FANY ride visits B'ville

Cyclists peddled more than 230 miles to reach the Seneca River shores in Baldwinsville last week.

The Big Fat FANY bike ride stopped Tuesday in Mercer Park where cyclists spent the night before peddling 270 more miles towards their final destination of Saratoga Springs.

"This is their third straight year staying in B'ville," said Mayor Joseph Saraceni. "We love having them."

The FANY ride, Five hundred miles Across New York, was designed to be a vacation for bike enthusiasts. Beginning in Niagara Falls, cyclists spend seven days riding across the state to the Hudson River. Moving vans and trucks follow the riders toting their camps, which include portable toilets and showers, from site to site.

"They are just really a great group of folks -- very self reliant," Saraceni said. "It's great having visitors, especially cyclists."

Bad weather doesn't dampen moods

More than 130 riders pulled into Mercer Park between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday July 22. Organizers called ahead of time to set up a dinner catered by Canal Walk Caf (c). Dawn Custer, the caf (c) owner, made arrangements for the riders to eat at the First United Methodist Church off of Genesee Street in the village in the event of rain, which proved to be genius as the weather turned sour that evening. In fact, a tornado warning led the Baldwinsville Police Department to evacuate the camp in the wee hours of Wednesday morning and transfer the visitors to the Baldwinsville village hall. Saraceni said he received a phone call from the department around 4:30 a.m. at which point he decided to head down to meet the visitors.

"They were all in great spirits," he said. "They were really happy with our police department."

The "Empire State" tour

The riders started off biking along the Niagara River Sunday. Riding through quaint towns and historic forts, they journeyed 85 miles through three counties eventually arriving in Brockport. Monday brought trips through Amish farm country and the Finger Lakes region -- 80 miles through three more counties to Penn Yan, home of the World's largest pancake griddle. Tuesday bikers traveled 70 miles through wine country and the Montezuma National Wildlife Preserve arriving four counties later in "cute Baldwinsville, known for it's Greek revival architecture."

Riders were able to experience the Turning Stone Casino Wednesday after biking 75 miles to the resort. Thursday and Friday, riders traveled approximately 150 miles through the Adirondack Park hitting destinations like Speculator and Lake George. Riders finished Saturday as they rode along the Hudson River and arrived in Saratoga Springs.

This is the organization's eighth year doing the ride. For more information about the Big Fat FANY ride, visit fanyride.com.

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