Determined to ride to Cold Spring at some point this weekend, I rode there Saturday morning, going through the Bronx, Tarrytown, Croton, and Peekskill. My friend John was headed to nearby Breakneck Ridge for a hike, ending his day in Cold Spring, so it seemed like an opportune time to ride there since I could meet up with him upon arriving in Cold Spring.
It was a hillier ride than I had expected. Ride with GPS reports that I climbed more like 4,688 feet over 66.4 miles. I was well aware that it was going to be about 4,000 feet of climbing over about 65 miles, but it felt much harder than that. It had been about three weeks since I ridden my road bike so I wasn’t in the best shape for a long-distance ride.
Hardest of all was the heat. My Polar reports that the average temperature throughout the ride was 92°. It’s entirely reasonable to think that the temperature was around 96° at the hottest time of the day. Ouch. I frequently stopped for water. My first water stop was in Riverdale at a Chase bank branch to fill up my bottles from their water cooler. I stopped again in Tarrytown at a 7-11 where the clerk gave me the stink-eye when I brought in my bike and bought a water bottle. (I should have paid with my AMEX to anger him even more.) I stopped again at a camp site called Tea Town where they let me use the bathroom and fill my bottles from their filtered-tap water dispensers.
The heat killed my appetite, and I didn’t eat very much on this ride. I consumed my first solid calories nearly forty miles after starting. It was a super hot L’Arabar, which wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be. Then I ate half of a Clifbar, and a couple of Clif Shot bloks. I ate a turkey sandwich at Mile 55, at a deli in Cortlandt Manor just north of the US-9 and US-6 junction.
When I arrived in Cold Spring, I was exhausted. I did get a little burst of energy when I realized that I was only four miles out of town. When I turned left from US-9 to NY-301 to Cold Spring, I was screaming down the hill at nearly 35 miles per hour. It was exhilarating.
I stopped at Whistling Willie’s in Cold Spring to cool down and rehydrate. They were reasonably bike friendly, letting me stash my bike in the outdoor patio where I could keep my eye on it. It was also a better option than the usual standby for hikers and cyclists.
After risking heat exhaustion and seeing only five other cyclists on the road once I left Manhattan, this might be a better ride for a day in late August than early July.