HIGHLANDER CYCLE TOUR
Inaugurated in 2000, the Highlander Cycle Tour is an annual charity bicycle tour of New York’s famous Finger Lakes Wine Country. It is centered in the Bristol Highlands, above the western shore of picturesque Canandaigua Lake. It has traveled on many different road and off-road courses over its history. Course selections have varied in length from 15 miles to 120 miles, and degrees of difficulty from family friendly to quad punishing, with climbs of up to 10,000 feet of vertical gain on grades up to 23%, all within the same awe-inspiring backdrop of the Finger Lakes wine country. See rides page page for the current year selection.
The rides showcase the beauty, charm, and the roller coaster cycling challenge of the Finger Lakes. The road courses are mostly on low-traffic well-marked country roads, many surrounded by vineyards, that climb the hills, follow meandering creek valleys, go around lake shores, and through small villages. The climbs are rewarded by spectacular vistas of the Finger Lakes and exhilarating descents. Frequent rest stops provide free drinks and food, and the road courses are patroled by SAG wagons.
All tours start and finish at Bristol Mountain Ski Resort, where post-tour the riders can unwind with food, drink and silent auction opportunities, in a picturest valley with mountainous backdrops.
Running such a large event requires considerable manpower to man the registration and pick up booths, stuff the goody bags, man the rest stops, drive the SAG wagons, etc.. Relying on volunteer help and sponsor support, the event is able to keep expenses low and donate the excess proceeds to charity without requirements to raise pledge money.
For those interested in local history, click here for a brochure detailing points of interest on the route of the original Highland Century. Though the courses have routinely changed, most is still applicable to core routes through the Bristol Hills area. 2016 and 2017 in particular will be a return to these roots.