Sunday, July 30, 2017

BykHead Nirvana

On the way back from visiting my mother, I stopped by Taconic 909 late afternoon Sunday. The weather was perfect - sunny but not too hot with a refreshing breeze.

I parked at the Tyrrell lot and rode in on Brockway veering off at Mary Murphy. The great single track took me above the start of BykHead, so I rode on the double track (Horseshoe) and zoomed off down the connector to connect with BkyHead. That first climb is a doozy and although I didn't hike any of it, I did have to stop twice for a breather. Once at the top it was non-stop nirvana - some sections have so much great flow you fly at breakneck speed without a care in the world!

Once I reached the bottom, I rode a bit on the jeep road and veered off the the left on the connector to Mustang and then climbed Mercury (on previous visits I always rode in the opposite direction: descending).

It was a great ride and finally a bit of redemption for me as last time I visited, my bike broke on BykHead and I had to walk it out. Eeech - that was a bummer...

My ride (clockwise)
A brief stop on BykHead - the photo does not do justice to how great this trail is!
At the bottom of Mercury
A brief pause on Mercury
Back at the lot

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Schenectady Central Park and Colonie ...

I was up visiting my mother for the weekend and rode both Schenectady Central Park and the Colonie Shale trail on Saturday.

Schenectady Central Park

This park packs a lot of fun riding in a small area. Tight switchbacks and frequent turns add up to about 5 miles of trails. Although much of it is flat and marshy there are quite a few hills, and boardwalks of all different sizes in the marshy areas to keep it interesting. There are quite a few tight squeezes thru trees and many kinda of unexpected large log up and overs as well. I got clipped on the first tight tree squeeze but learned my lesson and slowed down enough to negotiate all the others without incident.

The section south of the creek channel was really fun. Kudos to the trail builders here--they have built a masterpiece!
This section is super fun!

Colonie Shale Trail

After a complete ride thru the many trail options at Schenectady Central Park, I popped on over to Colonie to ride the Shale trail(s). Much to my surprise, it looks as if the trail system is now legit and there were lots of markers and tags on the trees to indicate where to follow the Yellow Loop.

I rode in the first "long climb" entrance for a change and made it up to the top without incident.
Vestiges of the Halloween night ride are found scattered here and there and it caused quite a few chuckles!
Its real a great place to ride and packs a wallop each time I have been there.

Lastly, I rode west a bit on the rail trail and discovered this secret trail offshoot. Sadly it ended abruptly only a few hundred feet into the woods. Too bad it looked like a gorgeous area. (No trespassing private property signs on the opposite side of the creek probably caused this trail to be abandoned)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Thacher Park - Hiking and Family Picnic

We had a family get together picnicking at Thacher Park, NY. We got there early to set up the BBQ and reserve a spot in the Pear Orchard area. I had time for a quick hike. Hope to be back to mountain bike!

The Hike

Looked a bit like driftwood!

The Picnic

Clumsy me - I spilled the pasta salad!
Winding down...

About the Park

A 3-mile- long, 1200-foot-high limestone escarpment southwest of Albany forms the core of the park. The escarpment was formed more than 100 million years ago, when layers of limestone, sandstone, and shale were uplifted and exposed an extraordinary collection of marine fossils.  Details >

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Bennetts- Hemlock Hills Ride

I took a late morning/early afternoon spin up at Bennetts/Hemlock Hills. It was hot and not very breezy but beautiful nonetheless. I parked at the Bennetts Pond lot and took the nice single track down the hill. After scurrying across that narrow footbridge on foot, I climbed up the unblazed trail to Hemlock Hills. Truth be told I was huffing and puffing much of the time and stopped a bit here and there to catch my breath. I'm getting old!!

Once on the Red, I veered off on the first new Green (lots of terrain challenges ) then headed up the hill on the second new Green taking it all the way to the Pink. Next, I rode the Pink all the way to the Blue. What a great trail! This was the first time I had ridden the Pink eastward all the way - some serious tight squeezes here and there! BTW - the blazing on the Red, Green and Pink are all excellent - a big thankful to RCC (and Mike M) for a great job at Hemlock Hills!

Finally, I got on the Blue and made my way back out, reconnecting with the unmarked Purple (much easier going down for sure!) and back up to the lot on the same single track that took me in.

It was only early afternoon and I could had ridden more but I was dripping in sweat and tired so this XC weenie headed on home...

One of my many resting places to catch a breath
(there was a fire pit and big rock to sit on off to the left)