Jul 7, 2009

Blue Mountain Reservation

Today I rode the singlespeed at Blue Mountain Reservation, which is about 40 miles north of New York City in the city of Peekskill, NY. [Trail Information here] After weeks of riding Cunningham Park in Queens, this was a breath of fresh air. The landscape and scenery are completely different.

I spent about 45 minutes on a Metro North Train to get up to Peekskill and then pedaled for about 2 miles to reach the park entrance. Once I got there I wasn't able to find any trail maps so I just set off into the woods. Wow, what an extensive system of singletrack!

Ten minutes into the ride the sky turned purple; shortly thereafter the clouds let loose with a storm of biblical proportions. Thunder cracked loudly above me and the rain came down in sheets. Leafy branches fluttered and sagged low. Rocks became slicker than snot. I huddled under a young sapling for a moment assessing the situation. While becoming soaked to the bone, crouched beneath a pitiful shelter from the storm, I decided I'd be just as wet swinging my way down through the trails, so I set the cranks in motion again.

The beautifully blazed 18” wide trail wound through dark, lush, pine forest cutting it's way though loamy soil, large fern beds and over large amounts of exposed rock. Logs, build-ups and rock roll-downs littered the trail nearly every 20 feet. There wasn't much in the way of elevation changes although it is much more hilly than Cunningham Park. At one point I stopped to let several PSI out of my tires to get better traction and I was happy for the suspension that it provided. While pedaling and exploring, a couple lines from a Robert Frost poem came to mind:

"The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."

I rode for about two hours before making my way back into town and over to the Train Station. A quick bike wash in the Hudson River cleaned the majority of mud off my ride and I caught an express train back to Manhattan.

Can't wait to head back there on Thursday after the trails have dried out!

More trail images here:

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