Hudson Valley cycling WordPress weblog


Fri. 5/22


east end C.O.P. – 14:30 hrs. no workers – must have taken off for the weekend – over Dutchess Ave. there was scafolding suspended beneath the bridge – this would be in the area of the fire in 1971 – there was a lift parked in a grassy area along US rt. 9 behind the dumpster for the nearby restaurant


I would go for a short ride across the river. I would find out what the bridge people were working on, at least in part. They were installing music stations at the towers for listening to Joseph Bertolozi’s “Bridge Music”. The composer had esentialy used the bridge as a musical instrument by digitaly sampling the sounds he made by striking the bridge at various locations with a hammer and also by pouring steel shot down the void inside one of the towers. Also of note, docked at Wayras Park was a replica of Henry Hudson’s ship, the Half Moon. This was all part of the ongoing Quadracentenial celebration of Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage up the river that now bears his name. The Quadracentential celebrations will culminate with the opening of the Walkway in October.

Sat. 5/23

There was supposed to be rain showers today in the PM. I used this day, in the morning, to clean and lube the chain on my ATB. I sort of had plans to go on short shopping sojurn to get some things at the store afterward. I got finished just in time for it to start raining.

Sun. 5/24

Today would be a preview of summer with the temps in the upper 70’s and relatively high humidity. The humanity had also increased due to the holiday.There was a report of scatered afternoon thunder storms. This is typical summer-like weather here in the mid-Hudson Valley. I had unfortunately forgotten a few key items when I had gone shopping on Friday and so had to go out today. When I had arrived at the local Stop and Shop, I could see very dark storm clouds in the uncomfortably near distance. I had even seen a bolt of lightning. I had hoped to get what I needed and get home before the storm was overhead. I had gotten as far as the K Mart, one plaza over when I felt the first drops of rain. I took shelter in the overhang in front of the store. After the first 2 storm cells, I took off for the remaining 1 1/2 miles to home, hopefuly before cell number 3 hit. While riding west on Main St., over my left shoulder was very dark and over my right shoulder was sunshine. A short time after getting home, that third cell hit with a vengence with high winds and torential rain. I had turned on the TV tuned to the weather chanel. The weather service had issued  thunder storm and flash flood warnings for this area.

Mon. 5/25 Memorial Day

A toasty, low humidity, Colorado-like day of sunshine at last! After all the HFH’s across the river I had ridden, documenting some with my Sky Monti inclinometer, I decided to re-visit a couple of “old friends”, Clapp Hill and Waterbury Hill. I would ride up Clapp Hill first. The main west to east route crossing the Taconic State Parkway (and a part of the Taconic ridge) I would follow, is Bushwick road which turns into Todd Hill Rd. This road, with 2 diferant names, transverses the town of LaGrange from SR 55 to CR 21. While stoped at the intersection with Lauer Rd. (where Bushwick Rd. becomes Todd Hill Rd.), to write down the mileage at this point, I saw a small group of “turbo jock roadies” going west bound on Todd Hill Rd. and were continuing onto Bushwick Rd. about to go up the grade I had just come down. (take note – east bound this intersection is on a downhill) One fellow had a high end Giant road racing “uber” bicycle. I watched as they got up out of the seats to begin the “Lance dance” up the grade. I said a silent prayer to “Our Lady of the Holy Triple Chainring” asking for forgiveness of these “siners” who stand on the uphill.

 A number of years ago, some of the TSP median crossings were closed. In the infinitesimal wisdom of the TSP “planners” and the powers that be, the crossings were not merely gated with a bike path – rail trail type opening to allow someone on a bicycle to cross, they were buldozered over. I had forgoten there was no median crossing for Todd Hill Rd. I had, at one time, a flyer showing what Tconic Parkway crossings were closed. I also had a map that I had marked indicating the closed crossings. I did not have the latter with me (I had another UN-marked map) and so could not plan my route acordingly, to ride SR 55 or to ride CR 21. When I had gotten to the TSP, I had to do some off road XC, with my Giant “Rincon” ATB (with 1.5 in. Bontrager road tires), to get across the parkway. On the east side of the parkway, there is a large estate motorized gate and a private road leading up to presumably somebody’s palatial mansion. The private road had a blue street sign – the name of this road is Rodeo Dr. – no doubt with the hoyty toyty Beverly Hills  pronunciation of roh-dayohh. I had gone past this place before on a previous ride. I kind of wonder what celebrity might live there. Dutchess county is home to a number of famous people. There was also a 12 % grade here, and so I had time to ponder this as I slowly inched my way up the grade with a 24 tooth chainring in front and a 30 tooth cog in the rear, while seated on my Terry Men’s “Liberator” (touring) seat.

“blessed are those with triple gearing for they shall have more time to enjoy God’s creation”

After taking in the view at the grade school, I began the downhill to CR 21. I had noticed some “yupie McMansions” to my left where there was once only all farmland. At CR 21 I continued (sort of) east onto Emans Rd. and to Clapp Hill Road. Clapp Hill is a “7 levels of Hell” stepped ascent of nearly 3 miles from SR 82. In the direction I was going, to CR 21, the downhill side was only 1.6 miles (see route) After Clapp Hill, Waterbury Hill seemed easy by comparison. As I took in the view on top of Waterbury Hill, I had realized with the off road crossing of the TSP earlier, fiddling with a balky uncooperative deraileur, and not to mention the seemingly endless slow grind up Clapp Hill, there would not be enough time for my planed Clove Mountain loop from here. I decided to ride down the town road which intersects with Waterbury Hill road (CR 89) on top. I had not ridden this town road – Rickes Rd. – before. As per my map this road leads to SR 82. I would tolerate some highway riding to cut the ride short. At the intersection of No. Smith Rd. there was the 18th century hamlet of Oswego. There was an old cemetary and a town of Unionvale historic sign.
SR 82 was very rough in sections. The right side of the highway in the roughest sections was like a mountain bike trail. I was therefore glad to be riding an ATB and not one of those frail road bicycles, with the ultra thin 110 psi. tires, that those “roadies” I had seen earlier were riding. I would turn right, westbound, onto SR 55. I was going to turn off this highway onto a town road, but the lure of an ice cold Mocha latte at the McDonald’s ahead on the highway was too much and went past the turn off. While enjoying my iced latte, I saw a couple going east on a tandem and soon after a single “roadie” going west. There was even bicycle traffic on the roads this Memorial day! I would continue on the highway all the way to Poughkeepsie. (technicaly the town of Poughkeepsie)

the route:

Pok. RR station trk. 2 drop off area
total distance would be aproximately 37 milesnote: did not document route in C.O.P.
through parking lot exit at Rinaldi. Blvd
  L Main St.
  12% grade
  R Union BR9
  R Jefferson Blvd. Ext.
  CROSS arterial rt 44/55
  must get in left lane for below turn
  L Montgomery 8% max
  CROSS South St.
  continue on BR9
  RIGHT onto Hooker
  LEFT Forbus
  CROSS Cherry St.
  past HS
  CROSS Worall
  CROSS Grand twn of Pok.
  RNCT Fulton
  ¾ around CC
  RIGHT onto College Ave.
  .6 L Fairmont (no sign here – only way to go street dead ends)
  .9 R Manchester Rd.
 1.4 R SR 55 follow to SR 55 east using east side walk
      5% grade
 2.7 exit sidewalk onto old hwy. / svc. Road
 2.9 L CR 49 – Old Manchester Rd.
 3.1 R SR 55
 3.3 R CR 21 Noxon Rd.
  11% grade (max – just after HO Penn Caterpiler)
 5.0 L CR 49 Titusville Rd.
  12% grade (max)
 6.0 R Bushwick Rd.
      HFH 13% grade (max – just after Hill View)
 7.6 CROSS Lauer Rd.
       RNCT Todd Hill Rd.
<9.0> Taconic State Parkway
  12% grade (max) on east side of parkway

10.5 CROSS CR 21
       RNCT Emans Rd.
11.3 CROSS SR 82
    L Clapp Hill Rd. (note name there is)
       begin 3 mile stepped ascent – very steep grade in sections
       HFH 11% grade at this turn 14% (max) just after Schoolhouse Lane
       follow all the way UP to Baker Rd. through residential area
       TO REMAIN ON CLAPP HILL RD. (follow sign arrows)
       good view to right
       begin VERY steep downhill
16.5 R CR 21
16.55 CROSS SR 55
16.6 LEFT IMEDIATELY just after crossing hwy. onto PARLMAN ROAD
       this is part of the Waterbury Hill climb – the below section of this route is part of the HVVC Unionvale race route and one  of my old routes  that started from Pawling – the *T*U*S*H* 50 route

      STRAIGHT onto Walsh Rd.
       HFH 12% (max)
19.4 STRAIGHT at stop sign onto CR 89 Waterbury Hill Rd.
20.4 L at T (top of Waterbury Hill) CR 89 goes to right and DOWN – this is where I deviated from my original planed route
        onto Rickes Rd. – town road (Unionvale)
        awesome view to left
        did not fully document below
        CROSS North Smith Rd.
        town of Unionvale historic sign – Hamlet of Oswego – old 18th century cemetary
22.3 L SR 82

24.9 R SR 55 at TCL
  I followed this highway all the way into the town of Poughkeepsie and picked up outbound route in REVERSE at 2.7 mi.

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