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  1. #1
    Ride 365 Lucky07's Avatar
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    Harlem Valley Rail Ride Reports

    Post yours here:

    Here's my (long) report.

    I woke up a couple of hours before the alarm on Sunday morning. Went back to sleep and slept through the alarm. Got up late but managed to get to the start in Millerton around 7:45. I checked in and grabbed the cue sheet & took off.

    I had noticed the tires on my touring bike were almost worn down to the threads the previous week, so I had new rubber on that bike. On the flipside, it's a near 30 pd oversized touring frame. Not exactly a climber. More on that later.

    The predicted thunderstorms held off all day. It was humid and hot, but there were no downpours.

    The first section of the ride was actually on a Rail Trail. Very pretty. Lots of farms, fresh water ponds & woods. Really nice riding.

    I hooked up with a couple of riders for an informal paceline, but it fell apart pretty quickly. One guy only wanted to lead. The other guy didn't want to lead for more than a minute. I tried to get some kind of consensus, but it blew up after the first 20 miles or so. We got off to a too fast start for me. 19-20mph average. I'd pay for that later.

    Lots of rolling hills and some short climbs in the first half of the ride. Really beautiful scenery. The route was the best marked century I've even seen. I checked the cue sheet at rest stops for reference, but thats about it. Route markers were placed well before, in the middle and after turns. Extended straights had arrows every so often in case you thought you had missed a turn. Well done.

    The temps rose to the mid-80's pretty quickly. It was sticky and hot for most of the morning and afternoon. I drank like a fiend all day. I kept the speed down to a reasonable 17-18mph, since it seemed like perfect weather to bonk.

    Towards the end of the first half, there was a seemingly endless climb. There were false peaks every 500 yards or so, so just when you thought you were over it, you'd see another section of hill. I mashed it up the climb, but it was tough. There was a nice descent afterwards though. It almost made up for the other side. At a rest stop afterwards everyone was complaining about the hill. "I almost walked!" every other person said.

    The second half of the ride featured more rolling hills, farmlands, beautiful scenery and quiet country roads. There were some busy sections with car traffic, but the route usually diverted to secondary roads as soon as possible. The temperature climbed up to 90 around noon, but it wasn't oppressive.

    There was another extended climb in the second half and almost everyone was walking it. I mashed it up slowly. I always think even riding slowly up a climb is better that walking in cleats, up a hill, pushing your bike. Maybe the weather, the distance & the climbing was getting to people.

    After the climb there was an evil descent. Broken pavement, gravel wash, and sharp turns. After one section the Bike New York people were stopping riders asking them to take it slow. They said there had been an accident and they wanted everyone to ride carefully. After I cleared the turns I did manage to start moving. Maxed out at 43mph on that section.

    This was the first ride where I really noticed the difference in pavement. It sounds silly to say, but nice smoothly paved roads really make a difference in mph. The old rough pavement on some of the secondary roads seemed to slow me down considerably.

    The route was in the eastern NY border, so it cut into Connecticut and Massachusetts in different sections. Very quiet pretty towns and rolling farmlands throughout.

    I had entertained the idea of doing an sub 6 hour century, but all the climbing nixed that idea. There was a planned Time Trial towards the end of the ride. I figured it would be a flat section of road, in a low traffic area. Nope. It was straight up a mile plus hill.

    Bike New York volunteers were literally begging people to sign up for it, so I did. I made it up, but not exactly in a hurry. I'm certain I didn't post any kind of winning time. Everyone that signed up for the trial it got a big old medal though.

    Finished up around 3pm. My wife & kids turned up, so that was fun. They had decent food at the finish & valet bike parking by the local Boy Scout troop, so you could park your bike and roam around. If you can't trust a Boy Scout with your bike, who can you trust?

    All in all, a great job by Bike New York. It was definitely the prettiest century I've ever done. Some tough climbs. A very well organized & marked ride. I'll definitely do the ride next year. But I'll bring the road bike. The touring bike wasn't made for all those hills and fast turns.

    Check out that ride the next time it comes around.
    Last edited by Lucky07; 08-02-07 at 01:21 PM.
    "...devil take the hindmost..."

  2. #2
    One less car Jay H's Avatar
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    Nice report, I rode to Great Barrington once on a tour and we rode through that area of Millerton, Copake, Hillsdale... On the way back, we rode the HVRT to Amenia before picking up Rt 44 back towards Poughkeepsie.. very nice section of rolling hills for sure! Great ice cream place across in downtown Millerton too, nice homemade ice cream on a hot day.

    Jay

  3. #3
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    I did the 75 mile version with my wife & two other friends. Kept it between 19-23 on the flats & rollers, so that by the end, what with all the climbing, we wound up with a 16.4mph average for the day. Nice ride; I especially liked some of the descents after the midway point...they *almost* made up for the hellacious climbs! My friend uploaded the elevation data from his Garmin to motionbased.com, I'll see if I can find his link and post it here later.

    Anyone know if they'll publish the final standings for the Uphill Time Trial? Despite feeling beat to hell by the time I got there I think I did respectably for my age group (I'm 46, did it in 7:04) ...but apparently some young-un earlier in the day did it in 4:43!!!!!!!!!!

    (1.2 miles @ a 7% average grade, though my Garmin-equipped buddy said it was more like 14 or 15% for the first quarter mile.)

  4. #4
    Ride 365 Lucky07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    Anyone know if they'll publish the final standings for the Uphill Time Trial? Despite feeling beat to hell by the time I got there I think I did respectably for my age group (I'm 46, did it in 7:04) ...but apparently some young-un earlier in the day did it in 4:43!!!!!!!!!!

    (1.2 miles @ a 7% average grade, though my Garmin-equipped buddy said it was more like 14 or 15% for the first quarter mile.)
    Bob, Here are the results: http://bikenewyork.org/rides/hvrr/time_trial.html You were in the Top 15 for Masters...

    I'm waaay down on the list. I guess I should have tried to draft behind that woman who was motoring up the hill ahead of me.
    "...devil take the hindmost..."

  5. #5
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    Did they make you ride up past Bashbish falls on 344? That's one hill I haven't attempted. And/or did they have you ride up Mt Washington road from S. Egremont? I've tried to do that but I haven't made it. I did the climb from Sharon over to Rt 7 and that was a big one but doable. I'm not much of a climber.

    If I weren't already up there every other weekend I'd have done it myself. It was the weekend off from having to be there so I wasn't going to do the trip, although it turns out my wife did on Saturday. My kids all go to camp Hi-rock on Mt Washington at the top of the hill from Copake into Mass.

  6. #6
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky07 View Post

    Excellent, thanks. Now I have something to show my boss...to justify all those mornings I came in late, all sweaty & greasy.

  7. #7
    Ride 365 Lucky07's Avatar
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    "...devil take the hindmost..."

  8. #8
    bones should be attached cparekh's Avatar
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    I did the 75 mile ride. I was out by myself, because a couple of my buddies had other conflicts. It started out okay, as I said I'd take it easy. Of course, as soon as I left the rail-trail, some better bikers passed by me in pace line. I asked if I could jump on their wheel, and they said no problem, so I did. Unfortunately, they were going 20-23 mph, which is too fast for me to sustain. I need to keep it around 18 mph.

    I was fine until we hit CT, and it started getting hillier. Before the trip into MA, I climbed up a really long hill, which then had such a steep descent that I hit 41 mph coasting down the hill with no pedaling. I continued on a couple more miles and then got a flat. It took a few minutes to fix it, and nobody passed me. Wow, I though, I put some distance between me and all the people in the last rest stop.

    In actuality, I had missed the turn from 44 to 41 by about 6 miles. I cursed a bunch, turned around and climbed back up the long, long, long, hill. I made the (now right) turn onto 41 and continued to MA. By the time I made it to the Mt. Washington climb I was so spent that I had to put it in 36-25 gear and slowly make my way up. I wasn't the only one, as I passed a lot of resters and walkers.

    Got my front derailer fixed at an LBS and talked to some guys who had said that the guys right in front of them had seen a bear on the road. That was cool. I then finished out the ride with the gawd-awful time trial up the hill: more granny gear for me, but I managed not to walk.

    After that, I cruised on in, ate a burger, and drove home in a very powerful thunderstorm.

    /cp
    Sometimes I forget that I have a photographic memory.

  9. #9
    Cycling Skier songfta's Avatar
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    I did the 100-mile ride. Finished the 103+ miles in 5:36 (plus 10 minutes of stops to top off bottles, use the loo, and sign up for the TT [7:11] - but I neglected to pick up my medal, d'oh!). I was wearing the only Potomac Pedalers jersey in the field - kinda hard to miss. I rode solo, save for the first 13 miles when I worked a small paceline with two friendly blokes from New Jersey.

    I'd pre-ridden the Mt. Washington Road climb on Friday, and it was much easier to climb it on Sunday than the first time. Skiff Mt. Road was a tougher climb than Washington, but it may have felt easier due to the fact that it happened earlier on the route.

    The descent down 344 into Copake Falls was fun. Yes, the road surface at the intersection of West and Falls Roads was a minefield, but after that it was nice.

    I happened to be in the area for the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival up in Hillsdale, and the fact that the HVRR fell during this fest this year meant I got to ride. I loved it.

    If any of y'all want to come down for some of the fun rides down here (e.g. Civil War Century, Mountain Mama, etc.), let me know. We do have some fun rides down this way.
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  10. #10
    Cycling Skier songfta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    Did they make you ride up past Bashbish falls on 344? That's one hill I haven't attempted. And/or did they have you ride up Mt Washington road from S. Egremont?
    The latter - I think you'd have a mass revolt if folks had to climb 344 from Copake Falls. Plus, the uphill side gets more auto traffic on hot days, with folks going to Bash Bish Falls, so having the route go east-to-west makes more sense.
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