Remember how Andre and I rode to Peekskill last fall along both the South and North County Trails in Westchester?
We did it again this past Saturday. The two of us had a free day because we’re both kind of over softball, and I insisted that we ride because I needed a break from life. My new counselor agreed that it would be best that I get out and do fun stuff, such as play softball and ride my bike, to take my mind off how hard my life has been for me lately.
We got a late start because Andre insisted on making breakfast, but it was worth it.
We decided that our best bet was to take the subway to Woodlawn in the Bronx, and catch the South County Trail from there. It was an nice ride, despite fighting a pretty steady headwind most of the way. When we arrived at end of the South County Trail in Elmsford, I remembered that we could break-up the flatness of the ride by heading up Payne Street, east of Route 9A.
For those who aren’t familiar, Payne is one of the steepest climbs in Westchester, maximum grade of 12%, but I swear that must also be the average grade. Andre did really well going up, and I was only about a half minute behind him. That was pretty good because the last time I had to stop and take a breather about ¾ of the way up. When I joined him at the top and was still panting heavily, I asked him, “Hey, can we stop at a gas station to get some water?” He asked where we could find one, and I replied, “oh, there’s one at the bottom of the hill we just climbed.” Andre had not realized that climbing up Payne was completely unnecessary because just as soon as we went up, we were headed back down the same hill. Sorry, dude.
As usual, we left the trail in Yorktown Heights. This time, however, we took a different route that would put us along the Croton Reservoir. There was some climbing, but for the most part it was a nice ride with lots of rolling hills and some exhilarating downhills. There were also some pretty views of the reservoir.
As I had not taken this route before, I didn’t realize that one of the roads, Montrose Station Road, is closed.
After reviewing some alternate routes, Andre and I decided that we would just attempt to ride through the closed road anyway. “How bad can it really be?”
It’s bad! The road is closed because it isn’t an actual road. It isn’t even a gravel road. It is more of a river bed with tire-shredding rocks along the way.
We attempted to ride this with our road bikes but quickly realized that we were in store for a 1.6 mile hike, in bike shoes, along a very rocky road.
After arriving where the “road” intersects with Washington Street, we cruised downhill for another couple of miles and, voila, we were in Peekskill!
Although it’s not unusual to see bicyclists at the Peekskill Brewery, there were so many bikes hanging outside of the brewery this Saturday that it will only be a matter of time before the Brewery will look like the Runcible Spoon in Nyack, a popular destination for cyclists from New York City who ride up 9W and anger the residents of the Hudson River towns along the way.
If Peekskill is really going to be the new Nyack, the brewery is going to need a bike rack, too.
— Juan Monroy (@juanomatic) August 23, 2014
After a long day on the bike, powered by nothing more than Andre’s breakfast and a Clifbar, I had a pint of my new favorite beer, a pork confit sandwich, and a delicious pickled vegetable plate.
That was all paired with some bittersweet memories, too, because the last two times I was at the Brewery, I was with Sarah.
Andre and I hopped on the 5:35 train back to the city and were both in good spirits upon arriving at Grand Central Terminal, even after my customary train nap between Croton-Harmon and Spuyten Duyvil.
And like every other bicyclist in New York City, I’m sure we’ll be back.