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ISO Ichabod Crane

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ISO Ichabod Crane

Old 06-03-16, 07:45 PM
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ISO Ichabod Crane

I recently read on the internet (so it MUST be true) that Ichabod Crane had been spotted, alive and well, in High Falls, NY. I'm a total Crane groupie so, despite my fear of horsemen and flying pumpkins, I had to go find him. I contacted our own @noglider who agreed to join the enterprise and sneak out of NYC for a couple of days. Both of those days promised to have just perfect spring weather so that was a bonus.

I picked up Tom at the bus terminal in New Paltz, NY on Wednesday morning and we proceed directly to search for Crane on some steep mountain roads and dark valleys. No luck so we bought eggs and vedgs and went to his house for lunch. Tom lives in a haunted 1700s mountain compound that once hosted a Continental battery of bronze cannons that monitored Howe's army in NYC and prevent them from pestering the local farmers during 'the trouble in the colonies". We ate lunch on one of the redoubts.

We then ventured to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail which turned out to be a great ride - Tom on his Raleigh SC and I on my Ersatz GS. Very nice trail surface that ran thru a sylvan tunnel for 17 miles, decreasing from 12'wide to a single track - all good fun and a beautiful ride. The trail folks have left the old rail bridges and trestles in place which afforded the gentle traveler outstanding views. Tom may have happy snaps to post. As usual I did not roll with a camera. Alas no Ichabod Crane. We even checked the haunted abandoned mines that provided Rosendale Cement for Yankee Stadium and the Brooklyn Bridge. I thought I spotted Ichabod in one of the dark pools (like Gollum) but it turned out be just my reflection. How insulting.

Yesterday morning we tumbled down hill into High Falls and stopped at "The Last Bite' cafe. We each ordered the blueberry pancakes which were really outstanding. I've ordered blueberry pancakes all over the country and am somewhat of an expert. These were outstanding (did I say that?). And I really enjoyed the atmosphere in this really fine small town cafe where the locals gather for morning coffee, crumpets and eggs (actually "Breakfast All Day"). I love these family owned small town breakfast joints.

We then drove to New Paltz to ride the Hudson Valley Trail on to the "Walkway over the Hudson" then the Duchess Rail Trail. Again, a stellar experience and Tom continued to be an excellent guide. Hopefully he adds a couple of photos to this thread. Words are insufficient. The weather was, again, perfect for riding and we knocked out another 35 miles (three possible Icabod sightings - no confirmations). Time ran out and rain was on the way so I sent Tom back to NYC, drove his Raleigh back to the compound then 'beat feet' back to Pennsylvania.

A great two days and, LISTEN UP, both trails would be excellent venues for an annual C&V ride to rival the CCRT or any others. Think on that you New Yorkers. I'd drive up again. Thank you Tom. Oh the rain arrived just as predicted so our timing was perfect.

I wonder if Ichabod rides a vintage Raleigh? BTW, one or two points here are not actually true........
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Old 06-03-16, 07:58 PM
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Sounds like a fine adventure. Those of us from far away would really like to see what this area looks like. Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. Please!
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Old 06-03-16, 08:39 PM
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And those of us nearby would love to see a C&V group ride built around this. And pics.
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Old 06-03-16, 09:59 PM
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This is Wednesday's route. We got on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Rosendale, just north of the trestle bridge. I'm sorry I didn't shoot the bridge but here is a Google Street view of it from Rt 213. We took the trail to the southern end in Gardiner, and we rode back the exact same way. Ridewithgps shows us to take a huge dip in altitude at the northern end of the route, but that's an error in elevation data. I guess they don't believe we can be on the bridge so we "must have" stayed along the ground surface.



We stopped on most bridges, and they seem to be pretty much the only places I took pictures from. These are from the trestle bridge.





Here are views from the bridge crossing the Wallkill River.







And these are from some other bridge, farther south.







I didn't take any pictures of the sylvan tunnel where we spent most of our time!
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Old 06-03-16, 10:06 PM
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Here is @Prowler, and I don't remember what we were doing or talking about at the time.



The caves were, as I understand, the place where they extracted the mineral used in making concrete. Now the caves are still in use for drinking water. There are big tank trucks that come and pull the water out. The caves are always cool. On hot days, as I ride by the entrance, I get a blast of cold air that feels like it comes from a freezer.







And this is an old kiln. There are many on this site.

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Old 06-03-16, 10:11 PM
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This was Thursday's route.


We drove to the northern end of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail which starts just a little west of the Hudson River. We cross a newly reopened bridge called The Walkway Over The Hudson. It used to be a rail bridge, and the views are spectacular. On the east side of the river, we are in Poughkeepsie. There, the trail goes as far south as Hopewell Junction. Unlike the Wallkill trail, this trail is paved. I'm not sure which type of surface I prefer. Paved is easier to ride on, but unpaved is interesting and feels more natural.


We recalled the thread called How to Photograph a Bicycle, so Todd did some experiments with my Super Course on a bench. Perhaps this method is not ideal.


























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Old 06-03-16, 10:12 PM
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Interesting that we both chose our beloved frankenbikes for the ride. Todd's is a work of art as well as an engineering feat: make a nice looking, nice riding bike out of nothing but spare bits. Well done.
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Old 06-04-16, 12:16 AM
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^ Nice pics, Tom! It would have been fun to ride with you guys. Seriously, this route seems like a no-brainer as a group ride for you all in the NYC environs. Not exactly "upstate."

I notice "Erzatz" is wearing the same kind of (Schwinn Approved?) turkey levers I pulled out of the box o' crap about a year ago, but have not found the right frame for yet. Those yellow-gold highlights really sell it for me. Your old Raleigh is quite the purposeful machine, too.
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Old 06-04-16, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman
^ Nice pics, Tom! It would have been fun to ride with you guys.

I notice "Erzatz" is wearing the same kind of (Schwinn Approved?) turkey levers I pulled out of the box o' crap about a year ago........
Thanks for the great photos, Tom. I knew you were the photojournalist as well as the navigator.

On those turkey levers; close inspection will reveal that a) yes I left them on but b) I bob'd em so they only reach straight back under the handlebar ramps about 3 inches. They no longer make the turn around in front of the HB. I ride a lot on the ramps, about 1 1/2" back from the hoods, so those levers allow me to feather the brakes from the ramps - 80% of the braking I do. If in doubt though, I drop to the hoods and use the levers for full braking. I like em that way but no one else's done it, AFAIK.
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Old 06-04-16, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
We cross a newly reopened bridge called The Walkway Over The Hudson........

We recalled the thread called How to Photograph a Bicycle, so Todd did some experiments with my Super Course on a bench. Perhaps this method is not ideal.

Gee, I donno. I thought we'd checked all the boxes: drive side, cranks horizontal, valve stems hidden, great lighting, interesting background, proper water bottle, middle gear, bear bell visible, matched bungee cords...

Oh, you mean the bench? Well that was just a human interest element, don-cha-see?
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Old 06-04-16, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman
^ Nice pics, Tom! It would have been fun to ride with you guys. Seriously, this route seems like a no-brainer as a group ride for you all in the NYC environs. Not exactly "upstate."

I notice "Erzatz" is wearing the same kind of (Schwinn Approved?) turkey levers I pulled out of the box o' crap about a year ago, but have not found the right frame for yet. Those yellow-gold highlights really sell it for me. Your old Raleigh is quite the purposeful machine, too.
Our house is 90 miles from our place in Manhattan. It feels far, but the flavor has a lot of city people, because so many are from the city or are children of those who are from the city. Yet the layout of the land there is truly rural. There are rows of ridges and plains, so you have many views for miles from all altitudes. Properties worth as little as $100,000 can have what I call million dollar views. The economy ain't great. People make the most of it, often by having two or three or four jobs all at once. And as I like to say, it's the only rural area I've been to where people have my accent.

Anyway, @Prowler asked me about cycling in the area, and my response was to propose we do it together, hence the vacation days we both took from our jobs. If anyone here (whom I know by now) would also like a bike tour of the area's riches, feel free to contact me. My wife and I like visitors, and we like to ride with them.
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Old 06-04-16, 10:29 AM
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Very nice views and an interesting area for history. Two things among many to have on a bike ride !

Tom, I see you are sporting the new gloves that Greg is helping dispense. I can't wait to get mine.

i like the idea of bob' turkey levers. Might put that one to use on my Sekine project since the levers come with those already attached permanently.

Looked like a great couple of days for vacation.
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Old 06-04-16, 05:39 PM
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Looks like a beautiful location. I particularly like the river and would be sorely tempted to take a 15 minute break now and then to toss a line in. I'm happy to see people making friends and enjoying our hobby together.
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Old 06-04-16, 07:10 PM
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Beautiful countryside for riding! Even from my armchair...
Thanks,
Brent
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Old 06-04-16, 09:00 PM
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@Narhay, yes, the mod to the turkey levers is very sensible. I might try it one day.
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Old 06-06-16, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Here is @Prowler, and I don't remember what we were doing or talking about at the time.
Did he recite any poetry?

Great report!
Great pics!
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Old 06-06-16, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay
Looks like a beautiful location. I particularly like the river and would be sorely tempted to take a 15 minute break now and then to toss a line in. I'm happy to see people making friends and enjoying our hobby together.
The Hudson River offers spectacular views at every point I've been on it. I need to check it out further north, and I don't expect to be disappointed. The reason it's so great is that it is wide, often well over a mile wide, and both sides of it have high cliffs in most places. It's actually a fjord, which is a scratch in the earth carved by receding glaciers, whereas I believe most rivers are created by water flow coming from the source, i.e. mountains or other bodies of water. The river is also very deep. New York City and New York State were ripe for development because of the harbor and river which are extremely navigable. The bottoms of the bay and river are deep and stable. I believe most places where there is not a high cliff have landfill against the river. Farther inland you will find steep hills. Because these hills are tall, most bridges that span the Hudson are very high. The George Washington Bridge which goes between Fort Lee, New Jersey and the northern part of Manhattan is about a mile long, and the bottom of the bridge is 212 feet above the water.

Views from the George Washington Bridge
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Old 06-06-16, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Did he recite any poetry?
Yes. I drove Tom crazy with snippets of verse and lyrics. He kept falling further and further back to escape.
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Old 06-06-16, 06:35 PM
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Beautiful area to ride, cool bikes and I concur on the levers. Looks like a great time was had!
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