NYC MOUNTAIN BIKE BLOG



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)


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mtn Bike Weekend in Parsonfield, Maine

Last weekend I attended a long mtn bike weekend. What a blast! I was personally amazed by the skills of the group. They gave me lots of inspiration to improve my own skills to really get the most of of this great sport. (I'm noticably absent from most of the stunts in the video.)

One of our co-leaders, Bert, expressed this trip better than I could... We all had an awesome time! We had really good accommodations (imagine have a house to yourself), a fantastic host who lives for mountain biking, great guides, a phenomenal trail system that challenged us all, cool stunts, not to forget the great food we had and, to our credit, a fantastic group that showed BCE how much we love mountain biking. We all contributed to the awesome time we had there and this trip was in fact a dream come true for me. A mountain biking weekend getaway! I want to thank everyone who came out on this trip. Clif, if you're reading this, you are now one of my heroes! The stories and laughs we had will be talked about for months to come! Links to more pics here


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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Prospect Park Brooklyn



One of the down sides of living in NYC and loving mountain biking, is the inability to just do a quick after-work trail ride. Sure, I often commute by bike, or do laps in Central Park, but it's not the same.

So when a fellow NYC-MTBer offered an after-work ride at the single track trails of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, I was eager to join. I rode from the UWS down the west side bike path, across the Brooklyn Bridge, to Prospect Park. I met up with three other guys, Simon, Jaret, and Russ. Simon and Jaret, who rode these trails before. They took off like bullets, and really set a fast pace over lots of rolling, single track that intersect the main paved and unpaved paths of the busy Park. It was a really perfect training ride!

Now I can say I've mountain biked single track trails in all 5 boroughs of NYC, including:
* Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx
* Cunningham Park in Queens
* Wolfe Pond Park in Staten Island
* Highbridge Park in Manhattan
* Prospect Park in Brooklyn

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ninham S.F and Graham Hills: Weekend of March 27/28 2010



Saturday was cold and crisp. I missed the opportunity to join the scheduled road ride from NYC to Cold Spring, and had to go to CT to visit family, so rented a car, brought my bike and headed to a park that was both on the way to CT and not easy to get to by train. So I decided on Ninham State Forest near Carmel, NY. Since I knew the views would be great and the descent fun, I took the steep fire road to the Ninham fire tower. The views were amazing, with peaks of the Catskills, still covered in snow, clearly visible to the northwest. The singletrack descent from the tower was awesome fun! Then I rode the trails on the east side of Gipsy Trail Road. This was a different and somewhat disappointing experience, since I didn't know where the good trails were. You can see on the map below (my first attempt to load a ride workout from an iPhone app called 'MapMyRide') that I tried many trails that seemed to peter out, and had to backtrack. Some of the trails were muddy and others seemed faint and perhaps were just deer tracks. One really fun trail ended up in posted land that was outside the park. I guess I need to go there with someone who knows the trails. There were no other riders there to hop on with on this day.


On Sunday, on may way back to the city, I stopped off at tried-and-true Graham Hills in Pleasantville. Despite the drizzle that was moving in, it was great to get back to Graham's flowing singletrack. The switchback descent off of the main ridge always reminds what's great about this sport.


I noticed that this park suffered much damage from the recent storms, and there were several reroutes. Hats off to those who repaired and rerouted trails so quickly. One guy was improving a stream crossing to help minimize damage from what's proving to be a very wet spring.


Monday, March 22, 2010

March 21, 2010: Mianus River Park



Finally, a great day to return to the trails and not worry about damaging them. I was happy to still have power in my legs after having ridden 87 road miles the previous day (New Hope, PA ride with NYCC). I rode with three others from the Tri-state mountain bike meet-up group; pictured above are, from left to right, myself, Bert, Antionette, and Stephan (aka "Team SDK"). Except for numerous blowdowns from recent storms (that had played havoc on that part of Fairfield County the prior weekend) the trails were dry and fast. Several water crossings added to the challenge.




Stephan in particular displayed amazing technical skills, especially as he bombed-down some drops with relative ease.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Road Ride to Bear Mtn.












A snowy late winter means many weeks off the mountain bike. After three consecutive weeks of x-c skiing (Minnewaska, Fahnestock and High Point), beautiful weather yesterday meant a perfect day for the road bike. While I missed a 9:30am start of a group ride due to work issues, I headed out on my own intending just to ride up from the city, to Nyack and back. But I felt strong and headed further north and rode up Bradley/Tweed, Hook Mtn, South Mtn, and Gate Hill into Harriman park. The highlands of Harriman remained buried under deep snowpack, and the clear blue sky meant a spectacular ride through the park. I didn't expect Perkins Drive to be open to bikes, but when it was, I took the opportunity to climb the peak. On top, I met a friendly group who recently relocated to NYC from Britain, that had just hiked up the on trails. (They offered food bars, which I gladly accepted). An fun descent down to the Bear Mtn Bridge to the Garrison station for the train ride home, capped a very satisfying day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Minnewaska x-c ski












Substantial snow pack in the NYC metro area, led to a great opportunity to take to the trails in a different way: on skiis. A group of us NYCC'ers drove up to the Gunks and did a beautiful 9 mile circuit including Castle Point. Not as much snow as further south, but more than enough for great skiing. Pictured above, on left is Carl and Gerald; on right is Carl and Scott. Pictured on top is the rest of the group, including Tim McCarthy, Marcy Bloomstien, Tom Denham, Ron Roth, Catherine Gibbons and Bill Greene (Hank Schiffman took the photo).

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blue Mountain: January 31, 2010













Taking advantage of what promised to be the warmest part of an otherwise bitter cold weekend, I headed out by train to Blue Mountain. Sunday commitments from my other riding buddies, meant I would be riding alone. I headed up on trails I wasn't sure the name of, possibly 2-Crew Live and Chewbecca. When I got to the red trail, I did what are now old favorites like Upper SIS, SIS, Criss-Cross, Middle Stinger and Stinger. Trail conditions were perfect with trails well frozen and fast and only a few patches of snow on the ground. I had the trails nearly to myself, seeing only 2 other pairs of riders in the 2 1/2 hours of riding. The serenity of these woods was inspiring.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fahnestock S.P. January 23, 2010


While we waited for Scott, who missed his train, Hank and I did a brief ride up around the immediate Garrison area and got in a great view of the Hudson and West Point. Then we met Scott "I don't need no friggin' studs" Blau at a Garrison coffee shop and took the beautiful, hardpack roads up towards Fahnestock. We took the Chimney Hill trail to Sunk Mine Road (which was icy but as fun as a trail) and after a brief stop at Neese's Maple Syrup farm shop, took the Stillwater Trail back up to 301 and the 1,ooo foot descent to Cold Spring. Scott was in top aerobic form and made it to the train on time, while Hank and I just missed it and spent the hour warming up with an IPA.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blue Mountain


On the Metro North train from GCT to Cortlandt,Carl and I chanced upon Eric and Mark, also going to Blue Mountain. We knew each other from other encounters on Metro North returning from rides. This time we were going to cycle together.

My first time cycling Blue Mountain and it lived up to its reputation; challenging. Eric, Mark and Carl have the talent and courage to ride these trails comfortably. I am just happy to do what I can and be part of it.

Most surface was snow-free but trails varied from solid frozen to mud, with sections of frozen ruts and drop thru thin frosted crust. Sections of northern exposure carried snow, as Graham Hills last week. I dropped my jaw seeing Mark ride a wet, blue iced section without studs.

2.5 to 3 hours were enough. Mark and Eric rode on to Peekskill while Carl and I had every intention of cycling south of the Old Croton Trail, only to miss the correct turn, adding an extra 7.5 miles by circling the park and cutting back through on Montrose Station Road. We too cycled on to Peekskill and the new brewery with a stop at the car wash for a power wash bike cleaning.

My frame does not hold a water bottle well and I suffered for lack of hydration and sugar. Today I bought a back pack and bladder. It won't help my technique but I won't fixate on thirst next week.

Hank

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blue Mtn. January 16, 2010


Great day at Blue Mtn Park near Peekskill, NY. Hank and I met up with two guys, brothers Mark and Eric, whom we had met last year on the train back from Peekskill. Usually, we were coming back from a long road ride, and they were returning from riding Blue Mtn. They know Blue Mtn trails well, and took Hank and I on a great tour, including Switchback, Stinger and Monster and a few other highly technical singletrack trails. The mtn bike community is filled with great people like Mark and Eric who are so happy to share their love of the sport with others.

Thawing conditions made for a ride consisting of snow, ice, rocks, and plenty of mud. After the ride, we had considered riding the Croton Aqueduct back to Tarrytown, but ended up circling back to Blue Mtn for another brief ride through the park. We got our bikes washed at a car wash (that was a first!) and waited at the Peekskill Brewery for the train back to the city. On the train back, Hank reminded me how lucky we are to have all these mtn bike resources near NYC, and how lucky we are to be able to enjoy them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Graham Hills January 9, 2010


video video
Temperatures were in the mid to upper 20s and the sun was bright when we began our 2 loops of Graham Hills. Metro North to Pleasantville and a short ride on 117 gave us a 12 noon start. With a "couple of 3 inches" of snow on the ground the conditions were great. Gerald proved to be the alpha dog, rarely putting a foot down. By 2:30 we had our fill and took the Trailways south on a snow covered path with no prior bike tire tracks. Carl cycled to Tarrytown to the train while Gerald and I took the Trailways to the 1 Train at its terminus in Van Cortlandt Park, getting to the trail at 5 pm.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Graham Hills: January 9, 2010


Hank, Gerald and I enjoyed great winter riding despite dire predictions of cold weather. We headed up by train to Pleasantville. Despite starting temps around 20 degrees, the riding in the woods was downright pleasant. The snow-covered downhill trails were especially fun. It was as fun as a ski day, but without long drives, and expensive lift tickets. After riding several variations of the singletrack trails at Graham, I was content to ride the snow-covered Old Put trail back to Tarrytown, but Hank and Gerald had enough in their tanks to ride the trail back to NYC. Hank and Gerald took more pictures and video, which I expect they will post here.