Monday, February 06, 2017

Winter Riding in the Catskills


A mid January thaw afforded me to break with the routine of Saturday uphill skiing at Windham and go riding instead. I set off on my Cyclocross bike for a quick loop around the ski area, only to find that I might have bit off more than I could chew or pedal for that matter because I had to be back in time to meet my son for lunch.


My morning route took me west on Route 23 out of Windham to down towards Red Falls and then turning south onto Route 23A.  I really had no clue of what to expect and when I turned off the main road onto Airport Road I encountered my first serious climb on Airport Road.


Airport Road is a monster, almost 1000 foot climb.  The first part has a max grade of 12% and the steepest section is upwards of 18%! 


Once you get to the airport, if you call it that, the road continues to climb.  On the middle climb I had to stop 3 times for fear of passing out and a clear indication that I am grossly out of shape.

Not much going on at the Maben Airport
Right be the road starts the last major descent there is a great view of Hunter Mountain and the Round Top.


By the time I got to Jewett I knew I had to head back so I cut back through the Jewett Pass and then rode through the heart of Windham back to the Adaptive Sports Foundation lodge to meet Elliot for Lunch.


After lunch I went out on a more manageable loop with yet another killer climb.  Campbell Road has a max grade of 18% only this time I was able to ride the entire ascent without stopping.  Turning east onto Cunningham Road I was treated to spectacular views of Windham Mountain and numerous historical sites.


I found this abandoned Church in Ashland that reminded me of the Church in Roxbury, CT with the green shutters.



The further I got up the road the more spectacular the view of Windham Mountain got.


By this point it must have been 50 degrees and I was sweating profusely.


Leaving Cunningham Road and turning south back towards Windham it was literally all down hill to Route 23.



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