A month of trails

My month of trails: the Hudson River Greenway, the 606/Bloomingdale Trail and the Chicago Lakefront, plus the Lawrence Hopewell Trail by moonlight.

For me, August turned out to be a month of riding on trails.

First up: the Hudson River Greenway in Manhattan, as part of the bucket-list Manhattan Loop Ride with the East Coast Greenway. About 40 of us rode to almost the northern tip of Manhattan (and getting a look from below at the newly reopened High Bridge), then down along the Hudson, around Battery Park and up the East River Greenway until it peters out just south of the United Nations.

While there is a stretch along the river north of the U.N., it dies again at one point, and you need to know your way through Harlem to get to another piece of greenway — and then not miss the hidden sharp left halfway down the ramp to the Harlem River Drive. Close the gap and add some signs!

Here’s the group in front of a fake Grecian temple with the New Jersey Palisades in the background. This sitting area north of the George Washington Bridge was built in 1925.

manhattan bike ride

Then off to Chicago, where I took a Divvy Bike (Chicago’s bikeshare program) to check out the Bloomingdale Trail and the 606 (trail + parks). Just wonderful!

On the Bloomingdale Trail
On the Bloomingdale Trail

It is twice the length of New York City’s High Line, plus wider and open for bikes. Sweeping on-off ramps make it so accessible. The plantings are still going in so it’s not as lush (and won’t be as precious — but you can see the work of the High Line’s designer in the Lurie Gardens in Chicago’s Millennium Park).

And I finally got to bike along Lake Michigan too. I admit it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Chicago all over again.

August 2015 065

My East Coast Greenway training rides generally haven’t been that arduous this month — blame a lack of time. But I did bike down to the Shore again and again hit the few miles of trail that make up the stalled Capital to Coast Trail.

The month ended with a six-mile moonlight bike ride on part of the almost-finished Lawrence Hopewell Trail, which connects to the East Coast Greenway. Despite the full moon, there wasn’t enough light to cycle without a light (though some people certainly tried). I didn’t see any crashes, thankfully. The organizers smartly sent people headed off in waves, although there were still plenty of people to watch out for. You wondered when some were last on a bike! But at least they were on one!

August 2015 133

Loved being able to glance at the moonlit lake, even if I waited until the end to actually stop. The crunch of tires on gravel drowned out most of the sounds of bugs and other bits of nature. Next time I’d either start late or make sure I have enough power in my lights to do a second loop.

And one day I’ll make it to that moonlight ride around Manhattan.

In the meantime, a video from the Moonlight Ride:

Author: alliumstozinnias

A gardener (along with the Brit) who has discovered there is more than hybrid tomatoes. And a cyclist.

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