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Saying au revoir to V lo Qu bec

PLATTSBURGH - Michael Deserres of Montreal was most impressed by the people of New York during his 12th V lo Qu bec Voyages Grand Tour.

The Grand Tour, a seven-day cycling vacation traveled through upstate New York for the first time since it began 17 years ago.

"It's a great organization," Deserres said. "It draws in a lot of people."

Deserres, who bikes along the predestined route with his friend, Jean Paul Dupre, said both of them have no particular place to go every year, so they choose to ride along with nearly 1,800 people for nearly 500 miles.

However, the outpouring from the people in the area made this trip different for Deserres.

"The welcoming parties in towns, Beekmantown and other villages, it's been remarkable and it's been different," he said during his stop in Rouses Point Aug. 12. "This is what makes New York state different. The people are alongside the highways and applauding. That's real nice."

Deserres was also surprised by receiving a pamphlet in Rouses Point of places to go and things to see.

"That's unique. That's just so nice," he said. "This is the New York state I love."

Having been traveling to Plattsburgh on and off since he was a child, Deserres noticed it was a different experience from the seat of a bike.

"The Plattsburgh area I've known since I was a boy, so it's like a homecoming to me really," he explained. "It's just good to come back on a bike because there's more time to relax and to see and enjoy."

To bring the Grand Tour to the area, many people from many businesses and organizations had to step up to the place. Food was provided by places such as Smooth Moves, Sodexho, Ground Round and Adirondack Coffee Roasters, while organizations such as the Adirondack Boy Scouts and the Compassionate Friends of Northern New York helped things run along smoothly by unloading luggage and serving food.

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