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Old 05-07-14, 09:35 AM   #1
datlas
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Road Riding in Yonkers?? Yay or Nay?

I am most likely going to be spending this Sunday in Yonkers, NY, for a synchronized swim meet.

I am a road cyclist and ideally would love to sneak away for 2-3 hours for a good ride. Am open to a group club ride but solo is fine.

From looking at the map, it seems that Yonkers is probably too close to NYC and I would be faced with bad roads, angry drivers, and it may not be worth taking my bike.

On the other hand, if there is a quick escape to back roads I would love the chance to get in a good ride.

I do see something called the "Old Croton Trailway" that looks like a MUP. Is it safe to hammer on? Or full of walkers and kids?

Suggestions??
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Old 05-07-14, 12:27 PM   #2
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It's fairly hilly, with ridges running N/S. Roads are "meh" for road cycling.

The Croton Aqueduct Trail is a dirt walking path, doable on a cross/tourer/mt. bike with 32mm tires or so, but not a great ride on anything smaller. Being that the surface condition is dirt and roots, you cant really hammer on a bike, so have few issues with dogs/kids/walkers. I think it's better then 12 miles, one-way on the Croton, to Rt 9 in Tarrytown.

If you can get over to the east side, there's the South County Trail, the MUP which runs from the NYC line to Elmsford at Rt 119, 11 miles one-way. Being paved it's fine on a road bike. It gets good usage but a lot are cyclists so not too bad traffic wise. You can pick it up at assorted road crossings. The map is here.

http://parks.westchestergov.com/imag...dfs/sctmap.pdf

The SCT ends in Elmsford, but a mile north starts the North County and Putnam Trailways (all on the same old Put Railroad bed). The NCT and Putnam trail goes to Brewster, another 40 miles.

Trailways

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Old 05-07-14, 04:05 PM   #3
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Lighting Guy is right about the hills, but some of the streets in North Yonkers go by fabulous old houses. The main arteries run north/south and are usually full of cars.
I'll stick my two cents in on the Old Croton Aqueduct trail. I've done on an old racing bike with 700c/28 tires without much discomfort, but I wouldn't be too happy on racing tires. As unpaved tracks go, it is tame, and flat as a board. But it isn't boring. There are great views of the Palisades, a number of historical buildings and a really intimate look at life in the river towns as you ride through people's back yards (all right-of-way). There are usually walkers, but I've never seen it crowded. The trail is interrupted in a few places, but isn't too hard to pick up after spending some time on the roads. The trail ends at the Croton Dam, which is dramatic. However, if you only have a couple of hours, you won't have time to do the whole thing.
The South County Trailway is a paved railroad bed and is likewise flat. Not nearly as interesting as the OCA, in my opinion, but nice enough. Another option would be to follow it south onto the unpaved stretch through Van Cortlandt Park and find your way to the Henry Hudson Bridge. From there you can get to the West Side Greenway.
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Old 05-07-14, 04:17 PM   #4
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For your consideration (it's close to Yonkers). Bicycle Sundays
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Old 05-07-14, 04:35 PM   #5
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The South County Trailway is a paved railroad bed and is likewise flat. Not nearly as interesting as the OCA, in my opinion
Michael is completely correct that the Croton Trail is ton's more interesting and scenic then the SCT, thus if you have a bike with big enough tires, heck even a mt. bike, I'd do the Croton Trail. From Ashburton Ave. to the Lyndhurst Mansion, is 8.5 miles one-way. At that point you hit Rt 9 just south of Tarrytown and have to mostly know where you are going to get up Rt 9, past I87 and back on the trial again.
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Old 05-07-14, 05:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips. I have 23mm tires on my road bikes so I am afraid the Croton trail will have to wait until I get a hybrid.

I will look into the other options suggested. The "Bicycle Sundays" sounds interesting, I have never ridden on a major highway like this, although I would have to ride my bike a few miles from where the swim meet is to get there.
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Old 05-07-14, 06:10 PM   #7
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The "Bicycle Sundays" sounds interesting, I have never ridden on a major highway like this, although I would have to ride my bike a few miles from where the swim meet is to get there.
Full disclosure, I last rode it in the early 1980s so can't offer any insight on current conditions. This rule might be illuminating, however:

"Bicyclists must obey posted parkway speed limit of 40 m.p.h."
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Old 05-07-14, 06:30 PM   #8
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Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway is a good option. There are often a lot of riders, skaters and walkers, but it is two full lanes and a shoulder for nearly all of its 7+ mile length. If you want to go further, there is a path from the parking lot by the County Center that parallels the parkway all the way to the Kensico Dam. In fact, if your schedule prevents you from riding on the parkway when it is open for bikes (10-2), the pathway runs alongside it from Bronxville north to the dam, with a short break in Scarsdale. The path is mostly paved with a mile or two of dirt/gravel between Hartsdale and White Plains. No problem on 23s: I often do it on tubulars. This path is much more twisty than South County, and much prettier. If you want to push hard, it might not be a good choice as it is well used by pedestrians and has a number of blind turns.
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Old 05-09-14, 05:52 PM   #9
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OK, sounds like Bicycle Sunday on the Bronx River Parkway is a good choice. I will give it a try.

One last question for the locals...

The swim meet is at the Montessori School (160 Woodlawn Ave)...to get up to the closed section of the highway, I am looking at riding on Kimball Ave...is that a reasonable road, or too much traffic?? A better route?

Thanks again for the tips. Looks like Sunday's weather will be good for riding.
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Old 05-10-14, 07:40 AM   #10
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Kimball's pretty busy, but it is wide. Bronx River Road/Midland Ave might be a little better. You can pick up the BRP pathway off Pondfield Road in Bronxville just opposite the northbound BRP exit ramp. It takes you right to the closed-to-cars section of the parkway about a mile north.
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Old 05-10-14, 12:17 PM   #11
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Kimball's pretty busy, but it is wide. Bronx River Road/Midland Ave might be a little better. You can pick up the BRP pathway off Pondfield Road in Bronxville just opposite the northbound BRP exit ramp. It takes you right to the closed-to-cars section of the parkway about a mile north.
Thanks!
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Old 05-11-14, 12:17 PM   #12
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In case anyone is following, or if this gets searched, I wanted to give an update. The closed highway was quite good. Not very technical, of course. A few potholes but lots of room. The roads from Yonkers up to the highway were a little dicey, but if you are not spooked by cars it's ok. The Bronx river trail portion I ride on was very scenic but lots of runners and narrow, so not ideal if you want to ride hard.

Thanks again for the suggestion. The weather today was ideal.
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Old 05-11-14, 01:18 PM   #13
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Sorry for interrupting: I'm interested to know: which part of upstate NY near the Metro North Hudson line is the flattest for bike riding? Even a plus if one can swim there.
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Old 05-11-14, 01:37 PM   #14
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Sorry for interrupting: I'm interested to know: which part of upstate NY near the Metro North Hudson line is the flattest for bike riding? Even a plus if one can swim there.
Possibly the Harlem Valley Rail Trail from Wassaic Metro-North station north. It's 10.5 miles to Millerton on rail trail, then some rolling hills for 8 miles on Rudd Pond Rd., then Boston Corners Rd., then Under Mountain Rd. to the northern section of the trail, then another 4 miles to Copake Falls, 44 RT.

http://hvrt.org/maps2014/map_home_2014a.pdf
There's a beach - in theory, at Rudd Pond State Park, though may only be open weekends.

Taconic State Park - Rudd Pond Area - NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

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Old 05-11-14, 09:00 PM   #15
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Thanks, Steve. From the map, it seems to be far from both the city and the Hudson River. Along the Hudson, is there any part that is very flat? I'd like to ride by the river
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Old 05-12-14, 10:36 AM   #16
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Thanks, Steve. From the map, it seems to be far from both the city and the Hudson River. Along the Hudson, is there any part that is very flat? I'd like to ride by the river
Sorry, missed "Hudson".

Other then the Old Croton Aqueduct trail, the only 'path" I'm familiar with that is flat, would be the Duchess Rail Trail that starts in Hopewell Junction and ends at the Walkway over the Hudson. It's flat, 13 miles one way, with a 2 mile extension on the bridge and can be extended into Ulster county (west side of the Hudson) to join up with assorted rail trails in the New Paltz area.

The Duchess trail isn't overly scenic till you get to the bridge, then it's beautiful.

As to flat road riding ?. It gets a bit flatter on both sides of the Hudson once you get north of Newburgh on the west side, or around Beacon on the east. It's hilly to the east side of the Duchess County area, though the Harlem River valley is not too hilly. South of Beacon/Newburgh. it's very hilly.
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Old 05-12-14, 08:02 PM   #17
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Steve, thanks a lot for the information.
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Old 05-14-14, 10:22 AM   #18
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Sorry for interrupting: I'm interested to know: which part of upstate NY near the Metro North Hudson line is the flattest for bike riding? Even a plus if one can swim there.
The Old Croton Aqueduct is flat and easily reached from the Hudson Div. stations. It isn't paved and it isn't always in sight of the river, but it is the closest path on the east bank south of Peekskill. Plus it is a very cool ride.
If you want to stay close to the river on pavement you will be on some fairly busy roads, with hills thrown in.
There are some beautiful roads that wind around the reservoirs east of Ossining. Not many hills and not much traffic, but some distance from the train.
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