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TR: NYC to Bear Mt to Poughkeepsie to Albany

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TR: NYC to Bear Mt to Poughkeepsie to Albany

Old 06-21-10, 10:57 AM
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TR: NYC to Bear Mt to Poughkeepsie to Albany

Sharon and I rode from the George Washington Bridge north to Albany on Saturday. Great ride for us. Could have been less hot in the afternoon, but it's hard to complain when you get a tailwind most of the way.

A little over 160 miles with about 9000 vertical feet of climbing the way we took. There are shorter + simpler routes, but ours was interesting + pretty enough to motivate us to ride now a third time the whole thing (plus lots more times most of the sections).

We started long before sunrise, so we got to ride familiar 9W in the dark, and then along the river from Piermont to Nyack at dawn -- one of the main reasons we've decided we like to do this from south to north. Then up the west side thru the Stony Point beaches to Bear Mt and the Storm King Mt road looking across the river to the morning shadow on the Breakneck cliff.

Above Newburgh we turned inland for some pleasant rollers thru orchards, then the Walkway over the Hudson with its big river views, to Poughkeepsie. (Happy thought: Still feeling good all the way to Poughkeepsie. Sobering thought: Less than half way). Next found quieter roads further inland on the east side up to Rhinebeck with lots of food options.

But with the heat it was getting hard for us to want to eat any food solider than gelato, and every uphill we were too slow and hot -- then just over every top we were flying with the south wind. Lots of pretty farm country thru northern Dutchess + Columbia + southwest Rensselaer counties (with a critical cold-fueling stop near Hudson).

Finally around 6:00pm we started hitting more shadows extending to our side of the road, finding we had some energy to climb hills. Anyway the last few miles into Rensselaer were flat, just a little climb up the sidewalk across the Hudson River (much less wide) and we'd made it to Albany.

Our favorite long route, but the variety and quieter roads come with complexity. Few people would try much of it without a GPS to help navigate, so here's a
GPX file
(also with some alternate tracks we've used other times)

And here's a much more
detailed report

Glad we got this ride in before the hotter days.

Ken

Last edited by Ken Roberts; 06-21-10 at 11:07 AM. Reason: fix a couple words
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Old 06-21-10, 12:49 PM
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Nice ride, Ken - thanks for the write up.

You mean there are hotter days coming? Oof - it was pretty steamy this weekend, especially with the humidity.
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Old 06-21-10, 03:15 PM
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Thanks for the report. Is your route a decent one for following in the opposite direction? I am doing a short tour along the Erie canal and back down along the hudson to NYC in August and still haven't worked out my route from Albany to NYC yet.
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Old 06-21-10, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pardonme
Is your route a decent one for following in the opposite direction? I am doing a short tour along the Erie canal and back down along the hudson to NYC in August and still haven't worked out my route from Albany to NYC yet.
Most of it works in either direction. The first time we rode the whole thing it was in the north-to-south direction -- the main complaint we had was that the last few hours were so familiar. Second time we tried it south-to-north and rode the southern NY-NJ roads in unfamiliar light and no traffic and loved it, so now that's become a requirement.
Also some of the larger hills are a bit tougher coming from the north. Which gets to . . .

The hills of the lower Hudson valley are completely different from around the Erie Canal: There's lots of them, and no shortage of steep ones. The route Sharon + I took avoids some of the biggest + steepest, but otherwise it goes where the prettiest and most interesting riding is. Where that crosses some hills, we accept the hills. I could easily figure out a less hilly route, but I wouldn't feel motivated to ride it.

One thing I might change if we were taking multiple days and had more time would be to ride more on the west side thru New Paltz (instead of thru Poughkeepsie).
This GPX file shows both alternatives.

For lots more discussion of alternatives see these NYC to Albany pages.

Ken

Last edited by Ken Roberts; 06-21-10 at 05:02 PM. Reason: fix a couple words
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Old 06-21-10, 05:18 PM
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Thanks for the report, Ken! I've used your page before. It is a great resource for local-ish rides.
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