My first ride on the STIHL Tour des Trees

We have traveled from Niagara, N.Y. to Kingston, Ontario so far. That’s around 360 miles of riding. We have been hugging Lake Ontario for most of the trip but we passed through Rochester and Syracuse. We saw a few of the Finger Lakes and they were gorgeous – Lake Onondaga being one of the more beautiful.

Yesterday, we traveled from Watertown, N.Y. to Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Today was short and sweet. We rode about 40 miles and had two ferry crossings. Wolfe Island was gorgeous with windswept corn fields and lots of huge wind turbines. The turbines were a trip to see up close because they’re HUGE!

Kingston is a beautiful city, right on Lake Ontario. The people are nice and the food is great.

I have also had stupid tech issues. The first day I forgot my bib shorts and had to ride the first 100 miles in my dickies cutoffs with no underwear. Then the next day my bottom bracket had crushed bearings so I had to buy another one a a shop immediately after we showed up in Syracuse. It has been an expensive trip so far! Rookie mistakes I guess.

We have had lots of tree dedications and memorial tree plantings every day during the trip. A few days ago an arborist from Syracuse came to a park right outside our hotel to tell everyone about Missouri gravel beds and their applications. Casey Trees has been doing this for about a year and can attest to its success in the field.

All in all I think this Tour is important because it brings arbor professionals and cycling enthusiasts together while raising money for the things we love: trees. It’s definitely a great way for the riders to blow off steam, and we owe it all to the terrific support staff who tackle all the logistical challenges that come along with an international, multi-day, 100-person bike tour. I’m truly grateful.

Jonathan Carney, Tree Planter, ISA-certified


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