Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Dirty Drunken Farmer's Daughter Gravel Grinder

Riding the dirt roads between Hillsdale and Chatham has been on my bucket list after the first Farmer's Daughter Gravel Grinder I rode in 2016. When Roe Jan Brewery opened up a few years ago it made for the perfect combination of riding, dirt roads and drinking beer but COVID dashed those plans last summer so here we are one year later riding brewery to brewery. 

We started a little later than anticipated and the route that I had planned turned into a climbing fest with the pavement going on forever. I made a mistake with my Garmin by changing the route on the computer and not ensuring that it updated on the GPS, because it didn't. Mike had the latest route and I had the old route. I had gotten some intel that one of the roads I mapped didn't go through, except on paper. 

First Dirt was on Pheasant Lane but turned into grass and in my experience when the road turns to grass it's either not going to go through or it's going to turn into a hike-a-bike.

This is what remained of the road and it looked rideable and a good way to get covered in ticks and probably get poison ivy, too.  We rode around the west side of the ROW but couldn't find a way back in so we turned around.  When we came out on Wolf Hill Road we met Andy who was out for a walk. He told us it does go through but right now it will be really bushy.  We weren't turning around and going back so we headed back to Hunt Road and continued north.

Not sure where Ride with GPS is getting it's surface information but Hunt Road is not dirt, either, so the technical First Dirt of today's route was School House Road, which unfortunately, was 8 miles in.  

It did not disappoint.

There was a nice little waterfall

and this view of an old farm right before Dugway Road

Another road on my bucket list was Fire Hill Road, which is pretty close to Will's summer house and yet I have never ridden it with him.

Coming out on Route 203 we had 2 miles of pavement until we turned east on East Hill Road. There's a tough climb at the beginning and two more along the way.

It's truly a worthy climb

Crossing Rt 22 we headed up Fog Hill on pavement for a half mile

and then it turns to dirt

and we are on dirt the whole way to Red Rocks Road

which was approximately 7 miles with some terrific downhills.

Riding past Ooms Ponds we turned onto Highland Road and rode straight to the brewery.

Marshall had a cider, Mike had the Blood Orange Gosse and I had a Heffeweizen with lemon

Mike and Marshall got burgers and I got the white cheddar mac & cheese with bacon.

Then we headed south on Rt 66

Not a lot of dirt on the west side of the Taconic Parkway

but that changed once we got back over on the other side of the Parkway.
We sadly learned that Hamerville Road got chip sealed.

It turned back to dirt on Lockwood Road and there was a big climb up to Texas Hill,

our total ascent by this point eclipsed our distance by over a thousand feet and we were feeling it.

This last climb was worth it because of the view.

This is the Money Shot of the ride!

Awesome view of the Hudson River Valley with cows for an additional bonus.

Mike (l); Marshall (c) and Me (r)

It was fun to watch one of the calves chasing the flock of birds near the heard only to then have its mother pull it back into the heard.

Then began the descent down to Rt 23 and the ride back to the brewery.

There was one last climb that we ignored because the Give-a-Shit meter was pegged.

Then it was beers and live music at Roe Jan's beer garden.

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