Our fall outing to Hornell will from Tuesday 10 to Thursday September 12. Some of us will also be staying on until Saturday September 14 to ride The Highlander (see below). Hornell is in the northern Allegheny Highlands (click here for Wikipedia article). The Highlands are part of the vast Appalachian Mountain Range of the Eastern United States and Canada. In less technological times they posed a significant barrier to land travel in eastern North America. In our era, they are a hidden cycling gem - great scenery, terrific roads and, best of all, lots of challenging hills.
Accommodation We will be staying in the Econo Lodge (website) in North Hornell which is a short distance south west of the Finger Lakes. Please call the hotel directly at 607-324-0800 to make your reservation. Tell them that you are part of the Wednesday Wheelies group and ask them to put you in the "New Building". It's a separate structure of 18 large rooms, all of which are non-smoking. If you run into any confusion trying to make your booking, we suggest you call back when Eric is on duty. There are also about 50 additional rooms in the other buildings. You can expect to pay around $60 per night, including breakfast. Don't try and use one of the many of the online booking options as you may actually pay more, and you probably won't be able to ask to be put in the New Building. We suggest you drive down on the Monday evening and stay through until the Thursday morning. However, if you want to come for either a shorter or longer stay, no problem.
The Scenery As mentioned above, the region is very hilly, and so not for the faint of heart (sorry). You may wish to consider using a granny gear bike. There are some really long beautiful remote stretches on all of the routes. It will be impossible to avoid enjoying the scenery, even when you are climbing! You may even decide that the scenery is spectacular. Be sure to bring along some sort of camera device.
The Rides We've plotted hilly rides for the first two days. On the third day, there will two around a lake options - one flat and the other hilly. Click here to see RWGPS plots of the rides (click on the "Show all on map" button in order to see the big picture). The RWGPS link includes some other options for anyone choosing to stay longer than three days. As the event approaches, we will refine parking lot information, refreshment stops and other details, and some nits will be fixed. Start times for the rides will tentatively be 9:30. There will be a short drive to the start locations on the first two days, and a slightly longer drive to the start location for the rides around the lake on the third day.
The Highlander Perhaps the routes we have plotted won't be enough for you. For the truly inclined at heart, click here to read about the Highlander. It's a charity ride of 165.6 km with 3041 metres of climbing! It takes place on the Saturday following our stay in Hornell. There will likely also be a number of our cycling friends from the Niagara Freewheelers participating. You can register on the day of the event so you don't need to make a commitment until you see the weather and how you feel. Because the ride is so challenging, the number of participants will be quite modest (unlike many charity events). There will be several well stocked food and drink stations along the way. You may get very tired, but you definitely won't bonk. There will also be a dinner at the finish.
After Ride Socializing and Dinner Each day after the ride, we will meet in the parking lot outside our rooms for some after ride socializing and rehydrating. We will generally head off as a group around 6 pm for dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Flexibility Since we all be staying in the same hotel and will likely be a fairly small group, we will have the flexibility to change details to suit the circumstances (e.g., start times or restaurant details).
Weather and Cancelling Your Hotel Reservation Click here to check out the weather forecast for Hornell (this page also includes also includes links to 14 day and 7 day forecasts). If the weather looks like it will be really lousy, you will be able to cancel your hotel reservation without penalty up to 11 am on the day before your scheduled arrival. If we have one bad day of weather, Corning is a very touristy town about an hour away that's worth a visit. Of particular interest is the Corning Glass Museum (website) where you can learn all about glass making and how Corning developed Pyrex, Corelle, fiber optic cable, gorilla glass and other game changing technical glass products. Another bad weather day option would be a visit to Ithaca and Cornell University.
Driving For driving directions, click here. Google Maps estimates the driving time to be 3.5 hours in good conditions. Of course, there is the border and possible traffic delays. Hence, we recommend that you drive down on the Monday evening. In order to avoid roaming charges on your phone, you may wish to download the Google Maps sections for the area before leaving home. This will allow you to put your phone in airplane mode after crossing the the border. In addition to using Google Maps to get to the hotel, you will also find it useful for finding parking lots, restaurants, etc.
Registration If you think you are likely to join us, please click on the registration button on the left and register as soon as possible. If you change your mind at any point, not an issue. However, it will be very helpful to us if you register so that we have a reasonable sense of our likely numbers.
Suggestions or Questions If you have any suggestions for changes or refinements to the proposed program, we will be very happy to hear them. Also, if you have any questions about the event, please feel free to contact us.