Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Little Hell, A Lot of Heaven

Oh Wow.

I set out to find the South County Trail again.
I keep hearing that the Putnam Trail is in fact paved and passable on a road bike, but considering the mini - disaster that was my last attempt through Van Cortland Park, I decided to give up on that for the moment. I skipped riding through the park entirely and stayed on Broadway heading north.
I think I can honestly say that the stretch through Yonkers is the most miserable I've been on a bicycle, without actually falling over. The traffic is terrible on Rt 9. It's all buses and potholes and cobbles and exhaust and then - hills. Hills, and hills and more hills.
I think I've mentioned that I hate hills. I'm not a triathlete. I'm not in training for the tour de Georgia (don't even get me started on that name). I ride for fun and because it's a great way to explore my surroundings. Ok, I mean there is a great deal of personal satisfaction in achieving goals and feeling healthy and strong, but I don't go looking for things to climb over.
Up and down, up and down, the wind whipping into my face off the Hudson. In the words of the inimitable Bob Roll, I was "Doing the PaperBoy".
I forget who he was describing when he said that, but unlike me, I think that rider bonked while climbing an alp.
I thought about bailing out, but I knew I'd just be pissed the whole way home.
Long story short, I found the entrance to the South County Trail at Barney Street in either Yonkers or Hastings - on - Hudson. It runs right between the Saw Mill Parkway and Saw Mill River Road - and it is heavenly.
Paved, shaded, tree-lined, smooth, picturesque and a complete and total surprise to me. In classic Bike Dummy form, I used to live about a third of a mile away from this path when I got out of college - and Friday was the first time I ever saw it.
I felt like I could go forever.
Unfortunately, I got a late start, so I started to lose the light around New Castle. I had just enough sun left to take a slight detour around part of the Croton Reservoir, dive down to the Mount Kisco Metro-North train station, and head home.
view across the reservoir to the
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Research Center at Kitchawan

If anyone knows of a more pleasant way to get to the trail head from NYC, I'd appreciate hearing about it. I'm not even sure where it starts on the southern end.
To see my route, click on the map to go to

Go To Bikely

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