A visit with our son Florian at his ice hockey camp in Lake Placid, New York, this July presented an excellent excuse for Christa and I to explore the Adirondacks. But if you happen to be anywhere close - you won't need an excuse. However, you will need a lot of time to cover it all. Adirondack National Park is larger than Yosemite and Yellowstone combined.
After a short conversation with our friend Jonas Musson at BMW, I was sold on the idea that BMWs are the best choice for this ride. The added bonus is we get to kill two birds for the magazine with one Bavarian stone: we write up road tests on the R1150GS and R1150R and our impressions of the area in the article you're perusing. When we arrived to pick up the motorcycles in Montevale, New Jersey, Jonas answered our questions, explained all the new features on the BMWs, and wished us luck on our tour. We really appreciate this support and congratulate Jonas and his team on a great job.
With our son Manuel behind the wheel of the car, we leave the BMW warehouse with Christa on board the R1150R and I the GS. To onlookers, we present a rather amusing procession with one bike in front and the other in the rear, as though Manuel is a visiting dignitary needing protection. After a long, boring ride on I-81, the exit to Lake Placid comes into view. Now the more interesting parts of the tour begin with the first curves giving us an impression of what we can expect over the next few days. For the moment, it's hard to contain myself and continue my sedate role as Manuel's bodyguard; but my throttle hand will just have to wait for tomorrow's wide-open session.
Br-r-r, it's cold in this area, and that's not only the weather. Most of the people encountered were friendly but quite reserved when it came to these two motorcyclists. We heard some obvious fibs about rooms being all booked up - for hockey camp, the horse show, and so on. But then we got lucky and found a cozy place in the Swiss Acres Inn. Flo and her husband Jaime Collins have more than enough room in their hearts for bikers and we could feel that, listening to Jaime relate some of his motorcycle experiences over drinks before dinner. The inn's restaurant is highly recommended also, with several German dishes featured on the menu. We had to try the sausage with sauerkraut. The service is friendly and very attentive and the food was delicious.
Lakes, Lakes, Lakes
In the morning, the weather changed and only a few clouds hid the sun. We are excited about our first tour in the Adirondacks. What can we expect - curves and twisty roads, good asphalt or uneven pavement? Many questions run through our minds. But the next two days will provide the answers. We take highway 86 toward Saranac Lake, a very busy road and the right way to warm up our tires. In Tupper Lake, we hit highway 30 and head south to Long Lake and Blue Mountain Lake, a very impressive ride through gorgeous expanses of hills and lakes. But my thoughts are not entirely on the road.