Sunday, April 5, 2009

Biking - Rotterdam to Schoharie Crossing

Today's weather was promising sunny skies, temps near 50, but punishing westerly winds. So we all decided it was a perfect day to head 17 miles west, into the wind, to Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site, following the Mohawk River Bike Path, also known as part of the Erie Canalway Trail. As we left Rotterdam, temps were in the low 40s, there were spits of drizzle, and winds were gusting over 30mph in our faces. This would be a character builder of a ride, or at least the first half would. The ride home, with a tailwind, would seem effortless.

We battled the wind through Rotterdam Junction, and then along NY5S up the Mohawk Valley, where the wind was really ripping. Once we got to Amsterdam, we were back on the bike path again, and were somewhat more sheltered. Reaching Schoharie Crossing, we headed for Karen's Produce and Ice Cream Stand, which turned out to not yet be open for the season. Seeking a sheltered lunch spot, we next made a beeline for the park's visitor center, which was also closed. Improvising, we unstacked a picnic table and moved it to the downwind side of a small barn, where we had a pleasant lunch. Then the real fun began. Heading back the way we came, the big wind was now behind us, and we struggled no more. Even the mild uphills were easy cruising. By the time we reached the cars, the sun was out, the winds had abated somewhat, and we had covered 35+ miles. Not the best of days for a ride, but this group is hard-core, and we all had a good time.

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