Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Road Trip!

It's not hard to take a weekend bike trip. Mind you, I never had. But I did. And the recipe is simple: hop on your bike and ride.

Of course it helps to have maps but you don't even have to know where you're going. You don't need a fancy bike. You don't need fancy equipment. You don't need special. It does help if you can afford a cheap hotel room. You'll pass hotels everywhere. Even one that (gasp) may not have websites. Sure it can be nice to book a room in advance (we did on night one, because we could use miles and get it for free). And we have friends in Cold Spring. So we had a place to stay there. But there's a great freedom in biking and not having to be somewhere. See a nice place? Stop and stay. That's what we did in Peekskill.

My wife and I put some stuff in our our city bikes and left. The bike I used was heavy and has two speeds. Does it matter that my bike was slow? No. It kept us on on a more equal pace and what's wrong with biking slow? We didn't actually have to get anywhere. And on the steep hills, we walked.

We headed north. Up over the Triboro/RFK and through The Bronx and Van Cortland park. And onto the North and South County Bike path. It's not the greatest bike path in the world (it's next to a freeway, the Saw Mill River Parkway much of the way). But it's nice enough and level as it's built on a railroad right of way. And it goes a long way! All the way from Van Cortland to Putnam County.

Now the route we went wasn't too ambitious. A night in Tarrytown, Peekskill, and Cold Spring. We went to Dia: Beacon and ended up having lunch in (grim) Newburgh. From there it was a beautiful ferry ride across the Hudson and an 80 minute train ride to 125th St.

If you're counting, it was a six-county odyssey. About 85 miles in four days. The longest ride was the first day, about 35 miles. We left after the crack of dawn, at 1pm.

Honestly, it would probably be better to start up in Beacon and bike from there, where traffic is a bit less. But there's something great about just leaving your house and going. And the bike path is there. It does go a long way. Give it a try.

I learned a lot about the area I didn't know. I saw some of our drinking water at the source. It was pretty. I got good exercise and got to eat a lot. We got no flats, didn't get wet, and had no accidents. It was fun.

And if worst comes to worst you just hop on a train and come home.

Welcome to the Bronx!

Beacon Falls

South Bear Mountain Pass (there was pushing on the uphill)

Our Drinking Water

The ferry at Newburgh

On the ferry. We biked over that two-mile-long bridge in the background.

From the ferry, grim Newburgh fading into the distance.

Crossing the Hudson

Our good bikes coming home

A rainbow from the train

1 comment:

bikes_rule said...

Sounds like a nice trip! Did you bike on the Old Croton Aqueduct? http://www.traillink.com/trail/old-croton-aqueduct-state-historic-park.asp Only a small part of it goes along the Saw Mill. The rest is pretty good. I think it would make for a heck of a hiking/skiing trail as well. Also have you even been to: http://www.railstotrails.org/index.html Great site IMHO. Anyway happy biking!