Entries Tagged as New York
Let's take a step backwards, to how I got here. I had planned on touring this summer for at least a week, but a handful of decisions, by myself and others, prevented such a long excursion. In June I saw that a window would open around the July 4th holiday, with my wife visiting friends out of state and my family willing to host me.
One of the best things about living in New York City is our extensive regional rail system. Ever since I was in high school in the early nineties, I've been using commuter rail to get me to all kinds of great places to bike. When people think of New York, they imagine skyscrapers ... an endless cityscape. But the Big Apple offers a lot more, particularly for cyclists. Hourly service on one of the region's three commuter rail systems can often place you in a very quiet, bucolic setting -- perfect for riding -- in just an hour or two.
When you look at the Brooklyn Bridge from a distance, you don’t quite realize the angle of the slope of the path that gets you up to the flat center span. It was something I hadn’t noticed that much on my earlier reconnaissance trip, either. But now that I was riding “the Truck,” complete with passenger and towing a trailer on a hot and humid day in July 2012, I felt like I was cycling up a ski jump!
Twenty-one years after finishing my first cross-county bicycle tour at Yankee Stadium, I ride north on the Hudson River Valley Greenway along Manhattan’s west side. I share the trail with joggers and bike commuters sometimes going faster than the rush hour motor traffic on the parallel Henry Hudson Parkway. It’s a crisp 42-degree early November morning, about the time of year I seem to do bike overnights, past peak bike touring season. Yet I’m warmed by the sun in a cloudless sky.
This year, I decided to make my first yearly trek out to the Sterling Forest, for my traditional first campout of the spring, happen by bike rather than motorized vehicle. I have a single speed mountain bike race coming up in two weeks, so the more hours I can spend on the bike the better. I would ride my single speed from Hackensack to my secret spot in the woods in Sloatsburg, New York.
I had an idea for our anniversary. Usually we get away for a four-day pedal sometime in September, but with my other plans eating up time we weren't sure it would happen this year. I'd miss that time alone as a couple, so I suggested a simple bike overnight. This means more to us than any restaurant celebration.
This is an 83-mile loop through the southern Catskill Mountains from New Paltz, New York. It includes a nice camping site at about the half way point. Although sections of the route share the road with moderate volumes of traffic governed by posted speed limits of 55 mph, those sections are reasonably safe for someone with at least intermediate bike riding skills and experience.