Entries Tagged as Routes & Rides
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.
I’m a crazed mountain biker. I live to fly down dirt trails and check out new routes with my B.O.B. trailer in the mountains of western Montana. Some of my friends get it, and like to explore with me. Others are a bit hesitant to join us in fear that they’ll get in over their heads and end up lying bloodied on the side of a remote trail. Now I need to reveal a bit more information: I’m a 50-plus-year-old woman (how did that happen?) who also likes to garden and knit. Funny how all those things fit together.
A few years ago my English friends, Don Mahad and Susan Dawson, told me that they had completed a ride called the “C2C," from the Irish Sea in the west to the North Sea in the east. When I asked them how the ride was, they said something like “challenging.” Well, now I know that when two strong 30-something cyclists use the word “challenging,” it means something quite different than what it means to me as a 68-year recreational cyclist. After I did the ride in August 2008, I chuckled at their reference -- it was downright strenuous for me. But, I’d also say that it was well worth the effort.
When I started bike commuting as an adult, I became an autonomous being, free from the angering ritual of fighting traffic. The world was new again, rife for adventure. It piqued my energy, enthusiasm, ambition, and curiosity to explore the city I thought I couldn’t know any better. In the spirit of rediscovering such adventure, I recently decided to undertake my first overnight trip by bike, to Champoeg State Heritage Area.
One of the advantages of living in rural northern Minnesota is the availability of many outdoor recreation options; and many lightly traveled roads. One loop I like to bicycle is close to our house and 50 miles in length. I've done it in a day, but this time I decided to camp overnight halfway.
With two Adventure Cycling interstate routes passing through New York State -- the Atlantic Coast Route and the Northern Tier -- and the Adirondack Loop completely within the state, I was surprised to see that there have not been more Bike Overnight adventures submitted for New York. The MTA Metro North Commuter railroad link from here in the mid-Hudson Valley provides numerous possibilities for the starting location of a cycling adventure, both long and short. Quite a number of people have already taken advantage of this bicycle/rail-transit link for the start of a day ride or a longer overnighter.
I had hoped that a nice, sunny day and cool spring temperatures would combine to help make my first-ever bike overnight memorable. And, while my companions and I did get a remarkable trip up the C&O Canal Towpath from Washington, D.C., the weather we wanted wasn't what we got. It started raining the moment we left our starting point, the downtown D.C. building where I work. It rained as we cycled through trendy Georgetown, where we got a little lost and I almost got mowed down by a big delivery truck in rush hour traffic. And, it rained long past the time when we shivered ourselves to sleep.