This is a blog for a group of outdoor-oriented NYC-area residents to post thoughts and pictures on the latest weekend mountain bike outings. As a group, we've discovered that we're lucky not only live in or near an amazing city, but also to have access to an amazing variety of natural scenery. Biking happens to be the way our group accesses our natural surroundings. Hope this inspires the reader to 'get out there'! - Carl Kulo (blog creator)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Greenbelt/Stillwell Woods Mtn Bike Ride: 2/1/09

Too much snow pack on mtn bike trails north of the city, so John, Hank and I headed east to Long Island for some "ice-biking".
We started in snow-less Massapequa near Long Islands south shore. We worked our way northward on the increasingly icy Nassau Greenbelt Trail. At Bethpage State Park, the trail changes from paved to unpaved, as we rode along pure ice. The big fear was having to stop, since there was no traction.

From Hank:
Epic conditions! Firm snow with lots of frozen standing water; read bullet proof ice. The snow deepened as we traveled north, gaining altitude as well. These photos don't show how snowy Stillwell was. The trickiest thing was rutted glaze ice. I fell over a few times when I turned too abruptly on smooth ice.

Video clip of Carl descending a trail at Stillwell Woods:


  1. Ride Ideas for Saturday, Feb 7:
    a) may be warm enough for a road ride.
    b) Snow/Ice ride (with studs): Garrison to Croton Falls (via Fahnestock & Ninham)
    c) Mtn Bike Ride: (with studs) Blue Mtn or Graham Hills.

  2. Carl and I met at the friendly confines of the 242nd St. Burger King. We rode up through Van Cortland Park on the South County Trail to Yonkers Ave. There was enough snow and ice to make us feel wise for investing in otherwise expensive and dangerous looking tires with spikes in them. We slipped (figuratively) from there over to Prescott St. and picked up the Old Croton Aqueduct. The conditions were varied, but generally fast, as there was a trail made from walkers and, in some places, skiers. The day got warmer, but slowly, which was good, as the snow conditions all the way up to the dam were excellent. The trail was still bumpy from the frozen ice from a week and a half ago, but the ice was mostly covered with the new snow. It took us 3 hours from 242nd to the dam, with no stops of consequence.

    From the dam we rode on the south side of the reservoir as far as the intake station to the east of the Taconic, where Arkady goes up. Arkady was impassable, so we crossed and got on 129. The entire reservoir was frozen over with a covering of snow like Depression Pond, only much bigger. I think there were some ice fishermen out on it. I definitely saw tracks of someone skating on x-country skis on the reservoir. At the South County Trail, Carl headed off to Brewster and I headed south to Tarrytown. I was not able to stay on the trail the whole way as there were chunks, like around 117 that had not been travelled on much. Nearly 5 hours to Tarrytown, plus another hour later back from Tarrytown. By then, the snow and ice were really melting and it was slushy, but still with enough grab to keep moving.