In a past post, I detailed how to get from Poughkeepsie over the Shawngunk Ridge to my immediate area by bike. But what if you want to get right to the good stuff? There are a few options. You could drive up from New York City or New Jersey, or you could take the train to Poughkeepsie and then rent a car (tough to do on weekends, especially since the car rental place isn’t open on Sundays for returns), or you could get a car service to pick you up and drop you off somewhere more pleasant.
Those of you who know me know that I travel a lot. In order to do that, I have a 2-hour car trip to and from Newark airport. We only have one car, so I use a car service (kindly paid for by my clients, thank you). I tried one car service and it was a disaster. Then I found Chariot Airport Transportation/Northeast Transport Services, and they’ve been completely reliable for the 15 trips to and from the airport and the 5 or so trips to and from various meetings in NYC and New Jersey that I’ve made since we moved here in September. Plus, their drivers are great—nothing at all like the gentlemen from Carmel or Delancy!
On my last trip, one of the co-owners, Ryan, drove me to the airport. We got to talking, and I found out that 1) they have SUVs that can accommodate up to two bikes and 2) they have a combination of two vehicles that can accommodate up to ten riders and ten bikes. So, an option would be to take the train to Poughkeepsie, and then have them pick you up and drive you to the start point of your ride. You could either return to Poughkeepsie, or have them pick you up.
I’m not a big fan of driving to ride, but I can totally see where, if you’re coming from the city, you might want to start right at the foothills of the Catskills (for example, Slide Mountain might best be accomplished from a starting point in Shokan or Phoenicia). I recommend Chariot highly if this is what you want to do.
And before you ask, I didn’t get a free ride from them in return for this–I don’t need it since I don’t pay for the trips anyway! It’s just a pleasure to give a plug for a locally owned business that I know is highly reliable, reasonably priced, and a pleasure to deal with.
Their phone number is 845-876-3000, and their website is here.