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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    TR: NYC to Bear Mt to Poughkeepsie to Albany

    Sharon and I rode from the George Washington Bridge north to Albany on Saturday. Great ride for us. Could have been less hot in the afternoon, but it's hard to complain when you get a tailwind most of the way.

    A little over 160 miles with about 9000 vertical feet of climbing the way we took. There are shorter + simpler routes, but ours was interesting + pretty enough to motivate us to ride now a third time the whole thing (plus lots more times most of the sections).

    We started long before sunrise, so we got to ride familiar 9W in the dark, and then along the river from Piermont to Nyack at dawn -- one of the main reasons we've decided we like to do this from south to north. Then up the west side thru the Stony Point beaches to Bear Mt and the Storm King Mt road looking across the river to the morning shadow on the Breakneck cliff.

    Above Newburgh we turned inland for some pleasant rollers thru orchards, then the Walkway over the Hudson with its big river views, to Poughkeepsie. (Happy thought: Still feeling good all the way to Poughkeepsie. Sobering thought: Less than half way). Next found quieter roads further inland on the east side up to Rhinebeck with lots of food options.

    But with the heat it was getting hard for us to want to eat any food solider than gelato, and every uphill we were too slow and hot -- then just over every top we were flying with the south wind. Lots of pretty farm country thru northern Dutchess + Columbia + southwest Rensselaer counties (with a critical cold-fueling stop near Hudson).

    Finally around 6:00pm we started hitting more shadows extending to our side of the road, finding we had some energy to climb hills. Anyway the last few miles into Rensselaer were flat, just a little climb up the sidewalk across the Hudson River (much less wide) and we'd made it to Albany.

    Our favorite long route, but the variety and quieter roads come with complexity. Few people would try much of it without a GPS to help navigate, so here's a
    GPX file
    (also with some alternate tracks we've used other times)

    And here's a much more
    detailed report

    Glad we got this ride in before the hotter days.


  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Great Job

    Saturday was tough, Sunday much tougher. I've done a 200K Brevet to Bear Mt, 7 Lakes etc with similar climbing so this sounds like a challenge for me.
    One major question; How did you get the bikes home?


  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by TeamCholent
    How did you get the bikes home?
    Yes that's critical for making it work.
    Especially tricky for Sharon and me because we together on a tandem.

    Some things that make Albany attractive for a one-way trip:
    * fairly major train station (Amtrak)
    * reasonably frequent bus service.
    * airport with significant rental car operations.

    I have not tried to figure out if or how or when I could try to get a tandem bicycle (without a box?) accepted as luggage on bus or train.
    Though that might be a simpler option for some folks with single bikes.

    I do have the advantage of some family living toward Albany, So when I'm up visiting them a few weeks before we think we might ride to there, I bring an extra car rear rack and stash it hidden somewhere near Albany -- a rear rack designed to hold the bike well away from the precious paint job on the trunk of the nearly-new rental car -- in a black garbage bag with some bungee cords and some padding (like to cover the pedals on the side close to the trunk).

    After finish riding, we pick up rental car at airport, drive to the stash location and pick up the car rear rack. Put wheels in back seat, put tandem frame on rear rack. Drive home and put bike away. Return rental car to one of the NYC airports.

    It also helps to know the Albany-Rensselaer area to have in mind some temporary stash locations for our bicycle (likely with wheels + stuff removed and carried with us). Though one time we didn't need that -- just rode our tandem to Albany airport.
    If all else fails, we could stash the bike overnight, take train or bus south to home, get our car (with the rear rack we normally use all the time with our tandem), drive to Albany, retrieve our tandem, visit family, drive home.
    The time + cost of doing this sort of thing for our tandem does cause us to wait for a pretty favorable weather before trying this ride. We've done it three times now, so it's not just so we can say we rode 160 miles. It's a great ride.


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