmarried & urban; affluent retired seniors

Couples age 30 to 50, small groups.

NYC residents – long weekends, getaways.

Adventure travelers are a niche.

Promote a variety of trails and difficulty levels, from families to adventure.

Student tour groups – colleges doing tours, etc.

Historic bike tours.

Tie ins with commercial boating – put your bike on a cruise ship (Old Forge, Raquette, Lake George, Canals, Lake Champlain, etc. – and catch a ride to a trail, across the lake, etc.

Mtn Bike Niche markets include:  Trail riders, down hillers/ dirt jumpers, dirt road touring, and rail trail lovers.

Road Biking Niche markets include:  Competitive racers, long distance tourers, casual tourers, beginners w/children, group riders, and functional riders (commuters).

Tandem bike market.

Regional Bike Touring – some looking for 7 to 10 days of bike touring.  Some want 2 to 3 days in one area, then move to another area.

For day rides or loops, need a good halfway-point stop for lunch, restroom, something to do or see.  Less than 50 miles is preferred, quite roads, and lodging in small towns walkable to dining, etc.

Adaptive cycling.

Long distance, multi-day touring.

Competitive events (Ironman, Tinman, Black Fly, Battenkill, etc.)

Mtn Biking is destination-based marketing – for example Inlet/Old Forge, or Tri-Lakes area – need to promote that it is a destination where lots of riding can be found.

Women riders.

Intermediate level road riders – 30 mile rides.

Weekend rider.

Canadian visitors.

Day trippers.

Cross-state and Cross-country cyclists.

Promote Combos – Raft & Ride, Bike & Train, Camp & Bike, Birding & Biking

Topic 3: What types of marketing messages might be most attractive to each segment?

Cycle the Green Side of the Apple – plays of the current I Love NY campaign that highlights “green” tourism, by which they mean outdoor recreation – so extra focus on the Adirondacks.  New campaign also focuses on family, arts and history.

Develop a logo – so can be use to welcome bicyclists – stickers on windows or doors of shops, restaurants, etc.  Bike friendly – have bike racks, water, food, etc. that bicyclists are looking for.

Bring Your Bike”   BYB

Safe”  Some people are afraid of the woods.

Like to be on the Wild side

Hooks:  promote RR and putting your bike on the train.

Suggest itineraries.

Promote diversity of accommodations.

Tie-in with current activities – Mtn Man is doing new write-ups of bike rides in the Old Forge area (Matt M.).  McCauley Mtn is planning a new race series.

Need to do Regional and sub-Regional branding.

Great photos.


Need to make sure we have good trail signage so they enjoy the rides, tell their friends and come back.

That we are kid friendly – kids can run, yell and have fun.

“Big Shoulders” – Come take a ride on our Big Shoulders.

Towns separated by wildlands.

On the easier theme – Easy Adirondacks, Gentle side of the Adirondacks.

Walkable and Bikeable small towns, downtowns.

Easily accessible, bike friendly communities.

Seasonal opportunities.

Bicycling for Everyone.

Develop Face Book page.

St. Lawrence County – from Mountains to Seaway

Lunch Session: Overview of New & Ongoing Activities

Upper Hudson River Rail Trail – Curt Austin, proposed 30-mile rail-trail conversion of the old Tahawus mine RR line.  Corridor is in private hands, negotiations for sale underway.  Corridor borders Forest Preserve, not wilderness.  Permitting of the conversion is at the beginning stage.  More info at:

Gear-To-Go Tandem Bikes – largest Tandem selection in the U.S., now located in Saranac Lake, Rich Shapiro.  Holding their annual tandem event in Saranac Lake for the first time after 17 years in Elmira, last week of June.   More info at:

Harvey Botzman, Cyclotour Guide Books and NY Bicycle Coalition – Quick update on bike-related laws in progress.  A Complete Streets law is held up, counties concerned about added cost.  Federal Complete Streets law will include dollars for improvements.  Higher penalties for drivers injuring bicyclists are being considered.  A new law promoting a 3-foot passing distance around bicyclists is working its way through the NY State legislature.  More info at: and

NYS DOT issuesFewer maintenance dollars available.  Shoulder maintenance especially is declining.  Starting to lose some of our shoulders and alligator cracking is become more prevalent along the shoulders.  As a result, DOT is now proposing to take down the “Bike Route signs on many or all of the signed Bike Routes, as the shoulders are not longer represent the great bicycling opportunity that they have in the past.  Ed Franz is who to talk to about corridor management plans.

Work Session: Better Internet Visibility for Bicycling Opportunities

Topic 1:  What’s the most important descriptive information to display online about each ride?

Number of key features mentioned include:  Distance, Terrain, Technical Ability, Views, Rest Stops, Other Activities.

Look at the new Google Map Biking Tool, debuted March, 2010, maybe it can be incorporated – :

Test out the Google Map – Biking tool at:,-122.319717&spn=0.346132,0.727158&z=11&lci=bike&dirflg=b&f=d&utm_campaign=en&utm_medium=van&utm_source=en-van-na-us-gns-bd

It includes a feedback tool to suggest corrections or changes.

Consider the success and any lessons learned from the Tour of the Battenkill, the largest bike ride in the U.S. during the past 2 years, located in Washington County, in the SE portion of the ANCA region.  More info at: Interesting to note that they use Map-My-Ride to show their route, a very popular tool for bike route mapping:

See a PDF of the course map at:

Other online bike route mapping programs are and

Need more visibility for biking opportunities in the southern Adirondacks.

Connectivity – creates image of a bicycling area – not just a collection of rides.

Topic 2 & 3:  What useful features have you seen on other bicycling websites & how should we use or improve them?  What other types of online information would be most helpful to cyclists planning a visit to the region?

Try to include road work advisories – suggest a link to

Identify leisurely day trips.  40 miles per day is the average distance on the tandem bike tours.  Trips of 30 to 40 miles are average for Inn-to-Inn tours and allow time to stop for views, museums, shopping, leisurely meals, etc.

Mark the Best Routes, somehow.

Use a Facebook Page to promote biking in the region.

The website design needs to be flexible, allow new routes, etc. to be easily added.

Consider a “mobile” version of the site, for phones, etc.

Highlight local connections to history.

A discussion list could be useful.  One approach is to keep it separate from the main site, so those interested can seek it out.  Sometimes learn more from a discussion list than from the main website.  Instead of sending an email, a potential visitor could post a question about where to find a certain type of biking in a particular area.  Would need avid cyclists or tourism specialists committed to monitoring and answering the questions.

A feedback section for specific rides and routes could be useful.  Would require management to review the comments and approve them.

Give cumulative route and trail mileage estimates for areas – such as the Old Forge/Inlet/Raquette Lake area has 125 miles of single track and 250 miles of road riding (a made-up example).

Mountain Biking area are like Nordic skiing areas, majority of the users ride the main trails, the inner loops, while there are always someone that want to ride the more challenging outer loops.

Hub & Spoke is one way to think about promoting biking opportunities online.  Heavily promote the hubs where a majority of the biking occurs, while featuring the spokes that link areas, or that attract a sub-set of riders.

Should try to identify:  public bathrooms, parking area, and trails that are closed for the season.

Educate users on riding in the Wild Forest.

Perkins Clearing near Speculator has its management plan nearing completion.  Currently is the location of Speculator’s Mtn Biking trails and there is the potential for additional featured rides.  Also need to explore possible loops and linkages back to town, to the camp ground, etc.

Might need to better mark trails on the ground – such as where logging is occurring, etc.

Consider an “adopt a trail” program for the features trails, using example of the River Keeper program, or a similar program along the Jack Rabbit Ski trail, where volunteers keep an eye on the trail, addressing fallen trees, bridge deterioration, etc.

Offer itineraries or provide links to itineraries.  In addition to bike shop and Chamber links, have links to touring companies, guidebooks, etc.

Suggested Ride and Route Information

Take Bike Routes 11 and 8 (9 ?) from the NYSDOT website.

Rochester? And Genesee Trans Council have bike maps (

Greater use of Adk Scenic RR for biking

Speculator-Lake Pleasant working on a road-side bike path

Lake Pleasant has GPS maps for at least 2 loops.

Montgomery County has Canal Way Trail, Bike Rt 5 and 5 S, near gateway to Adk Scenic Byway.  Also Rt 30A and Rt 30.

Communities and groups need community assistance for developing appropriate recreation facilities and help in working through the permitting.

Maps provided for: McCauley Mountain, Speculator area, Lake George-Glens Falls, and others will be made available.

For more information, contact Tim Holmes, Holmes & Associates:, 518-637-1444

Holmes & Associates is working on behalf of the Adirondack North Country Association as project consultant for the Scenic Byways On-Line Bicycle Mapping Project, a New York State Scenic Byways Program project managed by the Adirondack North Country Association, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.

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Project Overview

Adirondack North Country Byways:
Adirondack Byway Bicycle Mapping Project

March 2010 – May 2011

Project Purpose

This project will position the Adirondack North Country Scenic Byways as a premier bicycling destination for Byway travelers by featuring popular bicycling touring routes and mountain biking trailheads easily accessed via the 14 interconnected Byways of northern New York.  The project will offer internet-based recreational planning for visitors, enabling access to promotional web information about touring and mountain bicycling, with printable map information and linkages to a variety of local bicycling information as well as to local travel and tourism information.

Mtn Bike family ride by waterfallProject Goals & Objectives

There are a number of project goals and objectives, outlined as follows:

  • Launch comprehensive outreach in the Adirondack North Country region to improve the climate for bicycling by establishing partnerships with bicycle groups, chambers, businesses and NYS DOT Regional Byway Coordinators.
  • Develop a website of online bicycle touring and mountain biking information related to the 14 Scenic Byways in 15 counties in an easily accessible format that can be downloaded in a printable format for specific routes by travelers from remote locations, and that includes the following:
    • An online atlas of at least 70 touring routes, or approximately 4 to 5 per county, including GIS data for the preferred routes that follow, depart from, and return to the Scenic Byways.
    • Research and prepare key ride information for bicycling touring routes and present that information in the online atlas, including trail/route descriptions, length, terminus, connecting trails or loop links, seasonal uses, type, difficulty, signage availability, route/trails configuration, latitude/longitude (GPS) and other references.
    • Research and prepare GIS information on the location of at least 70 mountain biking trailheads that can be accessed from the Scenic Byways.  Include information that will enhance linkages between road touring and mountain biking.
    • Develop lists of Chambers of Commerce, attractions, bike shops, available bike rentals, as wells as recreational, historical, cultural and natural resources, and incorporate those into the website.  Establish linkages to community Chamber and tourism information web-pages.  Prepare linkages to ANCA’s Byway web page and other Byway management entities.
    • Develop and conduct a promotional campaign directing travelers to the website.

Touring through the ANCA Adirondack regionFeatures Expected to be Included in the Website

  1. Brief description of each bicycle route (5 per county), including departure & return to a scenic byway, configuration, terrain, view, experience – what to expect.
  2. Brief description of each mountain bike trail (5 per county), similar to the routes
  3. Route terminus locations/communities (lat/long)
  4. Trailhead locations (lat/long)
  5. Signage availability
  6. Difficulty, appropriateness for families with young riders
  7. Distance or length
  8. Approximate travel time
  9. Terrain changes, possibly terrain profiles
  10. Scenic views available from the ride
  11. Seasonality
  12. Closest community(s)
  13. Nearby bike shops and bike rentals
  14. Nearby Chamber offices, visitors centers
  15. A listing of annual bicycle-related events in the region, near the Byways
  16. Suggest guidebooks, maps, and other available reference materials for the ride
  17. Suggest other activities or annual events in the vicinity (3 per community)
  18. Suggest points of interest in the vicinity (3 per community)
  19. Suggest other bike routes and mountain bike trails in the vicinity

This is a New York State Scenic Byways Program project managed by the Adirondack North Country Association, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.  The project consultant is Holmes & Associates.

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Adirondack North Country Byways: On-Line Adirondack Byway Bicycle Mapping Project

The Adirondack North Country Association provides this project resource repository for stakeholders interested in development of the new website for promoting both road and mountain biking opportunities along the Scenic Byways in northern New York.  The website is expected to be completed by mid-June 2011.  The “Project Resources” section provides an overview of the project.  Route & Ride suggestion forms can be found under the “Forms for Sharing Bike Info” section.ANCA Region Scenic BywaysThis is a New York State Scenic Byways Program project managed by the Adirondack North Country Association, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.  The Project Consultant is Holmes & Associates.

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