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Cars? What Cars? - Recap

Saturday, August 7, 2021 - Recap

Dutchess rail trail

Ride has concluded.

A rail trail with many names

39, 69 or 88 miles (all require train)

Saturday, August 7, 2021


[This ride is cross-listed with GravelNY which has both straight and gay members.]

 

If you're looking for a chill, car-free ride in the shade, join me Saturday for a ride starting in Poughkeepsie which takes paved rail trails for miles and miles and miles.

 

There are three distance options for this ride…

  • 39 miles (1,200 feet of climbing) ending in Brewster
  • 69 miles (2,200 feet of climbing) ending in Croton-On-Hudson
  • 88 miles (2,900 feet of climbing) ending in The Bronx

 

[I'm doing the 69 mile route.]

 

The ride starts at the Poughkeepsie MetroNorth/Amtrak station just after the MNR train gets into the station at 8:45. I'll be getting on the train at 125th Street at 6:56 am. (It leaves Grand Central about 10 minutes earlier if you want to get on there.) The early start time is necessary given the distance and hence the time the ride will take to complete.

 

We'll start by riding a few blocks and then take the elevator to the top of "The Walkway Over The Hudson". We'll go out to the middle of the bridge to admire the view then turn around and head back towards the City on the rail trail.

 

The rail trail has many names. It's part of the Empire State Trail but between Poughkeepsie and Hopewell Junction it's called the Dutchess Rail Trail. The section between Hopewell Junction and Brewster is brand new and called the Maybrook Trailway. From Brewster to the Westchester County Line it's called the Putnam Trailway. Then at the Westchester County line it changes to the North County Trail. Then in Tarrytown, starting where the Tarrytown Connector shoots off from the trail, it's called the South County Trail. And finally in the Bronx it's called the Old Putnam Trail.

 

Being a rail trail the hills are generally really gentle. There's a 10 mile long hill on the Maybrook Trail that's so gentle (0.8% grade) that you may not even realize you're going uphill.

 

If you take MetroNorth back from Brewster it's 39 miles and about 1,200 feet of climbing.

 

[39 mile riders should use the 69 mile route shown below.]

 

The 69 mile Croton option splits off from the North County Trail just before it crosses the Croton Reservoir. You'll then ride on a semi-busy road for less than a mile, then cross the reservoir on the beautiful Gatehouse Bridge and ride a lovely road along the southern edge of the reservoir. Part of the road is gravel, but it's smooth - you just have to watch out for potholes. We'll then go out onto the Croton Dam. At that point you have two options to get the the MetroNorth station. I'll be going via the Old Croton Aqueduct. It's 4.8 miles, 2.8 of which are gravel. It's almost completely downhill (about 100 feet of climbing), sometimes "single track", but doable on a skinny tires if you slow down and take it easy. For the gravel-adverse, there's a 3.7 mile paved route with about 200 feet of climbing.

 

 

If you're up for an even longer ride, it's 88 miles to get to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx where you can catch the 1 train or continue riding home.

 


[The 88 mile route is a draft and probably won't be fully completed before the ride. I recommend using the 69 mile route until Yorktown and then switching to the 88 mile route. Getting back to the City on the South County is pretty simple. The food stop is Elmsford.]

 

Ride Details

Distance 39, 69 or 88 miles (all require train)
Start Location Sent to registered members
Date Saturday, August 7, 2021
Meet Time Sent to registered members
Start Time Sent to registered members
Level B - Steady Eddy
Speed ±15 mph
Ride Organizer Jay H.




Comments:


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David P.

August 2, 2021


Sounds great. Just to confirm, that notwithstanding your title as "Gravel King" the 39 and 69 routes don't really involve gravel? Best, David

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Jay H.

August 2, 2021


David - The only "real gravel" is on the 69 mile version and there's a paved alternate route for that section. But there definitely is a few miles of a smooth dirt road (cinder surface) on the 69 mile version and it's unclear whether part of the Maybrook portion of the trail is paved or (smooth) cinder. But bottom line, I'm not listing this as a gravel group ride because it's completely skinny tire friendly. 

3bdae053 f962 4bbe b93f 2f0a4f466218

Jay H.

August 2, 2021


David - OK I have a final answer for you - the Maybrook Trail is completely paved (I found a video on YouTube). 

 

So the only portion of gravel is along is the road on the south side of the Croton Reservoir, and (other than dodging potholes here and there) it's generally a smooth cinder surface. 

 

If you want to avoid the road by the Croton Reservoir you can follow the 88 mile route and get off the trail in Pleasantville and take the train from there. That's also ~69 miles.

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Larry K.

August 6, 2021


Have a great ride.  Yesterday I completed the Allegheny Passage Trail (2 days).  Jay I thought about you and how you would like the gravel on this trail.  Great Allegheny Passage (gaptrail.org)

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Speed Freak Fast paceline ride Steady Eddy Moderate paced ride Easy Rider Gentle paced ride


RIDE LEVEL KEY

A - Speed Freak - Fast paceline ride

B - Steady Eddy - Moderately paced ride

C - Easy Rider - Gentle paced ride

The 'Ride Speed' indicates the target cruising speed on flat roads.