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  1. #1
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    Need some local knowledge on Upstate NY Events

    Hello NY,

    I will be flying into NY (from LA) to visit the wife's family in Binghamton for a few days and will be there over the weekend of the 9th and 10th.

    I saw on this board 2 different events on the 9th - and was looking for some info on which event is better/more fun.

    2012 SMBA Mud Event
    SMBA

    17th Annual Black Fly Challenge
    BlackFlyChallenge.com - the ONLY source for accurate race information.

    I realize that the Black Fly event is mostly dirt/gravel roads as opposed to sweet single track - but maybe the fun of the event and the scenery is worth it?

    Any recommendations on these events (or anything else going on that weekend) would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Kirk

  2. #2
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    SMBA would be more fun if you're looking for singletrack riding.

    Do you really want to drive all that distance to ride, though? There's a lot of good riding in Binghamton, as well as within an hour of Binghamton. Check out Cycle-Cny for trail maps and to find some people to ride with you if you want to stay closer.

  3. #3
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    I ride SMBA all the time, and I did the Black Fly challenge last year (first time). I'm struggling with this question myself, because I really had a good time at the race (you're right, though - most of the riding on the Black Fly is one long, arduous dirt road).

    I guess I'd go with SMBA, given the choice. There's lots of great trails - Bee, Dam, and Backstretch are awesome - and lots of variety. The Black Fly was cool, but the food afterwords wasn't free, there wasn't any beer, and the prizes were meh (although I guess everything has increased this year). There was a pretty good feeling of accomplishment after finishing, but if you've done this kind of thing before, it probably isn't so great.

    The most important thing (wherever you ride) is to stop at Brooks barbecue in Oneonta on your way back for the best barbecued chicken in NY.

  4. #4
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    I've ridden SMBA numerous times and I've done the black fly challenge also. The problem with the BFC for you is it's going to be a real long drive to get there and the atmosphere afterwards is blah, unless you are there with a group.

    This is what I would recommend. On Saturday go ride SMBA - the trails will probably be unlike anything you've ever ridden on a whole trail system (just a guess) but super fun and a blast. They go out on group rides at different points throughout the day and you can go out by yourself or a few people you meet instead.

    - Then on sunday you could do the Williams Lake Classic which is part of the NYS mtb series
    https://www.bikereg.com/Net/15362

    If that's more driving then you wanted to do over 2 days, stay in Saratoga for the night and then hook up with some local riders and ride something else in the Albany area. There are quite a few places to ride.
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  5. #5
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    The black fly challenge is a race. The SMBA MUD event is a totally free mountain bike festival, free BBQ, group rides, demo bikes and raffle! It is also on some of the best single track in our area of the state.

    I know where I'd go, but I'm kinda biased...

    On sunday you could hit up the Fat Tire festival at Blue Mountain in Peekskill, NY.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitchell13 View Post
    The black fly challenge is a race. The SMBA MUD event is a totally free mountain bike festival, free BBQ, group rides, demo bikes and raffle! It is also on some of the best single track in our area of the state.

    I know where I'd go, but I'm kinda biased...

    On sunday you could hit up the Fat Tire festival at Blue Mountain in Peekskill, NY.



    Didn't know about this. A lot of bike events going on that weekend
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  7. #7
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    Both would be fun, I'd say go with SMBA being Binghamton to Inlet is a long drive.

    ps: not sure where they other guys hung out after the BFC but I had fun and got FREE food.

  8. #8
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    Now I was all ready to sign up for the Black Fly on June 10th, seein' I had done the reverse direction way back when and was looking forward to the race, but you guys/gals got me thinking about Saratoga Mud ...hmm. It is closer to home.

    Anyway I concur about Brooks BBQ in Oneonta, get the chicken.

  9. #9
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    the smba guys don't fool around, they can ride and party. hit the smba event...
    I'd hit it, but I bruise like a peach.

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys,

    I really appreciate the input.

    Sounds like Saratoga it is (Wife says it is a pretty cool town to stay the night and go out after riding - and then ride again the next day).

    I am pretty stoked - the riding looks so different from our trails on the west coast.

    Kirk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpnic View Post
    the smba guys don't fool around, they can ride and party. hit the smba event...
    bpnic, you should know.

    You won't be disappointed. Saratoga Springs is an awesome town! And you won't be let down by the trails! I guarantee it,or the beers are on us!

  12. #12
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    Cool, just get ready for the humidity. It's been warmin up around here.

  13. #13
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    Considering the Black Fly Challenge just because is very close to home, what shall we expect?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL View Post
    Considering the Black Fly Challenge just because is very close to home, what shall we expect?
    The route for this year..... First half mile or so is road leading to decently hard packed dirt roads for about 28 - 32 miles or so. The first 20 miles, while not completely uphill is definitely more uphill. The climb (for me anyway) leading up to the 20 mile mark felt much steeper then the climbs prior, so it was a grinder. The next 10 miles or so has a lot of flat and downhill sections with a couple more small climbs. After that you hit about a 8 - 12 mile stretch of pavement leading to the finish. The last section seemed at the time to have a lot of small rolling hills but otherwise flat. Hopefully that summarized it pretty well, let me know if I missed something in particular you were wondering.
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  15. #15
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    I am pretty sure that last road-paved section is no more then 7 miles.
    Your pretty much spending the 1st half climbing, and the 2nd half going down hill.

    I did it the last 2 years, both times it was MUDDY and wet which sucked your speed & strength. I am thinking it would be a totally different race if the dirt roads were dry - it definitely would be a fast 40 miles.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the insights, have been ridding Bud & Sis plus Moss every weekend and there's plenty of water around; maybe this weekend will venture to a pre-race course inspection but there's a lot going on in the area so don't take my word.

  17. #17
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    One thing I found with 40 miles is that I was in decent shape but I don't own a road bike. So my "training" to get ready for the race consisted of pretty tame rides during the week and one 20 - 30 mile ride on the weekends. Problem was, when I got to the last 10 miles I started hitting a wall b/c my legs/body wasn't used to doing those extra additional miles. Probably why that paved section seemed so much longer.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitchell13 View Post

    On sunday you could hit up the Fat Tire festival at Blue Mountain in Peekskill, NY.
    Thanks for the plug 8)

    If you're able to ride Sunday it's always a good fest here in peekskill. Great trails and funs stuffs going on. WMBA

    either thing you do, enjoy the NY single track!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitchell13 View Post
    ... you won't be let down by the trails! I guarantee it,or the beers are on us!
    Let me rephrase that, the beers are on Old Saratoga Brewing, whether you like the trails or not!

  20. #20
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    Couldn't make it this weekend, went for a simulation instead and found that is a bit too much for me at this time, 40 miles on the terrain we rode on Saturday is a killer.

    For those familiar to the area we did, Moss lake, Sis & Bubb lake, snowmobile trail 5 and lower snowmobile trail 4 plus some road miles before making it home, we gave ourselves a beating; the snowmobile trails are hard work.

    After some rest took the kayak out for Paddlefest in Old Forge.

  21. #21
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    You should try the Black Fly Challenge if you get a chance. It was # 1 on a list by Skiing Magazine of badass things to do in June.

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