It was an outstanding day to ride a bike through the Catskill mountains. I know, because Don and Jonathan and I did just that and enjoyed the heck out of it all day long. The weather was great with temps a bit cooler than usual in the high 50s and low 60s; it was clear that late fall was in the air. Many of the leaves in the high Catskills have fallen, but we were treated to some amazing colors along the way.
It all started at 7:00 am at the typical start control in Rosendale. The climb up towards the Ashokan Reservior was filled with brilliant fall foliage and the roads were just about devoid of life at that hour. The bridge outside of Palenville is still out, so we had to again make the 3-mile detour to avoid the problem. I decided (after many years) to move the first control stop from Palenville at the base of the 23A climb to the Stewarts in Tannersville at the top of the climb. This was a much better choice and psychologically makes that hill a bit easier to summit. We even got to spend time with Rip Van Winkle, a local favorite, as we rested.
The next change we made to the route involved another control switch in Phoenicia. I've long hated the Valero gas station, with its cranky staff and nasty generic offerings, but it wasn't until this summer when I volunteered for the Englewood 600K that I realized what a great alternative we had right a cross the street at Mama's Boy. We stopped in there today and feasted on freshly baked muffins and dark coffee. Since Frost Valley-Oliverea Road is still out, we again climbed Peekamoose Mountain Rd as an alternative route to Grahamsville.
Once we crested the nasty Peekamoose climb, it was smooth sailing (except for Jon's flat) until Grahamsville where we took in a great lunch at the deli before tackling the last 35 miles.
After lunch we got a receipt that appeared to be over 10 years old. Maybe it was a Y2K problem that never got fixed on the cash register.
After returning to Rosendale and having our cards signed, we shot off for a two-mile round trip to the Rosendale Cafe on the shortest Coffeeneuring ride possible. Jon and I ordered coffee while Don had an Anchor Steam.
2 miles and a black coffee, yum