SUMMER AWAY TRIP 2018 Montreal and Champlain Islands

By Bill O'Connell on 5/30/18
Westchester Cycle Club Summer Away Trip 2018

Many of you missed the wonderful Away Trip to Martha’s Vineyard last  weekend.
Ask anyone who attended, these trips are special riding experiences that are not to be missed.  For this year, you have ONE more chance!

This August 4 and 5, Saturday and Sunday, we will be revisiting Plattsburgh and the Champlain Islands of Vermont.
This is one of the most scenic rides in the Northeast.
The long version is 67 miles with only 1700 feet of climbing with beautiful views of the lake at most spots.
We start by the ferry in Plattsburgh where we park our cars and head north on the New York shoreline go all the way up to near the Canadian border and cross over to the Champlain islands at Rouses point. Then we may go make our way down through the Champlain islands until we get to Hero‘s Welcome where we stop for lunch.

For those who are not up to doing 67 miles there is a short route where you take the ferry across in the morning ride on South Hero and North Hero Islands and go as far north as you want through the island chain then turn around and meet the main group for lunch at Hero’s Welcome and ride back to the ferry after lunch you can do anywhere from 28 to 40 miles or even a little more if you’re up to it.

Speak to riders who did this in the past - you really should not miss it.  

In addition - as an OPTIONAL pre-trip, on Thursday and Friday August 2nd. and 3rd,  we will be returning to Montreal and riding along the Lachine canal and the St. Lawrence River.
Montreal has a beautiful selection of protected paths along the waterfront and cross some of the bridges across the St. Lawrence.
If you haven’t ridden in Montreal before this should not be missed.

Hotel information:
In Montreal I will be staying at the SpringHill suites in Old Montreal - we will be meet there to start our rides.  You may stay anywhere in Montreal you wish,  just meet us there on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

In Plattsburgh the main group will once again be staying at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott.
DO NOT TELL THE HOTELS THAT YOU ARE WITH WCC, THEY HAVE NO IDEA A GROUP IS COMING!!!  GROUPS HAVE # WEEK CANCELLATION POLICIES - DO NOT JEOPARDIZE THE “DAY OF” CANCELLATION FOR THE REST OF US.

Again there are quite an few other hotel Hotels in the vicinity where you can stay.
We won’t be starting the rides from the hotels but down by the Ferry.
We will be having our ride meeting on Friday evening at the Marriott Fairfield Inn and we will be having group dinners at Anthony’s which was great last year and is a short walk from the Marriott.
There will be to sign up points on the Rides board one for the Saturday Sunday main events along the Champlain islands and the second for those who wish to do the pre-trip to Montreal.

THE RIDES:
There will be no SAG coverage in Montreal as we will be riding only a few miles from the hotel and taxis are readily available.
For the Champlain ride I will be seeking a SAG driver.  There will be a SAG fee for the Champlain portion of the trip of $20 per rider.

There will be a FERRY, currently $5.50 for rider AND bike EACH WAY.  
The long route only hits this ferry at the end of the route, while the shorter route takes the ferry twice.  
These routes are relatively FLAT, and suitable for C and D riders who do not want to do 70 miles.  The actual distance you ride is easily customizable as you can do a large part of the longer ride going UP through the islands and then back,
Lunch stop on Saturday is at “Hero’s Welcome” - a General Store / Deli with great sandwiches and a dining patio overlooking the lake.  You may even rent kayaks here if you feel that your arms are not getting enough of a workout.

Montreal is about an hour and 10 minutes north of Plattsburgh  -  (PASSPORTS  ARE  REQUIRED!!!)

Those preferring a bit more challenge can join me for an early morning or post ride jaunt up Peel Street and onto paths leading to the scenic top of Mont Royal.  
It will get your heart pumping.  
Stops are planned at Premier Moison , a bakery cafe, in Both Directions for Breakfast and lunch, if you lose weight on this ride something is seriously wrong with you!

 On Sunday, there are short ride options before we all pack up and head home.
One option the SAME as Saturday’s Short Route.  The other option is a DIRT ROAD and Gravel Rail Trail across Lake Champlain and down to Burlington.  I did this on my road bike with 23C Tires last year without difficulty.  It is a Famous, Very Special and beautiful route if you accept the fact that it will be dirt roads.  There is also a Bike Ferry across the Gap in the Rail Trail.

All this for only $20???  (Plus Hotel, Food, and Ferries)
How do we do it???
Thank the SAG drivers, that provide an essential service for our rides.