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  1. #1
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Is It Time to Put My New York Bicycling Site To Sleep?

    Before we get into riding season for the REST of us here in New York, I once again have to evaluate whether my web site should be either updated or retired.

    I started "New York Rides" (http://nyrides.freehosting.net) back in 1997 as a resource for cyclists looking for interesting family-type rides, specifically bike paths, rail trails, etc. Over the years, I've received scores of e-mails from people thanking me for the information and for turning them on to cycling.

    Unfortunately, as making a living has gotten more and more complicated over the years, I've had less time to re-visit the various paths and trails to keep the site fresh and up-to-date. As a result, I no longer feel like enough of an authority on this subject to run a site called "New York Rides."

    I have no idea how many of you have ever visited the site, but I'd like to ask a favor. If you have a few minutes to check it out and send some comments regarding changes to existing bikeways, closures, additions, etc., I might be able to decide whether it is more practical to update the site or to just shut it down.

    Once again, the address is http://nyrides.freehosting.net . No need for extended commentaries. Just a few lines would do.

    Thank you all very much!

    Tom M
    NYRides
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  2. #2
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    Tom

    Sorry about the length of this.

    I think it's the only resource available with the info you provide (that I'm aware of). You would have to search on any number of assorted sites from clubs in LI, Westchester and NJ to get this collection, thus I think it's a hugely valuable resource and still relevant.

    I do find that that since it's primarily a bike trail oriented data base that the changes to many of the paths you have listed, tend to occur slowly. My only experiences are with the Westchester South and North County trail system, and I've added additions below.

    And that's the question - do you feel the need to personally ride to check every trail ?, or are you OK with contributions from others ?. One thought if you are OK with non-personally verified submissions, is do you want to contact all those assorted regional bike clubs to ask for additions and/or corrections ?.

    As example:

    1) The South County Trail is complete from the City of Yonkers, HF Redmond Memorial Park, south to the NYC line at Van Cortland Park, as a paved path for a total of 2-1/4 miles. Likewise, the southern terminus of the continuous SCT is at Touissant Ave., just north of Tuckahoe Rd.

    2) The Putnam Rail Trail extension to the Westchester North County Trail is (or was in late fall 2010) at Old Mine Rd., in Brewster.

    Certainly a bike club in Westchester, possibly the Westchester Cycle Club, would be aware of any further work on the Putnam Trail completion through to Brewster. Ditto a club in the Poughkeepsie area that could flesh out the info. about the rail-trail over the Hudson.

    Just some thoughts and a request to not let the site go away, even if you don;t get the time to update.

    Steve B.

  3. #3
    Senior Member fusilierdan's Avatar
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    Papa Tom
    I've used your site several times. The Nyack Rail Trail section in Sparkill has been paved from Oak Tree Road to Route 303. The section from Ash St. down to Sparkill is still as you described. Also there's a trail upstate that goes from Albany to Schenectady but I don't know it's name.

    Have you considered putting programs like Bicycle Sundays in Westchester or Summer Streets in Manhatten up on the site?

    Thanks for a great site.

    Dan
    Last edited by fusilierdan; 04-08-11 at 08:18 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>1) The South County Trail is complete from the City of Yonkers..... 2) The Putnam Rail Trail extension to the Westchester North County Trail is.....<<<<<

    Steve:

    Thanks for that info. I guess the issue is that I always tried to include more than just starting and ending points in my trail descriptions, instead opting to describe the places to eat and drink at various points, historical or scenic stops along the way, etc. Without actually riding the new portions of these bikeways, I can't keep that up.

    So, to answer your question...no, I don't mind contributions from others at all. I would just want them to include information that brings the bikeways to life - things that paint a more enticing image in the reader's mind than the boring stick figure maps that all the "official" trailway websites seem to provide. You know, show me where the ice cream's at!

    That said, if anybody is going to take the time to do that, they might as well just create their OWN website!

    Again, thanks for your good advice. I will weigh it over the next couple of weeks. Fortunately, this is not such a big deal, as cycling went on before my site and would go on just fine without it!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  5. #5
    Senior Member bktourer1's Avatar
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    In Rhode Island you need to check out the 14.5 East Bay Bike Path from East Providence to Bristol
    Last edited by bktourer1; 04-09-11 at 04:35 PM. Reason: cant spell rigth the first time

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    I think if you took comments from other riders (like the one listed above) your site could be up to date and a even better resource.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>The Nyack Rail Trail section in Sparkill has been paved from Oak Tree Road to Route 303.<<<<

    That's kind of my point. I'm not familiar enough with the area to know exactly what section you are describing. Is this south/west of Sparkill? (cont'd)

    >>>>Also there's a trail upstate that goes from Albany to Schenectady but I don't know it's name.<<<<<

    Is this the Mohawk Bikeway? (cont'd)

    >>>Have you considered putting programs like Bicycle Sundays in Westchester or Summer Streets in Manhatten up on the site?<<<<

    Bike Sunday is kind of already up there, under the Bronx River Bikeway listing. The problem with this and Summer Streets is that I can't seem to find time to stay on top of the dates each year!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>In Rhode Island you need to check out the 14.5 East Bay Bike Path from East Providence to Bristol<<<

    The East Bay Bike Path is already listed, under "Out of Town Rides." However, I haven't been to either end is so long that I'm afraid my restaurant recommendations and toilet info may be way out of date! This is one of my all-time favorite bikeways, by the way.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  9. #9
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>I think if you took comments from other riders (like the one listed above) your site could be up to date and a even better resource.<<<<

    Yeah, I agree. I just think the cycling forums are more suited to that, as the vibe of a bikeway (i.e. the surrounding scenery, towns, restaurants, etc.) can change drastically in a really short time. Also, a tree falling across a bikeway or some major construction blasting through a town all of a sudden can mean all bets are off, and I just can't stay on top of that like a "real-time" forum can.

    I WOULD like to find some cyclists to fill in the basic info that might change from season to season. All visitors are invited to e-mail me from the home page. I don't think I've ever received an "update" from anybody that way, though.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  10. #10
    Senior Member DCwom's Avatar
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    I wouldn't put your site to sleep. My NJ site ( http://womgene.tripod.com/ ) like yours is also in need of updates for turf I haven't ridden in a while. For the rail-trails I always defer to the Rails to Trails web site for current trail status since they have a user feedback mechanism. I don't think the average trail rider reads this forum much and the typical reader of our "low impact" pages probably find them by accident.

  11. #11
    Senior Member fusilierdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I WOULD like to find some cyclists to fill in the basic info that might change from season to season. All visitors are invited to e-mail me from the home page. I don't think I've ever received an "update" from anybody that way, though.
    How would this work? I don't get out to the trail by me as I tend to ride on the road but I could do one or two visits a year just to update the info. Most of my trips to the Nyack/ Piermont trail involve food and shopping.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    My TWOOO Cents worth

    A few thoughts:
    a) Have your goals changed? I mean what did/do you want to accomplish by having the site?
    b) Try linking sites that already have rides and cue sheets in each area, THOSE sites should be updated. Dead sites should be reported to you so that you may remove them.
    Having this helps you do what you do best = TBD. http://www.roberts-1.com/bikehudson/ or NYCC.org or WCC.org etc
    c) Added value to the site, such as links to repair sites, Park Tool, Sheldon Brown etc
    d) Kids or Family Specific sites
    e) Your advise to what or did not work for you
    f) A feed back on corrections and an area you can post the chsnge/correction even if YOU are unclear.
    You created something and the times they are a changin, but the idea is still good.

    Good Luck

    Robert
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  13. #13
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>I don't get out to the trail by me as I tend to ride on the road but I could do one or two visits a year just to update the info.<<<<

    I guess the one issue with that might be the fact that I've tried to present all the rides on my site from the perspective of a guy and his wife in their forties who are done with mountain biking and rough-riding and are now into leisurely bike paths and easy on-road trips. If you (or anyone offering to help) are coming from a different place (i.e. bike paths are boring to you) it would distort the view of the rides for people who have come to "trust" my judgment on certain stuff. For example, when I want a review of a movie I'm considering seeing, I usually go to the website of the one movie critic I typically agree with. That way, I can pretty much trust that he likes the same kinds of things I do. Know what I mean? I appreciate your offer (and I realize it was my request in the first place!) but I'd have to think about it a little. (Cont'd)

    >>>>a) Have your goals changed? What did/do you want to accomplish by having the site?<<<<<

    I just wanted to share some rides that changed my whole perspective on life...rides that I would not have found if someone had not told me about them. (cont')

    >>>>Kids or Family Specific sites<<<<

    This site is pretty much already all about that kind of ride. (cont'd)

    >>>>Your advise to what or did not work for you<<<<<

    That's what I've tried to do and why I'm hesitant to let other riders (who might have different likes and dislikes) contribute. (cont'd)

    >>>A feed back on corrections and an area you can post the chsnge/correction even if YOU are unclear.<<<<

    I've also tried to do that, but I'm not totally comfortable with it, especially when people introduce roads that I've never heard of. (cont'd)

    >>>>You created something and the times they are a changin, but the idea is still good.<<<<<

    I think it is still a valid idea. I just kind of wish someone else - someone who is on the trails all the time - would take the ball and run with it.

    Thanks for all the ideas (and keep 'em coming), everyone. I know mine is not the most important bicycling site in the world, so I really appreciate this opportunity to whine!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  14. #14
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    Hey Tom - I'd suggest just leaving it up and put a disclaimer up. It's not costing you any money, and you can update it if and when you might have time. What's the downside? Last I checked, Floyd Landis' book is still in my library and you can't get more inaccurate than that! As for your goals, it is a good resource for your kind of rides and people that share the same goals. Any chance you might have an idea of a Long Island specific resource of long but interesting Rides?
    Thanks & keep it up!
    Oh, and if the site costs you to keep it up let me know - I can probably help you with free hosting

  15. #15
    Senior Member fusilierdan's Avatar
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    <<<<I guess the one issue with that might be the fact that I've tried to present all the rides on my site from the perspective of a guy and his wife in their forties who are done with mountain biking and rough-riding and are now into leisurely bike paths and easy on-road trips. If you (or anyone offering to help) are coming from a different place (i.e. bike paths are boring to you) it would distort the view of the rides for people who have come to "trust" my judgment on certain stuff. For example, when I want a review of a movie I'm considering seeing, I usually go to the website of the one movie critic I typically agree with. That way, I can pretty much trust that he likes the same kinds of things I do. Know what I mean? I appreciate your offer (and I realize it was my request in the first place!) but I'd have to think about it a little. (Cont'd)>>>>>

    Fair enough
    I'm a 50 something whose wife doesn't like riding on the road. Most of my trips on rail trails or events like Summer Streets have been done with my kids. They're grown up now. I look at rides on paths as an event or a mini vacation.

    The last time I rode the Nyack trail we, my eldest daughter and I, parked downtown rode the trail beginning in Cedar Park along the way some vines were hanging in the trail we stopped and swung on the vines a few times. We took Ash St. down to Piermont and rode out to the pier. We took the road back to Nyack as I was too lazy to climb back up Ash St. Espressos and Crepes from Didier Dumas finished off the ride.

    Hey is this an application essay? lol.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>Hey is this an application essay<<<<<<

    If it is, you're hired.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  17. #17
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    So Tom have you gotten the bikes out the basement?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>>So Tom have you gotten the bikes out the basement?<<<<<<

    NO!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    It is time to get the bikes out was 65 today.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>It is time to get the bikes out was 65 today.<<<<<<

    Yeah, but...

    I work every day until 4pm and get home about 4:15. At that time, I need to tend to any outstanding "issues" related to my side business. Then, I typically have about half-a-dozen things to deal with on the web sites that I maintain. By the time I am free to do anything, it's after 6pm, I am wiped, and I'm hungry. Once I'm through with dinner, I'm done with any physical activity for the night.

    It looks like, now that I'm an 8 to 4 (and several hours after THAT) worker, I'm going to have to satisfy my weekday biking urges by riding to and from work, which is only about 3 miles from home. Once summer hits and I'm involved with concert production from 7am to midnight most nights of the week, it's all over. THAT's why I don't get to check out any of these trails on a regular basis anymore!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  21. #21
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    Can you ride on the weekend?

  22. #22
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>Can you ride on the weekend?<<<<

    I'm hoping that, before the concert series begins, I can free up some weekends to get in a few good rides. Unfortunately (?), I've got four young grandchildren who love to hang out with their Papa Tom, and the only time available is Saturday and Sunday. Also, during this transitional phase in my work life (thank goodness I'm back to work full time - though at half the salary), I need the weekend to catch up on my side businesses, which are still necessary to pay the bills!

    I'm just LOADED with excuses, aren't I? 'Truth is, it's all reality...but hopefully not for long.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  23. #23
    Senior Member Divtos's Avatar
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    Instead of closing it down why not look for someone to take it over? I'd also vote just to keep it up with a disclaimer if the only other option is shutting it down.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>I'd also vote just to keep it up with a disclaimer if the only other option is shutting it down<<<<

    It already comes with a disclaimer, albeit a small, barely noticeable one. Perhaps I need to beef that sentence up and just stop making such a big deal out of such a little site.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  25. #25
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    I say it is a nice day and you should get out on your bike today.

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