Sometimes you just have to suck it up and ride hills.
We had decided we wanted to ride Bike New York’s annual Discover Hudson Valley Ride. And while we came to our senses and opted out of the 75-miler (with 4,000+ feet of climbing!), the 55-mile route still came advertised with 2,900 feet of climbing.
Time to try something other than our usual.
A warm-up ride in Pennsylvania
So we headed across the state line and biked from Newtown to Doylestown. Our friend Ken claims he left out the steepest hill, but this was more than gentle rollers!
Doylestown was worth it, though — a cute, vibrant downtown with the requisite quirky coffee shop (next time, though, I’m going to the empanada place), a “cultural district” with a couple of museums and then Fonthill Castle, which from a distance you’d never guess is made of concrete. Next time, the tour.
The bottom line: 45 miles, 2,600 feet of climbing … OK, we can do this!
The real test: Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley
So off we went to Poughkeepsie with a strategy to fuel up the night before at the Culinary Institute’s all-you-can-eat pasta night. I tried, but oh how I failed. I even passed up seconds on dessert!
Sunday’s weather was great for riding … not too hot, not too cold, no rain aside from a minute of spitting toward the end (and the real rain didn’t hit until well after we’d left). First we biked over the Walkway Over the Hudson, something we’d done last year, but not when it was sunny. We went to the end of the Hudson Valley Rail-Trail (now in the midst of an expansion that will connect to other trails — yay!), then took the road. The route bypassed the small downtown of Highland before getting us back on the bridge, then through Poughkeepsie and out in the country.
I kept waiting for a killer hill, but it never seemed to come. (Not that other people didn’t walk. Strangers, of course. Not one of us.) Maybe they were saving it for the 75- and 100-milers? Or maybe that training paid off?
But I did find something else I was waiting for. At the last rest stop. Pie! Bike New York treats its riders well.
(And then I wonder why cycling doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss!)