Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Biking - some quality time with granny

I was looking for a hilly ride today, and boy did I find one! I have an old book entitled 25 Bike Tours in the Hudson Valley, by Howard Stone. One of the rides is called "The Ridges West of Schenectady". I had done this one before, but not in quite a while. So I loaded it up into to see what it looked like. It's about 30 miles, with over 2,000' of climbing, some of it steep, starting at Schalmont High School.

I wasn't in the mood for an early start, but it looked like the rain would hold off until afternoon anyway. So I had a good breakfast first and off I went. The first 12 miles is basically a long steeply rolling uphill to a point on Herrick Road. Then a long downhill to NY30, and another easier climb to Mariaville via Batter street. From there, it's mostly downhill with a few uphill pitches thrown in. There wasn't a lot of flat road on this ride, and I used every gear at some point or other.

Reaching Mariaville, the sky in the west was pretty dark, so I decided on a shortcut back to the car. A few minutes later, I was donning raingear as the inevitable approached. I waited out a passing shower under a tree and then continued on, my shortcut actually adding about a mile to the original plan. But the rain was over, and so was the ride, another good tuneup for Sunday's Ididaride.

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