Events: Adirondack Ultra Fondo 2018
(2017) A couple years back, our trusty ridekick Mike and yours truly circumnavigated the majority of the Catskills preserve by riding nearly 140 miles in eight hours. We had set up the ride in the summer to take advantage of as much sunlight as possible. As a matter of fact, we borrowed the idea from Rapha’s Longest Day where cyclists try to find out just how far they can ride in one twenty-four hour cycle. Mike and I considered the Catskills ride such a success we saw it prudent to retire the route directly for fear of tarnishing such a remarkable experience.
Which means I cannot fathom the concept that I would only be halfway through the event if I tackled the Adirondack Ultra Fondo, an endurance bike race centralized in Schulyerville, NY taking place on May 12, 2018. Though the Catskill loop would be the theoretical mid-point of the ride distance-wise, it would hardly be in the neighborhood of the event’s 13,500 feet of climbing. That flirts with one other Rapha event: Rapha Rising, which saw cyclists riding over 15,000 feet cumulative during the Tour de France duration. I would be potentially demoralized at the halfway point of distance and elevation. I also doubt it would be as expressway as to knock off the first half of the event in eight hours.
Yet I find myself completely intrigued by it. There are the four categories: solo, two-person relay, three-person relay, and four-person relay. I could certainly assemble a team who would give it an honest try, or I could explore the limits of capability both physically and mentally by entering the solo category and prepare to be riding in darkness alone and willing myself forward. The Adirondacks get darker than most places; riding a bike through the Park during the night, indicating the final miles of the event, could be a true test of character.
There is also the consideration of a new frontier. I have never purposely ridden my bike in the night. A couple times I found myself caught out and rolled back the creakybottombracket.com offices in darkness, but for the most part I’ve kept my rides with the sun’s presence. I would also be in the new style of riding for myself. I do ride solo quite regularly due to my schedule, but to do it amidst competition would be a new experience. Would redlining in the first hour pay off or cause heartache hours later? The other fact not mentioned is the entire race’s field entry is limited to 55 participants. That accentuates the chances of loneliness.
With a route that passes through Indian Lake, Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid, it would be an incredible experience to emulate exploring the source of the Hudson River. Even the Nile River’s source was found before the source of the Hudson River. The Adirondacks are that remote and isolated. Perhaps I will try my fitness and register for this event. If the field has not been filled by race day, participants can register on site. Because, you never know when you have the itch to suddenly do 270 miles in 27 hours.