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Good Routes in Columbia County?

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Good Routes in Columbia County?

Old 04-10-15, 12:24 PM
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Good Routes in Columbia County?

Due to a job change and family complications, I'm going to be moving to the Chatham area next month, and was wondering what the cycling scene is like in the area? For starters, I was told to look into the MHCC once I get settled for group rides(do they ride that far south?) and I was recommended Steiner's Sports as the only bike shop in the area. The thing is I tend to like riding solo (no worries about slowing anyone down or vice versa), so I was curious if anyone could tell me of a good cycling route. I don't mind if it's road or trail, I do prefer loops to out-&-back rides whenever possible but I'm not against long rail-trail rides

I was also vaguely informed of a small bike tour that loops the county, starting and ending at the fairgrounds, can anyone give me more info on that?

Thanks in advance,
-Mike
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Old 04-10-15, 08:46 PM
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start with this ride in May, I can't attend but it includes many of the best dirt roads in the Chatham area: Event | The Farmer's Daughter Gravel Grinder

Steiners is a good shop. There are some group rides in Rens. County. Or you can get to Delmar for Tuesday night rides (about a 35 minute drive) on the west side of the Hudson.
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Old 04-10-15, 09:05 PM
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You moved to one of my favorite riding areas. Tons of interesting roads going both north and south in the area between the Hudson and Massachusetts. Depending on your range, you can go north as far as Ticonderoga, and south as far as you want (all the way to Westchester). Then if you get bored, you can hop over the ridge into western Mass and southern VT.

BTW- this is a great area for unplanned rides. You don't need a map or compass, because you have the Berkshires to the east, the Hudson to the left and only need to remember if you're north or south of I-90. Oh, if you're headed to VT, head north turn to Bennington. Unless you want some climbing, then go east immediately and north through North Adams.

Don't forget to plan a ride to Mt. Greylock, which is wll worth the climb. Here's a link to a contour map which will give you a sense of what the area is like
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Old 04-11-15, 07:11 PM
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There is always the Harlem Valley Rail Trail from Wassaic up to Copake Falls. It may extend further at this point, but I haven't been up there in a while. There is a stretch from Millerton north that is also not available.

I've ridden from Egremont to Copake via Bashbish falls, then down to Millerton, across on Rt44 and then back up MA 41. It's a pleasant enough ride with some climbing at the beginning up Mt Washington road in MA. You could also go the other way, but the road up from Copake is steep, narrow and curvy. I've never tried.

New York Cycle Club does their Memorial Day weekend up in the Berkshires. The rides I believe are open to all.

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Old 04-14-15, 08:26 AM
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I live in Ulster County. I get over to Columbia County from time to time. Lots of great riding, if you like country roads!

An organized ride that looks like grand fun that isn't too far: State Bike Tour - Cycle Massachusetts - I have never tried that but it's always on my list!

I suspect that roads around places like Chatham are a lot busier on weekends than on weekdays. But even so, you shouldn't have to go very far to get out into the quiet back country.

Just in case you don't know about it already, the strava heatmap is a great way to find good routes in an area you don't already know: https://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#6/-1...6000/blue/bike

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Old 04-17-15, 05:27 AM
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That Strava heatmap is really cool, I can see all the routes that I usually take.
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Old 04-23-15, 11:05 AM
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MikeRides, I'm co-organizer of the Farmer's Daughter Gravel Grinder, an organized non-competitive ~100k supported ride that will take place in Chatham on May17, starting at 9:00 AM. It's inexpensive to participate ($40 entry on BikeReg.com for the rest of April), and would be a great way to get to know some of the beautiful roads in Columbia County and some of the people most active in cycling in our region. As of today there are 132 people registered, many from our immediate region, but also many from various points in the northeast. It's not a race, and it should be a very friendly ride. It's challenging, though, and it includes dirt roads, a few paved road sections, and several off-road segments. It was designed with cyclocross bikes in mind, though you could use a mountain bike or fat bike. It is not suitable for road bikes. There's a lot of information available on the website linked above, and if you have any questions I'd be happy to help.
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