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TRAILS and TRIBULATIONS 2 … “the great deflation”


  I had wanted to ride a portion of the new Atlantic Coast Route,in Dutchess county,from the Walkway in Poughkeepsie to Salt Point. After a leisurely
 lunch at the Walkway,I had realized with all the stops to take notes,and pictures,there would not be enough time to go all the way to Salt Point.
 I would do a shorter loop to Hyde Park and back instead. That,at least,was my revised plan for the day …

  After 4 miles,I was at the Stop & Shop in Hyde Park.I had stoped at the store for some refreshment.While enjoying my Snickers bar,and a cold,non alcoholic, beverage,a city of Poughkeepsie hybrid transit bus pulled up to the bus stop.At this point all was well with the bicycle and myself.I had thought “I will ride home… I don’t need the bus”. Interestingly,the City Bus NORTHSIDE route, goes all the way up to Hyde Park.One of the relatively new diesel-electric hybrid transit buses,with bicycle rack, has been consistently used on this route. Another 1/2 mile,I was at the Hyde Park Brewery and across from the FDR Home NHS.Next door to the brewery,is the southern trailhead for,what is now, the fully developed FDR NHS Farm Lane,part of the Hyde Park trail system.This was a pleasant surprise.

the Roosevelt Farm Lane 2010

When I had gotten my used Giant Rincon ATB (an older model with rack mounts,no suspension,and 1.5 inch tires) a few years ago,I had read that the property
between the FDR home on US rt.9 and Val Kill,Elanor’s home,had been aquired for public use and future trail development.There was an old farm road that went through the forested property.FDR used to drive between the 2 homes on this road.This would be a good oportunity for a first off road ride with my newley aquried ATB,I had thought.I would ride to the northern end of the property across from Val Kill on sr 9G. I would ride,or atempt to ride,that old farm road to US rt. 9 across from the FDR home.There had been some spring rain and flooding a few weeks prior to this 2008 outing.The old farm road started out as just that,an unpaved road, but quickly deteriorated to a technical mountain bike trail.Aparantly,sections of the old farm road over the years,or perhaps with the recent rain,had been washed away.There was just a jumble of rocks and boulders in one section,that was on a downhill grade.I must not have secured my bike computer fully,and at one point had come off the handlebar mount-receiver.  I had to walk back up the road-trail to retrieve it. (that Topeak “Panoram” bike computer is quite rugged – still working to this day) One section was actualy part of a flowing creek and I was riding the muddy creek bottom.When I arrived at US rt.9,I and my bicycle were coated with mud.My ATB had had a proper mountain bike “christening”.Therefore,how nice it was to see the Department of the Interior National Historic Site sign at the southern trail head on US rt. 9.The actual Roosevelt Farm Lane road-trail is part of the longer main trail, of the Hyde Park trails, emblazoned with a distinctiveTulip leaf marker.After a bit of coarser,rougher gravel,the road-trail surface was hard packed fine gravel and much smoother. One could easily ride this with a road touring or “hybrid” bicycle equiped with 700 X 35c tires.The main road-trail is the only trail that bicycles were allowed. Bicycles are not allowed on the side hiking trails.There were motor-vehicle-road-like signs on the Farm Lane trail, at ATB height.There was even a 15 MPH speed limit sign.There were a series of small roller coaster hills at one point.On one of the downhills,I exceeeded the speed limit a tad. I had hoped there was not a HP bike cop with a hand-held radar gun at the bottom of the hill!     I will have to return for a more thourough exploration of this trail from Val Kill,past the FDR home and to the Vanderbilt mansion.

  I had almost,but not quite,made it to the parking lot at sr 9G,when I had thought,at first,there might be some more of that rougher,coarser gravel,but this was not the case and indeed my back tire was flat,as I had feared.The second part of today’s adventure was about to begin. I dis-mounted and rolled my bike to a fence at the north end,away from the path of motor vehicles entering, to begin the fixing-of-the-flat “ritual”. When I went to get everything needed from the tool bag,I had discovered I did not have any more self-sticking glueless patches.There was only one “regular” patch left,but alas the glue had dried up.I had been carrying an old tube with me thinking this was a tube that could hold air at least long enough to get me to the Stop & Shop so that I could take the bus,which I now might need, home.The tube did not hold air even long enough to allow me to re-pack  the bike.Time for “plan C”. I would have to rely on the kindness of a stranger to give me and my bicycle a ride,in their motor vehicle, to the bus stop.As I pondered my fate,hopeing for a “trail Angel” to provide me and my bike a ride to the bus stop, someone arrived.A woman got out her car and let out a large  sized dog from the back of her car.Another woman then arrived with an even larger vehicle,an SUV with a “base” Thule rack on top,with 2 even larger dogs in the back.I would ask this woman if she could provide me a ride to the Stop & Shop so that I could take the bus home.Ellen would be willing if only her friend,the first woman that arrived,could take care of her ATB sized dogs so that I could put my ATB in the back of her SUV while she drove me to the bus stop and back. Ellen’s friend agreed. My trail “Angels” had come to the rescue. I took off the front wheel and slid my bike in the back.At the bus stop,I extracted my bicycle and front wheel from the back of Ellen’s SUV.I thanked Ellen,and put the front wheel back on the bicycle so that I could roll it easily.The bus arrived.I had asked the driver if the MAIN STREET bus had one of the newer buses with a bike rack. He told me yes and I put in the extra fare for the transfer.This will get me a few blocks from where I live,thus avoiding the indignity of wallking all the way from downtown with my bycycle. At the main stop,I took the bike off the NOTHSIDE route bus and onto the MAIN STREET route bus. At the stop near my home,like a team mechanic at the Tour de France, I jumped out of the bus,put down my bag and helmet on the sidewalk,took the bicycle off the rack, and folded the rack back up all within seconds. I then,like Tevia in “Fiddler on The Roof” when his horse could not go any farther and he had to walk his disabled horse home,walked my “horse” home the last few blocks.
ahh… yes it is not about the riding … it is about the adventure

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