One of the most underrated activities we’ve got in the Ellicottville area are the expansive roads and trails for you to ride your bike on. Whether you’re channeling your inner Tour de France competitiveness on the roads or getting muddy on-hill crushing the mountain biking trails, there are hundreds of miles for you to explore. Holiday Valley’s ‘Cycling Weekend’ and rides/races on the mountain biking trails will get you fit for summer while giving you a fresh perspective on the lesser-known spots in the area.
Dennis Baldwin, Ellicottville’s mountain bike guru, also runs Ellicottville Bike & Bean - one of the most fun storefront combos around. Not only an architect of delicious, organic burritos (writer’s note: they’re really good) Baldwin also spearheads the local MTB scene.
“More and more people are discovering the riding paradise that is Ellicottville,” he said. “We have 30+ miles right here in our backyard with some smaller, 12-mile singletrack areas nearby. The Western New York Mountain Bike Association (WNYBA) has plans for 15 miles of single track in Allegany State Park. Ellicottville riding has got some press in the last 5-6 years as well as labeled by IMBA as an epic ride destination.”
Maintaining the integrity of the trails relies on community effort, and Baldwin, in conjunction with WNYMBA, is constantly organizing trail work days to keep the trails cleaned up and fun to ride. One of the most important things people overlook, he said, is not only keeping your body up to the task of burning calories a day’s worth of riding consumes - but keeping your equipment tuned up as well.
“Basic maintenance and proper tire inflation goes a long way. Get your bike in for service and ask what you should be taking on the trail to get you back out in case you have a mechanical issue,” he said. “Proper nutrition is always underrated, and eating the right food and drinking plenty of water is HUGE when you're going to spend the day in the woods.”
Speaking of proper nutrition, Baldwin uses fresh, organic ingredients in their burritos. This isn’t a guilty pleasure like Mighty Taco; Bike & Bean’s burritos leave you feeling full without that gross, processed-food feeling.
“We continue to dial in the perfection at the shop,” he said. “We’ve added more staff, which will give me more time on the bike end without sacrificing quality in the burrito shop. You might notice a few more menu items when you stand in line at the burrito bar, and we’re also working on a new small "builder type" bike line which is pretty exciting.”
GET PEDDLING: CYCLING WEEKEND COMING IN JUNE
Holiday Valley’s Cycling Weekend celebrates those Level-2 and Level-3 riders who love pushing the limit and pedaling 30+ miles per day. Now in its 2nd year, Cycling Weekend is scheduled for June 5-7. Riding with people who know the best routes is always better, and clinics/relationship building adds to the flavor of the weekend.
If you’ve never ridden road around here, this is the perfect opportunity to see it in a new light. Day 1 gives you a 20-mile warm-up ride, with a gathering at The Inn afterwards to see displays by local bike shops and beer tasting. On Day 2, the real fun starts. A casual educational clinic preempts a 40-mile ride, then lunch on the scenic Overlook Terrace. Day 3 sees you huff 80-miles through Amish country, with snacks delivered along the way.
AN ALTERNATE TRAIL
“This town and our area really need a recreational trail to go along with our epic mountain bikers Mecca,” Baldwin said. “Support your local mountain bike club - WNYMBA - but also support the proposed EVGV (Ellicottville-Great Valley) Trail. Ellicottville is a progressive town and should have something to offer the people that want to get outside and walk, run, ride or whatever - but do not want to be on singletrack or the side of a highway. Let's get this Ellicottville-Great Valley recreation trail moving!”
For more information on mountain biking trails/advice, stop by and see Dennis at Bike & Bean. For more information on Holiday Valley’s Cycling Weekend (including lodging packages) head to www.holidayvalley.com or call 716-699-2345.