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, 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.