Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Nyack Sees Primetime

In between rides, the boys at Tenafly Road Dawgs, that group that rides crazy fast at 6 am every morning from the center of Tenafly, NJ, pointed out an article in Bicycling Magazine all about cycling in Nyack, NY.

Okay, not cycling "to" Nyack, like you all do, but cycling "from", the Jim Skelley way, aka owner of Nyack Bicycle Outfitters at 72 North Broadway.

Pic: Cycling the Old Erie Path from Sparkill to Haverstraw.

They pointed out the trail from Nyack Beach to Haverstraw, which Ana Banana blogged about last fall cycling the Old Erie Path from Sparkill almost to Haverstraw, and last winter, skiing from Rockland Lake towards Haverstraw with the sounds of hawks' cries echoing off the giant cliffs, the wind howling over the deserted snow covered trails in 9 degree weather, and coming across old abandoned buildings that were once the heydey of our state parks' system.

What they failed to mention about that trail, is the sections that are full of sand and almost impossible to ride, but that's okay, I know you experts can handle that.

Pic: Old Stationhouse on Old Erie Path above Piermont, NY

They also did not mention that you can pick up the Old Erie path from Sparkill, or even from Rte. 303 in Orangeburg, and take that all the way to Nyack, then bike through Nyack, to Nyack Beach, then to Haverstraw, with very little contact with cars the whole way. Mountain bike or at least cross bike required, and round trip distance is about 30 miles. BBB did this with Ana Banana in tow behind.

Pic: BBB with Ana Banana in tow on Old Erie Path

Bicycling did mention Jim Skelley's Rocket Ride which leaves on Sundays around 8 am from his shop on Broadway (just a block north of the Runcible Spoon), with riders averaging about 30 mph most of they way. It's better to call it the Testosterone Ride.

And they did mention the Runcible Spoon which almost all cyclists ride to as if they were hardwired robots, but the newer eatery Didier Dumas, a French Patisserie at 163 Main Street is less well known but offers real French pastries, including crepes, croissants, and amazing tarts, and has received tremendous reviews.

The article does mention the ride from Nyack to Harriman State Park which they say is 96 miles round trip--but is not--it is more like 50 miles round trip. The greater number is the round trip distance to Harriman from New York City's Central Park, East 96th St. entrance.

Pic: the new place to go in Nyack, Didier Dumas

All good stuff, except they forgot the Orchard Ride from Nyack to the Concklin Farms apple orchards, which is probably one of the best rides in the entire region. You might recognize the name because they sell their produce at the city's Greenmarkets at the Bowling Green, World Trade, Abingdon, City Hall and Rockefeller locations.

Pic: Some of the offerings at the NYC-based Greenmarket farmers' markets.

After climbing your butt off, you get to savor the most delicious homemade apple, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, peach and rhubarb pies, sold in small sizes for your back pocket, plus mounds of fresh fruit. They also have a big assortment of food and drinks at the store like apple cider and apple cider donuts, so you won't go hungry or thirsty. In the fall, you can actually go out to the orchards and pick apples!

The family has owned the farm since 1712, and to stave off bankruptcy years ago, did a land swap deal to preserve their farm. Now they rent the land and farm off it.

From Nyack you proceed up 9W until you come to a major fork where 9W meets Rte. 303--(check out the map), you take the left, then at the next light (right before 9w makes a descent towards Haverstraw), take the second left, up a small crumbling road called Long Clove Road, which goes into Scratch Up Road--and you come out on Old Rte. 304, turn left, which you follow for a little while going straight until it becomes South Mountain Road. You stay straight on that, crossing North Little Tor Road (watch for fast cars) until it reaches Rte. 45--and that's where you will find Conklin Farms.

Pic: the difficult turn off from rte. 9W to Long Clove Road

This ride is almost all climbing especially as soon as you leave Rte. 9W. It's a nice road more like the back roads in France, winding and spectacular, with few cars and pretty scenery.

The round trip for this ride from NYC is 75 miles.

One thing the article pointed out, is that there is a SWIM in the Hudson River on Sept. 13. You can either swim or kayak across the Hudson from Nyack to Sleepy Hollow, as long as you raise money for several different foundations that the organization, Hudson River Swim for Life is sponsoring.

To check out the Bicycling Mag Article.

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