LOCALadk Magazine

LOCALadk Summer 2019

LOCALadk Magazine

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Page 52 of 75

Summer 2019 LOCALadk Magazine 53 LOCALadk The Sport Bikepacking has recently exploded as a sport, and the Ad- irondacks have a gem of a 585-mile route. Different from bicycle touring, the idea is to go off-road to explore nature via dirt roads and trails through the woods. Bikepackers keep their load light while riding either mountain or gravel bicy- cles. There is a movement in many areas to connect towns via bikes, which has the potential to bring additional tourism dollars to small communities. The Adirondack Trail Ride (TATR) fits this model, since the route winds through a vil- lage approximately ever y 70 miles, providing a resupply for riders, and sometimes a motel. Still, it's critical on any bikepacking ride to pack warm clothing, rain gear, basic repair tools, a water filter, and food. You should also be prepared to camp in some fashion— espe- cially on TATR. Bikepackers typically rely on under-the-seat, frame, and handlebar bags to carr y all their gear. Some peo- ple also use bottle cages on their front forks, or a light back- pack. Conventional panniers really don't work ver y well for off-road riding. I've been down that trail! TATR TATR brings the challenge of a multiday, self-supported mountain bike route to the Adirondacks. It circumnavigates the Adirondack Park, both starting and ending in the Village of Northville on the Great Sacandaga Lake. To keep riders on public land, the route includes about 200 miles of paved sec- ondar y roads and 200 miles of dirt and gravel roads, with the remaining 185 miles on single track and snowmobile trails in the woods. The TATR route was mapped by Mikey Intrabartola. He was inspired by racing the Tour Divide, a 2,745-mile bikepack- ing race from British Columbia to New Mexico. Mikey knew the rugged terrain of the Adirondacks would lend itself to a tough route for a bikepacking race. In just the first four years of its existence, TATR has become a draw for those who want to push themselves. The finish rate of those entering the Grand Depart, the an- nual race on TATR, is low. Reasons for DNFs (Did Not Finish) on the scoreboard include: bike crashes, mechanical failures, weather, injuries, exhaustion, and mounting frustration with natural obstacles deep in the woods. While racers compete in the Grand Depart each Septem- ber, the route can also be toured at any time, at one's own pace. If you don't feel like tackling the entire journey at once, you can go out for a weekend ride on a section of TATR that will take you deep into some of the most beautiful areas of the Adirondacks.

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