Daily Archives: April 13, 2013

Spring Route Roundup: Come on Up, the Weather’s Fine!

Since I moved up here in late September, I’ve covered almost 3000 miles. It would have, and should have, been much more than that, but a combination of 27,000 miles of travel in February alone and terrible weather conspired to keep me off the bike more than I’d like. Oh yeah, and I crashed on my hand like an amateur.

I just wanted to round up all the routes I’ve published for your convenience, dear reader. After all the effort this blog entails, I better see all y’all riding past my house this summer.

Just one note before we begin: If you make it up here, try to be super polite to the locals (of whom I am now one). This isn’t 9W, and I want cyclists to be welcome up here!

Getting There

You can get from the Poughkeepsie train station to New Paltz using the route in this post.  You can also get over the ridge using this route. There are also other ways to go; if you’re interested look at the Peekamoose option below.

Longer Rides

First, a roundup of the 8 biggest climbs in Ulster County.  This one is worth a read if you want to tackle some serious rides.

Platte Clove: Amazing ride up one of the steepest climbs in the Catskills. I’ve also mapped this one from the Poughkeepsie train station, for your convenience.

Mountain Rest Road and Vista Maria: This is a double-crossing of the Shawangunk Ridge. Easily accessible from the Poughkeepsie train station. Super-tough climb up Vista Maria.

Mohonk Climb (Large)

Peekamoose really is the classic climb in my area. I recently posted on 3 options for riding over Peekamoose starting in New Paltz. Calling this “The Peekamoose Route” really doesn’t do it justice, because it also includes two climbs over the Shawangunk Ridge, including the climb with the biggest vertical gain in the southern Hudson Valley (South Gully Road).

This post also includes a route from the Poughkeepsie Metro North train station to New Paltz. Put them together and you will get the best 100- to 120-mile ride in the region, with 3 or 4 major climbs with >15% grades and huge descents (I’m talking about 10-15 mile continuous descents, by the way).

Here’s a 90-mile ride that includes Ski Run Road, which will take you over the absolute highest pass in the Catskills. For advanced riders only. Fat tires only. Death wish required.

The Ride of the Damned. Double crossing of the Hudson, first on the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge, and then 50 miles later on the Route 23 bridge. I called it the “Ride of the Damned” strictly because of the weather. It is actually pretty easy. I’m not going to include pictures of this here because the weather was nasty, but I think it will be a beautiful ride in the summer. Another ride with Doug.

A fast and very easy route from the train station in Beacon to Poughkeepsie. A good route for when you want to take friends on a ride of decent length, but without all the usual associated challenges.

The all-time summer classic.  This is a route I’ve done many times, with friends and alone. Starts at the Brewster train station (actually Southeast Station), and ends in New Hamburg. Eighty to ninety miles of sheer riding joy. Lots of gravel and beautiful country.

Shorter routes

Here’s a fast and easy route that takes you into the foothills of the Catskills. It starts at my place, but you could start in Stone Ridge, Rosendale, or New Paltz.

A quick 50-mile route that takes in all the good stuff in the foothills, but is not particularly challenging.

Another short, easy, and scenic ride. Nice if you’re staying in the area, or you can incorporate this segment into a longer ride. Includes a ride over the Ashokan Reservoir, which has some really spectacular views of the Catskills, as you’ll see in this post. I mean, come on, look at this:

If you’re planning your own route out here, be sure to include the segment in this post.

Don’t Forget…

You can find all of these routes, and the ones I have yet to post, by clicking on Worth the Trip in the tags.

Guidance on riding Metro North with your bike, as well as my contact information, can be found on the About page. My contact information can also be found on the website below.

Finally: If you like this and find it useful, do me a favor and link to my blog. I don’t have any commercial objectives, I just want to get more people riding up here!





I live a fairly simple life: books, bikes, and work. The balance varies based on weather and client needs, and of course I like to spend time with my girlfriend as well. But overall, everything balances well (with the exception of this week: if I work until 9 pm tonight, I will officially have worked more than 100 hours this week!)

The one area where I might have an issue? New bikes. What can I say, it’s less expensive and a whole lot healthier than a lot of things people do with their fun money. It’s not like I’m dissatisfied in any way with my current bikes (well, except for one)…I just like ’em. And all seven bikes get ridden, last year ranging from no more than 50 miles on the vintage Teledyne Titan with fork of death to >3000 miles each on the English and Herse.

So…I have two coming this year. The first is being built as we speak, and hopefully will be arriving in early May. It’s a–wait for it: sub-15-lb 650b bike being built by Rob English. Enve rims, Calfee barstem, SRAM Red, Clavicula crank, and (hopefully) Spyre disc brakes. Of course, I’ll be using the Hetre Extra Leger. This one is going to be bright & sparkly. Grey paint with rainbow sparkle, and ENGLISH in Olde English font. And let’s not forget the infinitely tasteful top cap on the Extralite headset.

I need one bike that’s a little crazy.

Now, the second: Peter Weigle unexpectedly told me I was next on his list. I hadn’t planned on any more bikes for a few years, but how can I turn down the master? The best part: The bike he is building for me is going to be going to two shows, one in the US and one in Rome. It will be one of Peter’s usual spectacularly beautiful creations…

…but we’ll be using semi-modern 9-speed Record on it. I love French style, but I’m not going without my modern conveniences. This bike will be, perhaps surprisingly, a 700C bike. It just didn’t make sense to have another 650B randonneur when I have the Herse. I’ll be using the 32 mm Extra Legers.

I’m hoping to talk Peter into shaving a set of Extra Leger Hetres for the English, even though the bike he is building for me is going to be a 700C. I feel like my life will not be complete without having a chance to ride a pair! Yes, I have simple needs.

I will need to sell a few bikes soon. As much as I want to be a bicycle horder, the bikes that weren’t built specifically for me have to go. I have a beautiful 58 cm Boxer Randonneur that needs to go (yes, the one that was reviewed in Bicycle Quarterly), as well as a sweet 80s Moser. I could also be talked into selling my 58-cm green Toei for the right price (it’s a lovely bike, but IS NOT what I ordered…long story).

Let me know if you have any interest.