Sunday, October 20, 2019

Hat City Invitational: Fall Foliage in Full Affect

Eric sent out an email a few weeks ago inviting me to ride a loop that is/was a popular Hat City Cyclists ride - Hat City folded last year - but the members still keep in touch and ride together. Today, we met near Macedonia State Park in Kent. On today's right was Roger,

From left to right, Cam, Janet, Eric & Roger
There was frost on my porch this morning but the weather app was saying that it was going to be in mid 60s so I decided on wearing shorts, a long sleeve jersey, but started with a jacket and figured I would be taking it off after the first climb, which was the case.

That first climb was up Route 44 and it was spectacular. About a mile with an average grade of 6%. The view looking east was awesome, too. Looking back at the ridge that obscures Macedonia State Park and Skiff Mountain.

With that major climb out of the way we pedaled down some numbered roads with very few cars and it was remarkably flat. I was in the big ring for most of the ride.

My chain was making a weird noise, like a clattering sound and the only thing that I could see is that the derailure cage was being effected. I thought perhaps that I put it on incorrectly the previous night - I probably shouldn't have replaced my change before a big ride but I did anyway. It had over 6K miles on it.  I need to replace the cassette as well, obviously, and perhaps that is the issue.  Despite the noise there wasn't any impact to performance.

The fall foliage was stupendous!

And the temperature was perfect!

We stopped at a Stewarts Market in Pine Plains after 20 miles for bathroom break.

And this immaculate Ford Fairlane rolled in.

Then we were in Columbia County

And descended down into Ancramdale

Where we stopped at the Farmer's Wife Cafe for lunch

It was a quaint little place with awesome food

Then we we were off again headed towards Copake

And the Taconic Range came into view!

The Taconic Ridge was resplendent today.  What I find hard to believe that it will be twice this year riding in this area and I have yet to climb Mt Riga Road.


Then we got to Copake Falls and headed down the Rail Trail for a couple of miles.

That Nor'easter we had earlier this week really wreaked havoc up here

There were tons of leaves down and sticks all over the place. I almost got hit in the face with a stick that Eric's bike kicked up at one point.

And then other parts of the trail it was relatively clear

Earlier this summer I did a solo loop from Salisbury, first up Route 41, Under Mountain Road, in Connecticut, then up into Mount Washington State Forest, down through Bash Bish and onto to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and back to Salisbury. I cringe, though having to ride one section, though.

The one section is a dirt road that connects the sections of the Rail Trail. There is no other way, however to get from Copake Falls to Under Mountain Road (the New York version) without going back out onto Route 22. I always cringe at have to ride skinnies on gravel. It's doable, though.

The rail trail ends at the other Under Mountain Road.  At some point the rail trail will go all the way to Millerton from here but it still isn't opened yet. From this point we noticed to that while still closed that it was now paved. I suspect that it might be open by next spring.

The view of this side of Taconics is spectacular

And riding through here is always a treat

I don't think we saw a single car from when we turned onto Under Mountain Road until we got to the intersection with County Road 62.

Then we rolled by Rudd Pond

And then made our way into Millerton

From Millerton we rode to Sharon, CT and upon entering the town there was a half mile, 6% climb to the center.

Following Rt 41 out of Sharon we rode back into NY through Amenia

And then retraced our way back to Macedonia State Park

I brought a 6 pack of PBR but no one wanted to Tail Gate after the ride.

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