You are welcome to join me for a bikepacking loop around Tompkins County, happening this coming Memorial Day Weekend. I've done this loop twice in 2022, but it's time for the 2023 rounds! There are many ways to do such a ride, such as in one go with no camping gear, but I'm not that person just yet, and probably couldn't handle this particular semi gruelling route in one go. Anyhow, this is a fun way to do it, camping for 2 nights total, the first night in Hammond Hill State Forest, the 2nd night in Finger Lakes National Forest in Hector. It's a wonderful experience, I've done it both clockwise and counter, and this round is of the counter clockwise flavor. It breaks down roughly like this- 10 miles on Friday Eve to campsite in Hammond Hill. Saturday is about a 50 mile day, morning early departure down to Jim Schugg trail to Freeville, connecting to East Hill rec way, through Cornell, down to waterfront trail, to Tburg, Searsburg road west to National forest, backbone trail south to camp for night 2. Sunday morning, depart FLNF, south towards Odessa, Texas Hollow, Danby State Forest, Connecticut Hill, back to Shindagin, and that about wraps it up. Depending on how the legs are feeling, I will modify the route to possibly include Danby State Forest, which isn't included in the attached route yet. There are some cool options for route tweaks, but they are not flat! I have a Garmin GPS for navigation, and I'll be modifying the ride with gps route to reflect the Danby addition, and some other tweaks to the road choices, each time, it gets better/different. Plus, it's easy to modify the route on the fly, and skip a few areas if the body requires. There are plenty of places to get provisions and water along the way, but I'll carry a water filter and usual camping essentials, as participants should also be prepared to do.
Departure: Fri, May 26, around 5-6pm
Returning: Sunday May 28, around 5pm
Total Miles: about 120 miles
Rather than write a ton about all the options and details, if you're interested, reply with questions and I'll do my best to respond. There will be bugs, there will be some suffering, but mostly, it's fun, there are opportunities to swim in a few locations as well. I'll be doing it on my Kona gravel bike with 45mm tires. I've done it with 2.8" tires on my mountain bike, and that was a bit overkill, but it's what I had at the time, and it worked.
I'll try very hard to be at the group gravel ride this Thurs May 25, if anyone wants to talk more about it. I'm thinking of planning a proper group ride/event of something like this in the next year or two, as I think that would be a really fun thing for our local cycling community!
All the best,