So last Weds the bosses "suggested" I "consider" using up some vacation time as the work load is rather light at the moment. Message received loud and clear.
That evening I did some quick internet scouting and packed the car. The next morning, armed with a travel mug full of coffee, I bid farewell to the HumperDog and Ms. Drumroll and headed to Lake Placid. Fast forward 3+ hours and I was able to check in my room extra early where I quickly changed & headed out for a loop of the IronMan USA course. It still is a subtly challenging yet beautiful course. A shower, quick check of email, etc and I headed on over to the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. A good pub dinner with several pints of Ubu and life was good.
Took my time the next morning to get going but rolled into Chambly, Quebec about mid-day. I lucked out again and was able to check-in early & quickly headed out on the bike. I chose a route along a canal and river that is part of the incredible "Green Route" of Quebec. For those unfamiliar, you owe it to yourself to check this "Green Route" thing out .. lots of signs, dedicated bike lanes, info at tourist/info centers, maps, etc. So after the ride, the same shower, check email drill and I headed across the street to the waterfront. I checked out an old historic fort (Fort Chambly) on the water and then headed next door for dinner. Oh, btw ....Chambly also is the home of Unibroue, an awesome Belgian style brewer (try some if you haven't .. La Fin du Monde is a fav). Unfortunately they do not offer tours or samples at the brewery but by some well performed internet investigation, this restaurant I was headed in offers samples of Uniboue and has a small Unibroue gift shop. A great dinner (venison washed down with Unibroue's Trois Pistoles) and a trip to the gift shop and again, life was good.
Saturday morning I headed due east to Bromont, QC. Bromont is the home of the Bromont International Velodrome which happens to be the velodrome used in the '96 Atlanta Olympics. I had signed up for the intro class/clinic and was a little intimidated at my glaring lack of the "parlez-vous Francais" thing, riding a fixed gear with no brakes as well as the 42 degree banking. After several drills and some guidance, we were flying around the track. We even got to try a flying 200m TT -- I was only a half second slower than that British gal who won a gold medal in London (oh yeah, and she was timed over 250 m .. but we did have beginner/warmup gearing though).
A long ride home Saturday eve and then Sunday was Syracuse Bicycle's Point 2 Pint Ride from the Empire Brewing Co in downtown 'cuse. I opted for the 50 miler which covered a fair amount of familiar roads around Jamesville, Caz and Chittenango. The ride was fun, the after party at Empire was absolutely awesome. They put out an amazing spread with plenty of beverages to quench anyone's thirst. Huge props to Syracuse Bicycle and Empire Brewing.
So that's the end of the Beery Good Long Weekend -- 'cross anyone?