Making the World Better for New York Cyclists—One Complaint at a Time:
A Website (mostly) of constructive bitching

A 60 mile route that is challenging, scenic, and, maybe best of all, very lightly traffcked.

Here is the route sheet of my weekly ride during pleasant weather. Richard's Route (PDF) The distances on it are not nearly precise but they are close to correct. The route sheet further differs from a cue sheet in that, with my commentaries, it's as much editorial as it is cue sheet.

River Road (Henry Hudson Drive) is the second most beautiful road I've ridden in the U.S., after only Hgwy. 1, the coastal road from Pebble Beach through the Big Sur in California. If you ride in New York City, you must ride it. It starts only eight miles from Central Park! It is 7.5 miles long, starts under the George Washington Bridge, and traces the Hudson River's edge on one side of the road and the Palisade cliffs on the other. There are wild flowers, waterfalls, and a cathedral effect of overhead trees. There are climbs throughout it. It ends with a .75 mile uphill (1.3 mi. if you go down to the water before turning around and going up to the PIPC HQ).
I've described the route as scenic. There are many gorgeous photos of cycling on River Road. I leave beauty to others. But see here for yourself the work of a naturalist who beautified the wooded climb that is Bradley. (My political prejudice is such that I strongly suspect this is the work of a man who rants about cutting back government. Question for him: Hey, schmuck! Yeah, I'm talkin' to you! Who do you think is going to dispose of your trash, you lazy, dirty, inconsiderate slob, other than the government's trash removal/sanitation department?)

Is this naturalist the same putz in a pick-up a short distance away who, when I
motioned to him to slow down (without using my middle finger), thoughtfully
repllied, "Fuck you!"? Nah, I think he's a different putz.

Since the general tone of this Website is constructive bitching, l
cite a profoundly stupid placement of an important warning sign on Tweed Rd., around the 32 mile mark. Tweed is a terrific road: it parallels the Hudson above Piermont with views of the river from on high; it has very little traffic; and it is wonderfully shaded. However, if you're riding it from north to south, as my route does, it ends in irresponsible road engineering. You're riding 22-23-24MPH. All of a sudden it ends with a 90º turn into a short, 16% downhill that dumps into 9W with its oncoming traffic and the drivers won't see you.

Below is the so-called warning sign of the turn.
You're a scant, fifteen yards from that sharp turn onto the steep downgrade, and this is what you...uh...saw....




See the sign warning of the 90º turn onto the 16% downgrade?
Good, visible placement of the sign, isn't it? Answer: No.

The obvious, common sense solution is to put the sign on the other side of the road where drivers and cyclists are far more likely to see it in time for it to register. If Orangetown has enough money in its budget for a bit more paint, adding the grade is a very steep 16% would also be useful.

Aha! But look what didn't bloom in the Spring, 2011: the public servants chopped the bushes.

April 17, 2011. They're gone! The view obstructing bushes are completely gone!! 
Further proof, my riding buds, if you will bestir yourselves to
engage your civil
servants civilly you, yes, YOU can produce changes.




May 7, 2011. Oops. It's baaaaack! Nature will do that to you, won't she?
O.K., it's (past) time to move the sign to the other side of the road.
And while you're at it, Orangetown, by all means, please help yourself to my sign design.



The last climb on my route is Eisenhower (13% with a moment at 16%) or Speer (same). (See map below). Gear your bike for the ride mindful of this.

Eisenhower is in a development called Rio Vista, just off 9W. The homes are shrines to excess and alters to bad taste and proof that class is not synonymous with wealth.





(I've written only two witty things about cycling.
One is: Did you ever hear two men at the top of a climb
comparing the sizes of their cogs? Only in this smaller is better.
Damn! Just when I found something I was big at!)



I've heard people don't come on my rides because they think they are too tough for them. See Who I am to be absolutely persuaded they are not too tough for you. While I'm an enthusiastic uphiller, lest this hilly route suggest I'm also a competent one—I'm not. I'm bad. Very bad. Really bad. Terrible. Surpassingly awful. Rotten. I stink. In the extreme. I simply cannot ride a bicycle uphill. Old, arthritic ladies walking with canes pass me on uphills. It turns out I suffer from a congenital hill defect. Coming out of potholes are daunting uphills for me. Bounding up over curbs are daunting uphills for me. I have to blood dope to get up driveways.


Having said all this—unfortunately without so much as a single syllable of false modesty—climbing is the most fun I have on a bike—witness this.
This was my ride on July 23, 2014, from my, I think, twenty-second such ride, all solo, this one from Zurich to Milan. (Last year's was Milan to Zurich along a very different route (Simplon>Furka>Grimsel).



This is the Stelvio Pass, the second highest (paved) pass in the Alps.
It is a scant 15 meters below the highest, the Col de l'Iseran.
The climb is noteworthy for having 48 numbered hairpin turns.

Lest people express the slightest awe or admiration at my doing this at age 75—don't! Do not!!—I submit this as proof positive all it takes is: The Will, the Time, and a Low Enough Gear. Really. No strength and, god knows, no skill is required. At least not the way I ride it. My point here is YOU can do these hills. My second point, and the real meaning in all this for you is...if you're riding with me, alas, you're also waiting for me atop the climbs. Please do so with compassion for the infirm and elderly. Someday you, too, will be a geriatric.)

(Yes, that small, black bag is the sum total of my packing: that's my real accomplishment. I believe I've so mastered packing for multi-day trips that I've achieved an irreducible minimum. Total weight including the bag: 3.27 lbs.! The secret is Capezio dance shoes. Alas for you, the Kirtland bag is long out of production.)

How's that? You got sumpthin' to say about the pink bike? Go to: http://magliarosenthal.com/About_the_Designer.html
 or http://ro-ads.com/Pink_Cow.php for an explanation.



Click on the link of the Google map, below, to enlarge it and read the route directions.
 
You want something shorter, close to the city, but hard?
The Alt. Climbathon.©  is only 42 miles but I think harder than the 60-mile Climbathon.
3200'of climbing compacted into 12 miles (obviously not all uphill) on 7 hills.
No taking a car, no taking a train. And you'll be home for lunch.

(Of course for being 18 miles longer, the full-on Climbathon
has more altitude gain ...but overall less steep grades.)




THE ALT. CLIMBATHON
The grades below are not the climbs' average but their steepest grade.

Hill #1: Booth from Engle to Woodland ~ 11.7%
Hill #2: Morrow from Booth to Speer ~ 13.5%
Hill #3: Next Day Hill from Lydecker to Speer ~ 10.4%
Hill #4: Speer from Lydecker to Highview ~ 15.9%
Hill #5: Churchill from Leroy to Woodland ~ 10.1%
Hill #6: East Clinton from Dean to 9W ~11.5%
Hill #7: Walnut from Lydecker to Woodland ~ 12%