Sunday October 16 UAR Outward Bound – Putnam Hardpack

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  • Sunday October 16 UAR Outward Bound – Putnam Hardpack
3 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

This is one of my favorite routes, especially with the fall foliage nearing its peak. While not technically challenging, recent wet conditions mean the hardpack will be soft; therefore, a bike having wide tires will be necessary.

The route covers 45 miles with about 4500 vertical feet of climbing, 75% of which is on hardpack, including most of the climbing.

Meet 8:30 at GCT for the 8:51 train to Garrison. Return is from Cold Spring (with Garrison bail option). We should get to Cold Spring around 2:00 PM, in time to watch the second half of the Giants game…

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Sunday Will Be Clear (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Great stuff (update).

"Beautiful farmland and autumn vistas.

Incredible hardpack roads. Challenging hills. Sweeping fast downhills. Intermittent wet stuff and washboard ruts made concentration a must -- but that only added to the adrenaline rush.


In all fairness, I should add a note which I posted to a friend who came up on the train and who (properly) elected NOT to do the ride:


Glad to hear you had a good time with the UN group ride, 'cause you'd have died on this one.

When I knocked on the window as you left the train, I tried to call out the Roman gladiator preamble: ""We who are about to die salute you.""

That proved prophetic. The route was quite hilly and occasionally treacherous -- numerous fast down hills with random potholes and washboard ruts. I was very happy to have knobbies, discs and full suspension.

Also, I'm a strong B-rider but the group was about two mph faster than me. As the route was all unfamiliar back roads, there really wasn't any place they could drop me -- no matter how much I begged. (Next time, I'm taking my Hagstrom.)

OTOH, the route WAS incredibly beautiful and there were frequent adrenaline rushes to keep me going. The total distance was only 30 miles -- though it took over three hours to complete.

Afterwards, John and I stayed at a tavern in Cold Spring to enjoy lunch, a fireplace and the second half of the Cowboys-Giants game.


Anonymous's picture
chris o (not verified)
Kestrel? Merlin? or Hawk

"This was a great ride. It was very rural and rustic and even relaxing (only 30 or so miles).

Neile showed some excellent mechanical skills in adjusting my useless rear brakes. But my highlight was seeing a small bird of prey being harassed by some blue jays just off the side of the ride.

I am not sure if it was a merlin (unlikely) - Taiga Merlin

Or maybe a Kestrel - American Kestrel

But most likely a falcon-like hawk - Sharp-shinned Hawk

(I just wanted to mention Merlin and Kestrel in the context of birds as opposed to bikes.)


cycling trips