Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New York-Montreal Makes it to NYC and Enjoys Brooklyn

After saying goodbye to one Trekker in Montreal (farewell Tyrone!) and catching some shut eye on a bus from Montreal to New York City, the Trekkers enjoyed some urban cycling from Manhattan to Brooklyn, where they met Cliff, Teen Treks' Director, for lunch.
The Trekkers rode down the West Side Bike Path, around the tip of lower Manhattan, and over the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn Heights. There the group had a celebratory lunch at a Middle Eastern restaurant and took an afternoon dip at the Brooklyn Bridge Park pool.
It has been a really great Trek with an amazing group of cyclists, and we wish all the best to our Trekkers!
Thank you,
Kyle, Erin, Cliff, Alexa and the Teen Treks crew.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Across America Meets the Atlantic Ocean-A Final Ride

Yesterday afternoon, Across America accomplished their massive, 55-day ride from the Pacific Ocean in Oregon to the Atlantic Ocean in New York City!   

The Trekkers blasted through a 106 mile final 24 hour push through hills, dips and New York City traffic before arriving to the Atlantic Ocean boardwalk.  Despite getting about 4 hours sleep, the cyclists were beyond excited to have accomplished their 3,500+ mile ride.   

The determined group completed their Trek to Coney Island's beach with a joyous crowd of family eagerly waiting.  After taking a quick dip in the ocean, everyone headed to a nearby restaurant for some gourmet NYC pizza.  It was a thrilling afternoon for the cyclists and the families to celebrate such a massive accomplishment.  

 It has been amazing to watch a group of strangers unite and become a force of strength through mountains, rain, hail (!!), deserts, forests and thousands of miles.  Across America was a whirlwind ride of a lifetime, and we send our congratulations to everyone. 

Teen Treks wishes you all the very best as you part ways, even out your tans and catch up on sleep.  Have a wonderful summer!

To all of the Trekkers, Leaders, families, friends, strangers, bike shop employees and everyone in between: THANK YOU!

Way to go Across America!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Canada at Last for New York-Montreal (NYM A5)

The New York -Montreal Trekkers were excited to cross the border into Quebec, Canada only one day away from Montreal.  On the way they rode a ferry and stopped to pick fresh corn.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New York - Montreal Trek in Vermont (NYM A5)

For two days the New York-Montreal Trekkers biked north to the City of Burlington.  Vermont's rolling hills were barely a challenge for these seasoned cyclists.  The group camped in a nice campground on the shores of Lake Champlain and hit the sites of this progressive college town.
Emma assists a street artist in Burlington.

Emma,  Ben, and Russell about to dig into the humongous Ben &Jerry's Vermonster.
Ben and Johnny's post Vermonster recap:  "We ate it in about 3 minutes!"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Across America Moving Down to NYC

The group was met by the Director, Cliff in downstate New York as he was driving to the city (yes, he packed his bike).  Everyone had lunch in Hancock, New York before parting ways.
The group is so close to the end, and we are very proud of Across America making it to the Big Apple.  The group should arrive to NYC on Saturday, and will meet with one of the Trekker's families for a meal.

Looking forward to seeing everyone who can attend Across America's end of Trek celebration in Coney Island!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New York-Montreal (NYM A5) at Lake George

The group arrived to Lake George early yesterday afternoon, which meant that they spent a few hours at the beach and played frisbee and put put.  It was a pleasant day and the group is excited for the ferry across the lake today-probably because of the on board buffet.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Across America in Buffalo, NY

Across America had the chance to sleep in and relax in Buffalo, New York.  The group headed into America last night after two great days in Canada, where the group was surprised both nights by hospitable  locals who graciously offered them a place to stay-both set of hosts were avid travelers who offered great chat and amazing food (THANK YOU!).  
The group cruised into Buffalo feeling good, especially because they had a hotel and pool to enjoy.  Since Teen Treks is based in Buffalo, the Director, Cliff and Program Coordinator, Alexa and a few lingering Leaders met the group for wings at Anchor Bar, the place where Buffalo Wings were invented.  The Trekkers were hungry, as seen by the 2 pizzas,150 wings and multiple salads they devoured!  Afterwards, the group ate cupcakes while sharing their stories to an audience of Teen Treks staff. 
Everyone got a good night's sleep, and arrived for breakfast at Cliff's house this morning.  After hanging around and relaxing, the Trekkers decided to head to City Hall for a panoramic view of Buffalo before heading out. 
The group is going to Batavia, NY tonight, and then will be heading to Ithaca, where they will be staying with a Teen Treks Leader (Keaton) who they met last night.  The group is excited to be at the end of the Trek, and are very relieved that they can have more casual days on the road.
City Hall offers great views of New York, Canada and two Great Lake-Erie and Ontario.

Goodbye Lake Ontario Trekkers!

A last entry for Lake Ontario...
700+ miles later we are back in Buffalo eating chicken wings, climbing City Hall for a panoramic view of the Queen City, tasting sponge candy, and checking out the Body Worlds exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science.  It has been a crazy, amazing three week adventure and it is strange that it is now all over.

Best wishes to all of the Lake Ontario Trekkers!  Happy summer and keep on cycling!

Thank you for biking with us,

Luke, Laura, Alexa, Cliff and the rest of the Teen Treks crew.

New York Montreak (NYM A5) Heads Upstate

New York-Montreal Trek is making their way to Lake George.  The Trekkers spent the weekend around Albany, where they enjoyed their hotel and the generally empty streets and nice architecture.  They cruised the state's capital and even found a complete (and free) musical production of Shrek in the park, which made for a nice evening.  After spending Saturday biking along a canal in Schuylerville, NY, the group spent yesterday cruising through small towns in good weather, and caught the attention of a few locals who wanted to chat about the group's travels.  The group has been having a great time, but with one concern: Kyle suspects that the group may have hit a level of ice cream overload, something that he did not know was possible until yesterday.  However, they are excited to hit Lake George, where breakfast on a ferry (to Vermont) awaits.

Friday, August 9, 2013

New York-Montreal (NYM A5) is Making Their Way to Albany!

The group checked out the Franklin D Roosevelt house in Hoyt Park, New York.  Everyone got an interesting history lesson while touring FDR's favorite home and the expansive gardens, which are sprinkled with statues and resting areas.  
Yesterday, the Trekkers had a long day of biking, with a riverside lunch and swimming.  They biked along pretty farms, up some hills and got plenty of ice cream in return for their hard work.  The group spent last night staying at an estuary preserve that was full of bloomed flowers. Everyone relaxed, check out the flowers and swam in the Hudson during the evening.  The worst part of the day was that a few spoons broke in the ice cream.  Some suspect that a conspiracy is in play.
The group is in Albany today, and everyone is excited for the hotel and pool.  Kyle, one of the Leaders, is attending grad school in Albany, and has a few interesting spots to show the group.
After biking over this river, the Trekkers decided to check it out.
It turned out to be the perfect spot for lunch and a cool down.
Everyone was excited for wild grapes!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Niagara-Toronto Closing in on Toronto!

The group is going to arrive in Toronto today, after a night in the town of Bronte, Ontario.  Here's what Kate has to say about yesterday:
"Ran into a short but heavy rainstorm on the way over, but luckily we had an early start this morning so it did not slow us down.  We're at a campsite in the Bronte Conservation tonight.  Everyone is doing great aside from a little sadness that the Trek is already half way over!  We are on our way to Toronto tomorrow, and will be taking a lake side bike path that keeps Toronto in sight the whole way, slowly getting closer until we are right in the city!  We have found many fruit stands with delicious berries among the expansive farm communities we are riding through, but we are still excited for some city living...:
The bike trail that goes into Toronto

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Across America Going to Canada from Michigan

Yes, you read correctly: Across America is headed towards Canada!  
The group had the option of taking a route through Cleveland, Toledo, Erie etc, but decided to take the Canadian route because they wanted to check out the casual cool town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The group spent the night in Ann Arbor, and will be leaving the town today and moving towards the Detroit River/Canada.  They are expected to cross the border tomorrow morning.  
The shortest way to get to Canada is passing through Detroit, but the group may substitute that option for a more scenic route that is about 8-10 miles longer.  The exact route is causing much debate with the group: some want more bike paths, others want to shave off miles and/or ride through populated areas.  Everyone is excited to get to Canada, where rural Ontario awaits!  
The group is expected to be in Buffalo on Sunday, and will be staying at Teen Treks' downtown headquarters.
Some random shots:
The Trekkers who shop together, stay together...
Main area of Ann Arbor

Lake Ontario Making Their Way Past Brockport, New York

The Trekkers have had a bunch of really fun days that started in Spencerport, New York.  The group was lucky enough to pay a visit to one of the Trekker's (Sophie) aunt, who was an amazing host to the travelers.  The group was ahead of schedule, so they spent their well earned day off relaxing, visiting a beach, playing games and jumping on a huge trampoline.  The next day, the Trekkers were given a phenomenal, generous breakfast from Sophie's family before heading along the Erie Canal to Brockport, New York for dinner followed by a short ride to Holley, New York.   The group set up their tents and fell asleep, only to wake up to a wonderful view and sunshine.  Let the good times roll!
Big shout out to Sophie's extended family for being such kind hosts to the Trekkers.  Thank you!
 Families: the end of Trek pick up location on 8/11 has changed.  Details have been emailed to parents.
Along the Canal pathway

New York-Montreal (NYM A5) is Along the Hilly Hudson!

The Trekkers had an amazing day yesterday.  The group had a day of higher mileage and hills, and the group took on this challenging route with gusto.  The downhill rides were worth the climb and the views of the Hudson River and greenery was really great.  The group cruised into Croton, and enjoyed the evening in a beautiful spot full of big trees and great views of the Hudson Valley.  They group all hung out, cooked up dinner and went swimming in the river before heading to bed.  The group woke up to great weather, and are now making their way (on a less hilly route) to Franklin D. Roosevelt's mansion home in Hyde Park, New York.  The group is content with one another and are having a great time so far, made even better by the lack of bike problems and great weather. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Niagara-Toronto's Time in Niagara

The Trekkers have been busy!  Here's what they did this weekend:
From Kate, Leader:
"We spent a wonderful first day exploring many historical sites in Buffalo.  What we visited: the Naval Park with battle destroyer ships from WWII, including the USS the Sullivans, which is haunted by the 5 Sullivan brothers who died on the ship during the Battle of the Solomons.  We also checked out the Darwin Martin House, a gorgeous awe inspiring residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the home of the "Buffalo wing", the Anchor Bar.  
The group spent the first night in a fab Buffalo hostel. Then, we packed up our bikes and headed into Canada.  Shortly after crossing the border, we had a swim and snack break.  We then hopped on a lovely bike path and cruised our way to Niagara Falls along a bike path.  At the Falls, we paused for a quick photo opp and a much needed Tim Horton's pit stop-the Canadian doughnut and coffee eatery went down a treat.  The Niagara Falls hostel is really awesome; homely and comfortable.  We took advantage of the nice kitchen and cooked a delicious chicken enchilada dinner, followed by a yummy chocolate, peanut butter and banana cake."

Buffalo is a hot spot for Frank Lloyd Wright creations
And onto Niagara Falls: "The day started out with an exciting ride on the Maid of the Mist boat, which takes visitors right to the foot of the Falls.  Everyone got a good sprinkling as we donned blue ponchos and sailed past the Brides Vale and Horseshoe falls.  After disembarking we cycled to Goat Island and saw the falls close up, this time from above.  A quick jaunt to the Three Sisters Islands and a ride over the rest of the islands followed.  After lunch we made our way to Whirlpool State Park along the Robert Moses Parkway bike path (in New York), a former highway converted for bike use.  At Whirlpool State Park we dismounted our trusty steeds and descended into the maw of the Niagara Gorge.  A shady hike ensued with lots of laughter and stops to dip our toes into the warm water.  The views were great; we were surrounded by panoramic views of the gorge, a few fisherman, huge slabs of rock and Canada.  After hiking up some less than desirable stairs and crossing back into Canada we cooked up a filling meal of pasta alfredo.  Another good day for Niagara-Toronto where the kids were so tuckered out that they feel asleep with the lights on.  Onward and upward!"
-Keaton, Leader

The Nigara Gorge-great spot with multiple hiking trails
Timbits from Tim Hortons-more to come!