On Friday, my long-time riding companion Guy came up for a ride. He was kind enough to ride from the Poughkeepsie train station to New Paltz, where I picked him up (did I mention that I got my driver’s license on Tuesday?) I made him drive us back because I remain a less than enthusiastic driver.
We got up bright and early the next day for our gentlemen’s ride. A gentlemen’s ride is when you don’t worry about time, stop when you want, and generally just have a relaxing day. Instead of frantically trying to fit X number of miles into a certain number of hours, we planned on taking the whole day for just 60 miles. We stopped for pictures. We stopped at the top of major climbs. We stopped for lunch. We stopped for dinner. It wasn’t really exercise, but it was good fun and a nice way to spend 8 hours. It was also nice because I overdid it in the previous 7 days, logging about 200 miles. Not much, but a lot for this early in the season after a winter that was bad enough that I didn’t manage to keep in optimal shape.
I won’t bore you with the details of the ride; suffice it to say we went over Peekamoose again. I was there just last week, but it is a really beautiful ride. Plus it is ideally suited to a gentlemen’s ride because 75 percent of the effort is concentrated in the first 15 miles (although the first climb is a brute). After that it’s mostly coasting and enjoying the day. The route is here if you are interested.
Headed into the major climb of the day: just 1000 feet, but it includes ramps of up to 16%.
The long coast down off of Peekamoose. Spectacular as usual. Click on this one for full size.
I tried to convince Guy to climb this gravel driveway/road. Just for fun.
Rondout reservoir, at the base of Watson Hollow Road. We ran into some cyclists headed the other way up Peekamoose on a decidedly more serious expedition, which to me–even if I’m trying to get exercise–seems like an unpleasant route since it’s 12 miles of false flat and outright climbs, followed by a descent that is far too steep to enjoy. I’d rather do the massive climb at the beginning and then enjoy the high-speed run down the other side.
We stopped in Grahamsville for lunch. The deli there is actually quite good; if you have a chance plan a trip through town, it’s a good place to stop and very friendly.
From there, we rode back on 42 crossed over to Ulster Heights Road, and then descended at very high speeds on Irish Cape Road.
On the return trip from Ellenville, on Berme Road just past the prison, we ran into this roadside shrine. One hypothesis is that it was the scene of a fatal car accident, which would be odd because Berme Road is so torn up I can’t imagine anyone going fast enough to hurt themselves on it. (This picture also, incidentally, illustrates the resolving power of the Foveon sensor in the Sigma DP1 Merril. The second and third pictures are crops from the first).
From there, we did the climb back to my place. The countryside is lovely, but I’ve done it so many times now it’s left me wishing for a teleportation device.
And that’s all for this week. Short ride tomorrow, then off to Chicago for a couple days of meetings. I’m hoping to talk someone into a ride over Slide Mountain next week, or maybe Ferguson Road.
And one last bit of news: The 650B English is done and is off to paint. So maybe within the next two weeks the bicycle stork will be delivering something.