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.