Friday, June 19, 2009

Today's Hudson Valley Ride In Pics

Today's 90 miles of cycling in the Hudson Valley was a compilation of three or four former bike routes that I followed in the New Paltz, Cornwall and Bear Mountain areas. The centerpiece is the Bear Mountain area, the emotional heart of the Hudson River and the Hudson Highlands. The Appalachian Trail traverses the mighty Bear, which also hosts the bridge that spanned the Hudson for the first time.

Every New York City metro kid within 50 miles of the Bear has visited the park, the goofy zoo, the trails, the skating rink or the pool. It's near the point where three counties come together -- Rockland, Orange and Westchester, and Putnam and Dutchess are not too far, too.

At Bear Mountain Park near the bridge and traffic circle, I met this pair of hikers who were strolling along the Appalachian Trail from West Virginia to Maine. They said it's been a cool, rainy spring.

Bear Mountain Bridge, looking east.

Hudson River, looking south.

Hudson River, looking north.

That's State Route 9D along the river's east shore just north of Cold Spring.

That's Storm King Mountain between Cornwall and West Point from the vantage point of the east side of the Hudson River. Route 218, which is carved into the mountain and leads West Point employees to the US Military Academy, was closed today because of the rain that can lead to rocks falling down the mountain.

I met Tom at a new bike shop in downtown Beacon. Tom is trying to build mountain biking in the area.

Classic Hudson River shot -- barge being escorted by a tug down the river just south of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.

Oh, about 16 miles down the road from New Paltz into today's ride is a blue-collar village called Walden that was once a mighty-mite community back in the industrial day. Now, it's a mish-mash of commuters, local service employees and folks who like to shop at the ol' Thruway Market. Somehow the slushie truck in front of the Thruway Market (the NY State Thruway is actually some 10 miles to the east) in an empty parking lots just says Walden to me.

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