A bike or golf cart?

Biking at the Tupper Lake Country Club

Lisa Sciacca

December ?

It is December right? With temperatures in the 40s – 50s, it is feeling like fall in December. Why not take advantage of this unseasonably warm weather! Soon enough the ground will be covered in white, and boots, hats, gloves, and winter jackets will be necessary. However, on this mid-December day I am dressed in sneakers, low socks, bike shorts, long sleeved shirt and a light weight jacket - I'm ready to bike.

At the pro shop with gear!

Meet the golfers

My normal route has me riding down a local mountain, but in need of a change I headed up the mountain. Not too far into my ride, while admiring the golf course, I thought why not bike on the golf cart/walking path! My trip began on the lower nine near the Pro Shop, where I came across a couple of local young golfers (one experienced and one newbie). The guys, Sonny Kentile and Mike Kelly allowed me to take their photo. I then watched as they made their first drive, both had excellent shots. Sonny made it look so easy and Mike appeared to be a natural!

The experienced golfer - Sonny Kentile.

The newbie, Mike Kelly, a natural.

The path is hard-packed and topped with gravel; in some places the gravel is thick so I had to pay attention to the coverage, especially since I was on a trek bike. As I started to bike the path, my only thought was why I hadn't thought of this years ago! What a great place to bike – off season, of course, as I would not want to disturb the golfers or dodge the golf balls!

Landscape still beautiful!

The course was beautiful for riding and viewing on the 12th day of December! Some may argue that everything is brown, I tend to disagree. There are various shades of gold and brown, and even a variety of green left, and in today’s sunlight they were beautiful.

Still beautiful this time of year, even without snow.

My plan was to bike the lower nine, but I detoured into the woods, biked beyond Cranberry Pond, stopped at the picnic area and saw the wood pile, ready for the full moon ski events. I biked a bit more on the trail and noticed the work the volunteers have done on the cross-country ski trails - they've been clearing more trails and and posting signs so skiers know their exact location. Being that I am a bit afraid of running into a bear, I did not venture far into the woods (although I do ski the trails when the bears are in hibernation). With this unusually warm weather my neighbor's perennials are coming up, so I thought the bears are probably still awake - maybe tired and ready for sleep - but awake, hungry, and roaming!

Cranberry Pond

On my way out of the wooded area I meet a couple enjoying the December day with their dog. What a great recreational area we have for golfing, biking, jogging, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sledding! Kite flying would be great too (off season)! Once Mother Nature gets it together we will have an abundance of snow and I for one can hardly wait to make use of the groomed cross-country ski trails and partake in some of the winter events at this location.  

A race track or a track field?

A race course with stone walls and S curves!

Back on the path, I came across a stone wall, must say it looked and felt like I was on a race track! OK, I might be a bit old for a race track, but zooming along the flats and rounding the corners was a blast and I felt like a kid! Then I came to the hill - it wasn’t long, but it was steep! Very steep for a bike! On skis it would not be a problem, you need to bend forward a bit at the waist and bend the knees and go for it. On a bike, at least for me, it was a bit scary!

The hill!  Short but steep!

 I hopped off the bike and walked around the vertical drop and then noticed someone running with his clubs. Tucker Backus, a Tupper Lake Golf Course Board Member, was out enjoying the December weather, golfing and getting a workout at the same time. Oh, he had his tunes going too! He was burning some calories, improving his golf game, and maybe dancing to his tunes! (Just joking Tucker!)

Tucker Backus playing a new!

The going gets tougher!

Crossing the Country Club Road put me on the top nine, a few more hills, but they were not a problem. I exited near the garage then headed up the mountain on the Country Club Road to the Big Tupper Ski area, future Adirondack Club and Resort. I will admit the going was tough! I couldn't stop and take photos as I would lose my momentum! I was determined to make it to the lodge area and take a photo or two before heading down.

A tough ride up the mountain road to my destination!

The trip up the mountain was a total workout; the ride around the golf course was a warm up in comparison. If this weather continues, I believe I will make it a daily routine. Exercising and enjoying our fall weather in December was fun.  

After doing a two-hour bike ride, my next agenda included a nice lunch! 

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