Sunday, April 11, 2010

Biking - The windy Glenville hills

Today was another sunny cool day, with the winds forecast to be somewhat less than yesterday, so it seemed like it would be a good day for a ride. The reality turned out to be a west wind at 15, gusting in the mid-20s, so it was a good day NOT to be doing long legs to the west. I chose a generally north-south loop, starting at Schenectady Community College and heading north to Charlton. Turning west there for a relatively short distance, I wound my way over to West Glenville, climbed up Ridge Road, screamed down Washout Road to the valley, and returned across the river along the bike path. I found this route in an old copy of 25 Bike Tours in the Hudson Valley, by Howard Stone, and had ridden it a couple of times before.

This turned out to be a much tougher ride than the numbers (34 miles, 1587 total feet of climbing) would lead one to expect, mostly because of the relentless wind. Though it was mostly westerly, there was a definite northerly component, and much of the climbing was in a generally northwest direction, in a much lower gear than in previous rides on these same roads.

I stopped for lunch at the Charlton General Store, where I had a very nice wrap and a big lemonade. The worst of the climbing (and wind) was yet to come, and I needed the fuel. After fighting the wind all the way to West Glenville, the final 1.5-mile climb up Ridge and Washout Roads was rewarded with a long (3 miles) and fast (37mph) descent back down to NY5 in the valley. Crossing the river at Lock 9, I headed east, with the wind, back to the crowded Mohawk River Bikeway, where nobody today seemed to know the meaning of "passing on your left". Need to avoid this route on weekends and stick to the roads!

1 comment:

  1. At first I thought "No Rocking Chair for Me" was going to have something to do with "No Country for Old Men". Too many movies I guess ha. I do a little biking myself, so this gives me some great ideas. I really like that pictures up top too.