Thinking about this a little more.....
I now realize that during my time there, I spent way too much time thinking about climbing (and mountains) instead of the areas strengths. If I had to go back there now, I'd do things a lot differently. For example, I'd:
1) Get a kayak and explore the waters of the area. I'm sorry I never kayaked the canals of the area. I hear they're very cool from a historical and scenic perspective. I'd also get a camera set-up so I could do more wildlife photography.
2) Get a fly-rod (and permit) and go fishing. Learn the immediate area and figure out how to get out of work and go fish an hour before dinner.
3) Play hockey on frozen lakes
4) Do more long distance bike touring (instead of race training). There's wine country out there; and the Lake George area is also pretty cool. Maybe I'd get a motorcycle.
5) There's a reason hordes of tourons go up to that area to look at the fall colors. They're pretty wild. I'd take the time (on weekdays) to explore the backroads.
6) Not let the rain keep me inside.
7) Hike more at night... with GPS and modern navigation, no more getting lost. Have you seen foxfire? It'll blow your mind the first time you see it.
7) Like autofxl said....I'd get a lightweight x-country set-up and set off across the mountains and not worry about the "esses".
9) Do more mineral collecting: In retrospect, the exploring I did, the people I met, the things I saw, and the history I learned provide more dinnertime stories than everything and anything I did on rocks. The Herkkimmer diamond mines, the garnets of Gore Mountain, the strip joints of Utica, the snapping turtles Watertown, dirt tracks and sprint cars of the little towns, the race track at Watkins glen, I guess I could go on and on.....
By comparison, to this sort of thing, Denver doesn't hold a candle. In fact, few places, if any, in the west can compare.