Saturday, July 23, 2005

Upstate NY

One thing about Ironman Lake Placid (and Ironman Canada) is the locations they are held are a bit remote, compared to IM Coeur D'Alene and of course IM Arizona. Lake Placid is in the middle of the Adirondacks, a huge park in upstate NY. There is a small airport inside the Adirondacks at nearby Sarananc Lake, but the service is very limited and expensive - no flights on the weekend and only a few during the weekdays. I haven't seen the airport, but I get the impression it exclusively handles smaller airlines, for example Fielding Airways, based in Scranton, PA. ;)

Albany looked like the next best location to fly into, about 140 miles away. I arrived about 9 pm, and discovered I had somehow forgotten to arrange for a rental car beforehand. After surveying the various choices, I went with Enterprise, largely because the clerk was very friendly and very helpful.

Due to this screw-up of my own making, I sped away from Albany a few minutes before 11 pm. There is a group from Orkut camping in Massachusetts and I briefly considered a visit, but reality set in - to be in Lake Placid before noon would essentially require pulling an all-nighter and about 7 hours of driving for 4 hours of visit. So I nixed that and drove north.

There was a full moon and I could tell I was driving through a forest, but I couldn't really see much. The road to Lake Placid was rolling hills and windy (perhaps I drove part of the course!) and I fell in behind a car with a bike rack. I noticed plastic bags tied onto the bike protecting the drivetrain and brakes, so it was clearly a race bike. I thought to myself that I would HATE driving into the venue for Ironman after midnight the day before the event. That person should be getting a good night's rest!

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