Massive bicycle tour headed for region

LAKE GEORGE - Nearly 2,000 bicyclists will be rolling through the area next week - the largest tour of its kind ever experienced in the region.

The Warren County Tourism officials are urging area residents to be prepared to welcome a group of 1,700 or more Canadian bicycle riders to the area.

V lo Qu bec, a nonprofit cycling organization, is bringing their popular annual cycling adventure "Le Grand Tour" to the Adirondack Region Aug. 7 through 13, as part of a week-long traveling vacation.

This year V lo Qu bec's tour is offering cyclists a historic route following the footsteps of Samuel de Champlain along Lake George, Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks and the Richelieu River. The route will also feature substantial mileage along the Lakes to Locks Passage, a designated state-designated "Byway" that brings to life the early nation-building activities of the U.S. and Canada, Warren County Tourism official Tanya Brand said.

V lo Qu bec has chosen the SUNY Adirondack campus as the departure point for the non-competitive event. Buses loaded with participants and tractor trailers with accompanying luggage, bicycles and equipment will start arriving at the college the morning of Aug. 7.

A tent village will be erected at the community college where participants will camp out the night prior to their morning departure. Participants will undoubtedly enjoy the area's natural beauty while patronizing the restaurants and attractions of Lake George Village on the evening of their arrival, Brand said.

A warm welcome in Lake George Saturday will include street entertainment, vendors, and music in Shepard Park, Mayor Robert Blais said.

"Exposing our area to 1,700 cyclists is extremely important to our tourism efforts," he explained.

From 2 to 10 p.m., shuttle buses will transport the cyclists from college to the village's Visitor Center on Beach Road. Special French-speaking hostesses will greet the cyclists and distribute a Grand Tour discount book. Many village restaurants, cruise operators and retail stores are offering special promotions for the cyclists. Throughout Saturday, the village's lakefront walkway will be lined with jugglers, magicians, musicians and balloon artists. A steel drum percussion band will play in Blais Park.

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