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, 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.


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

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.