Return Of Lake Luzerne
Lake Luzerne: A cycling adventure for the ages
By Howie Luxenberg
Sixteen of us car-pooled for a week of cycling at Lake Luzerne, a tiny village near Lake George, nestled between some of the greenest mountains and glistening streams in the Adirondacks.
We climbed hills. We climbed mountains that never seemed to end. For me, it was like a grueling crawl to the peaks of Mount Everest without the benefit of a Sherpa. Larry Chestnut, our resident cheer leader and no stranger to the mountains, kept repeating: “Shift into your lowest gear and just grind it out.” Easy for him to say, as he looked over his shoulder and slowly led the way forward.
Al Lowich, a man of few words, unless it relates to politics, chugged along at a pace that defied logic. Most electrifying of all were Don Sprague and his wife, Judy, who rode to the top on a 50-pound tandem without the benefit of low gearing. Don has long been an expert rider and ride leader, but Judy is a virtual novice and their twin performance made us stare in wonderment.
Bob Smith, the trip’s organizer, charted the routes and kept us guessing about the next destination on our journey to the heavens. Of course, he and his wife, Meg, made it all worthwhile with a sumptuous dinner of various pastas, sauces and fabulous desserts of freshly picked strawberries, blueberries, ice cream and a variety of other goodies.
There was no shortage of wonderful eateries and shops that we visited as we weaved through the trails. For instance, Al astonished many of us, as well as the owner of a particular breakfast establishment, by simply devouring the biggest vat of oatmeal known to mankind on two separate mornings. Those witnessing the occasion were left aghast. In the evening, whether you chose prime ribs, steaks, pork chops or Italian cuisine, you were never disappointed in the quality or quantity at very reasonable prices.
Marilyn Saywell and Metta Cahill climbed the peaks and looked spectacular doing it.
Bill Cooper and Bob Parsons patrolled as unofficial traffic cops during many of our treks, helping keep us safe and on a proper heading.
Harry and Terrie Koenig were among the more deliberate, but no less determined, hill climbers, but I’m certain they captured more breath-taking views of the landscape than some of the more aggressive riders.
Dennis Whitney and yours truly had the distinction of being sole members of the group to take to the road each day without interruption. As expected, Mr. Lowich was the mileage leader.
Most importantly, there were no mishaps, spills or even flat tires. The weather cooperated and it was truly an outstanding week.
Bob invites other Freewheelers to strongly consider joining the group in 2011.