Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

route insight around Berks, southern VT - tandem with kiddo

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

route insight around Berks, southern VT - tandem with kiddo

Old 07-07-22, 01:13 AM
  #1  
Charlie Pendejo
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
route insight around Berks, southern VT - tandem with kiddo

Planning to ride a new-to-use Bike Friday Two'sday from the end of the Vermonter in St. Albans, VT to Montreal with my eight year old, then after a week in that city, hope to ride a good chunk of the way home to NYC in the following week.

I rode NYC -> Montreal a handful of years back, and feel pretty comfy about suitable roads along much of the route - certainly anything north of mid-VT including the Route Vert in Quebec.

Far less certain what's what along my the portion of my first-draft which goes something like:

Rutland VT -> Manchester VT -> Williamstown MA -> Great Barrington MA -> Harlem Rail Trail into Wassaic NY.

Can anyone help out with route intel along that segment, or at least parts of it? For our sake & that of obtaining her mother's blessing, hoping for particularly safe roads - low traffic, wide shoulder, etc. Of course any time on car-free bike routes are even better.

Not sure how much those safe routes are on offer around the Berks and into NY State around Copake - kid's mom and I both picture more narrow, curvy roads with higher speed traffic, from whatever time we've spent there. That'd would be a no-go. Willing to re-route and/or plan to fold the bike and hop on a train or bus for a stretch to reach a bike-friendlier area.

And I wasn't crazy about NY's official bike route 12 years ago either: I recall it being full of high speed trucks, and sometimes iffy shoulders. Willing to ride more in NY State if that's better than cutting through NW MA, but in that case I'm looking for smaller, slower roads.

Thanks for any guidance on routes... and also on tips for a first real tandem tour with a youngster. She's happy to ride her own bike for 2+ hours around NYC; I'm thinking it's within the realm of possibility she'll be fine with ~4 hours of tandem biking split up with plenty of stops including lunch. How realistic does this seem?
Charlie Pendejo is offline  
Old 07-07-22, 04:28 AM
  #2  
indyfabz
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 34,830
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15909 Post(s)
Liked 10,152 Times in 4,950 Posts
I’ll give it more thought, but I did Great Barrington to the trail (camped at Taconic Copake) last September on an Sunday afternoon via Rte. 23 from MA into NY. Thinking it would not meet your criteria. Shoulder gets narrow in places, and there was a good amount of traffic. The trail is terrific. Especially the recently completed section north of Millerton. Taconic Copake is also a very nice place to camp. The new bathhouse is amazing.

Here is an option to bypass the a lot of NY 23 in NY that I was looking at a couple weeks ago in connection with a thread on another forrum:

GREAT BARRINGTON-HVRT - A bike ride in Egremont, MA (ridewithgps.com)

The portion of MA 23/NY 41 to get to the turnroff has a good shoulder, IIRC. You can view it on Street View and judge for yourself. As you can see, there is about 2 miles of unpaved surface. Some of that on the descent is really steep. From mile 4.82 on the surface can be seen using Street View. Obviously no shoulder, but I cannot believe there is heavy, fast traffic. In hindsight, had I realized this option existed last year I would have tried it. Roads like that can be a real gem.

Ooops. Now that I look at Satellite View i appears that Orphan Farm is gated at the intersection with Mountain. The west end is open because that's where I got on the trail from NY 22. No biggie. You could just stay on Mountain and pick up the trail where it crosses that road just by the park entrance. The portion of the trail from Orphan Farm to the park entrance is not a must-ride. South of that point is. A friend of mine and his wife just happened to ride it two days before I did. They had to stop for a bit until a bear in the middle of the trail decided to move on. The store/cafe along he trail across from the park entrance is nice.

Last edited by indyfabz; 07-07-22 at 07:20 AM.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-10-22, 07:33 PM
  #3  
Charlie Pendejo
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks, I appreciate that! (Which I swore I typed a few days ago, but apparently forgot to hit send.)

I wouldn't need to access Orphan Farm anyway: this would be our last day of riding, ending at the Wassaic Metro North station where we'd catch a train the rest of the way home to NYC.

Neither Komoot nor Google suggested that route through the MA and NY parks - I imagine because of that slope which is apparently >= 10% for nearly three quarters of a mile, max of 18%. That's pretty dang steep, but I think we'd be fine either taking it at a crawl or, if necessary, walking the bike down the steepest of it.

That leave give us something like this: (https) goo.gl/maps/CxYP3iLjoBuxX8M96 - look about right?

(Aha, bikeforums told me I don't have enough cred to post links... probably didn't notice that while trying to reply the first time.
Charlie Pendejo is offline  
Old 07-10-22, 07:56 PM
  #4  
indyfabz
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 34,830
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15909 Post(s)
Liked 10,152 Times in 4,950 Posts
Watch out for bears on the HVT! This photo was taken by the guy I know who rode south of Copake two days before I did.




A view of mine. There are a few elevated boardwalks that take you over marshy areas. You can see how new the railings are.



Last edited by indyfabz; 07-10-22 at 08:03 PM.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 07-18-22, 10:11 PM
  #5  
Chilepines
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 173

Bikes: 1984 homemade 531SL road bike; 1988 Ritchey TimberComp; 1997 Nashbar tandem; 1998 Kona Explosif; Specialized Epic, Scott CR1 Pro; Salsa Beargrease; Curtlo custom Tandem, Curtlo custom S3 steel gravel bike.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 60 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 34 Posts
I've toured some of VT on a tandem pulling a trailer, which tends to push you away from crossing the Green Mountains too many times. in 2020 we included US7 from Middlebury to Brandon (a little north of Rutland) and I would definitely never ride that road again. The truck traffic was truly scary. I'd bet that between Rutland and Manchester on US7 is no better. When we did that ride 14 years ago we went through Dorset (with one kid on the tandem and one on a single) and I don't recall that being bad at all.
Chilepines is offline  
Old 07-19-22, 04:38 AM
  #6  
indyfabz
Banned.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 34,830
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15909 Post(s)
Liked 10,152 Times in 4,950 Posts
I’ve ridden much of 30 twice from a bit north of Castleton, staying in Dorset both times. It wasn’t bad except for the late afternoon rush near Manchester. I was in camp by then but could hear and see the traffic increase from the front of the campground.

You can take a shortcut by taking South at the store in Wells and rejoining 30. I also rode part of the D&H Trail that parallels 30 into Poultney. Ok, but not the greatest surface in the world.

The climb up 30 from Manchester is 6 miles. Second time was busier than the first. At the hardest part a slow lane emerges. “Slower Traffic Keep Right” is a sign I hate to see.
indyfabz is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.